Summer is almost over my friends, so not only is it time to get to the beach once more to get that golden-bronze tan you’ve been working toward before the winter comes and sucks all the pigment from your skin, leaving you pale and ghostly (just saying’) – it’s also time to get to your local farmers market and take advantage of the delicious produce that summer gives us! Jersey peaches, plump, sweet blueberries, figs, cherries, watermelon, raspberries, and the list goes on. Whether you mix them in with your favorite yogurt, eat them plain, or bake them into a light, moist, crumbly-topped cake (like this one), I highly suggest you eat as much of summer’s goodness as you can before the season ends.
One of my favorite fruits to bake with are blueberries. First favorite, apples, no questions asked. But blueberries baked into a bread, cake, pie, muffin, or tart give a burst of sweet but slightly tart flavor. Plus, they’re fruit, which are good for you, meaning this cake is like, kind of healthy, right? I like to think so considering I ate it for breakfast for 3 days straight.
This recipe comes from one of my favorite bake-books of all time – Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home to Yours. I’ve made several of her recipes, including these, these, these, these, these, and this. Whenever I’m about to make a recipe from Dorie, I always consult with the TWD Group. TWD is short for Tuesdays With Dorie, which is a group formed by bloggers across the web who bake the same recipe two Tuesdays a month, and write about what they thought. I’ve been kicking myself for not getting involved with this awesome web-gettogether, but perhaps I will in the near future. As for this recipe, the verdict was A+ across the board. As many other bloggers said, the topping is to die for, don’t miss the step where you rub the lemon zest into the sugar, and be sure not to let this over bake.
Blueberry Crumb Cake
from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home to Yours
For the crumbs:
- 5 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
For the cake:
- 1 pint (2 cups) blueberries (preferably fresh, or frozen, not thawed)
- 2 cups plus 2 tsp all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 2/3 cup sugar
- grated zest of 1/2 lemon or 1/4 orange
- 3/4 stick (6 tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt
Preheat oven to 350 and place the rack at the middle position in the oven. Butter an 8-inch square pan and put it on a baking sheet.
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 wrap against the surface. Refrigerate until needed. (Covered well the crumb mix can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.)
To make the cake: Using your fingertips, toss the blueberries and 2 tsp of the flour together in a small bowl just to coat the berries; set aside. Whisk together the remaining 2 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Working in the bowl of a 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 the butter at medium speed until light, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one by one, beating for about 1 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 the buttermilk alternately, the flour in 3 parts and the buttermilk in 2 (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 buttered pan and smooth the top gently with the spatula. Pull the crumb mix from the fridge 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 inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a rack and cool just until it is warm or until it reaches room temperature.