BLUEBERRY CRUMB CAKE
This is one of my favorite blueberry recipes. It is a straightforward light, tender cake. It’s easy to serve for breakfast, dinner or a midnight snack. The dominant flavour is the berries, those wonderful deep full-flavoured blueberries. If you are using frozen blueberries don’t thaw them out. If they are little frosty rinse the berries off with cold water and dry them gently. Don’t be tempted to increase the amount of walnuts in the topping – scarcity makes them even more delightful. And keep the crumb mixture in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.
This is an excellent recipe to have tucked in your apron pocket. It works well with most any berry (except strawberries-they’re too watery) in place of or with the blueberries. You can use slices or cubes of soft fruits such as peeled peaches or nectarine, apricots or plums.
This recipe is from Baking From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. It was published in 2006. If baking is your forte it is a valuable book to have in your collection.
|BESOTTED WITH BLUEBERRIES|| |
- FOR THE CRUMBS
- 5 tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ¼ cup sugar
- ⅓ cups (packed) light brown sugar
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ tsp. fine sea salt
- ½ cup chopped walnuts (do not increase this amount)
- FOR THE CAKE
- 2 cups blueberries (preferably fresh, or frozen, not thawed)
- 2 cups plus 2 tsp. all-purpose flour for the blueberries
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- ¼ tsp. fine sea salt
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- ⅔ cup sugar
- Grated zest of half a lemon or half a small orange
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup buttermilk
- Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350F.
- Butter generously an 8-inch square pan. Pyrex is great for this. Line with parchment paper with a generous overhang on two sides. This will help you remove the cake from the pan
- TO MAKE THE CRUMBS
- Put all the ingredients EXCEPT the nuts in a food processor and pulse just until the mixture forms clumps and curds and holds together when pressed.
- Scrape the topping into a bowl, stir in the nuts and press a piece of plastic against the surface.
- REFRIGERATE UNTIL NEEDED IN THE RECIPE. Covered tightly the crumb mix can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
- TO MAKE THE CAKE
- Using your fingertips, toss the blueberries and 2 teaspoons of the flour together in a small bowl just to coat the berries and set aside.
- Whisk together the remaining 2 cups flour, the baking powder, the baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Working in the bowl of stand mixer or in another large bowl rub the sugar and zest together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and aromatic,.
- Add the butter and with the paddle or whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat the sugar with butter at medium speed until light , about 3 -4 minutes.
- Add the eggs one by one, beating for about one minute after each addition, then beat in the vanilla extract. Don't be concerned if the batter looks curdled - it will soon smooth out.
- Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture and buttermilk alternately, the flour in three parts and the buttermilk in two (begin and end with the dry ingredients). You will have a thick, creamy batter. With a rubber spatula gently stir in the berries.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top gently with the spatula.
- Remove the crumb mix from the refrigerator and with your fingertips break it into pieces. There's no need to try to get even pieces - these are crumbs, they're supposed to be lumpy and bumpy and every shape and size.
- Scatter the crumbs over the batter, pressing them down ever so slightly.
- Bake for 55 to 65 minutes, or until the crumbs are golden and a thin knife insert into the center of the cake comes out clean. If you have used frozen blueberries the cake will take a little longer to bake.
- Transfer the cake to a rack and cool just until it is warm or until it reaches room temperature.
- Using the flaps of parchment paper ease your cake out of the pan and place it back on to rack until you want to serve it.
Like all good coffee cakes, this needs nothing but coffee or tea. It is best served the day it is made, the cake can be wrapped well and kept overnight at room temperature.