Sunday, September 14, 2008

Blueberry Crumb Cake

I love cake! I really do.
Cake is not something I get to eat very often, so when it's time to eat cake, it has to be special and delicious. I don't get tempted by the cakes in the bakery section at the grocery store. My weakness is the real stuff. The stuff you find in independent bakeries at the corner of some shopping plaza or, better yet, the stuff you make at home.

I watched Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa) make this blueberry crumb cake, and I resolved to make that cake one day. I did, and the results were fantastic.

Here's the recipe:

For the streusel:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

For the cake:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature (3/4 stick)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2/3 cup sour cream
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup fresh blueberries (I used frozen which turned out great)
Confectioners' sugar for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9-inch round baking pan.

For the streusel:
Combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl. Stir in the melted butter and then the flour. Mix well and set aside.

For the cake:
Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed for 4 to 5 minutes, until light. Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla, lemon zest, and sour cream. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined. Fold in the blueberries and stir with a spatula to be sure the batter is completely mixed.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and spread it out with a knife. With your fingers, crumble the topping evenly over the batter.

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely and serve sprinkled with confectioners' sugar.

Notes: I said I love cake. That doesn't mean I love for everything to be sugary-sweet. I followed the recipe for the streusel topping but only ended up using about half. It worked perfect for my taste, so adjust the amount according to your personal need for extra sweetness.
As I mentioned, I used frozen blueberries. There is no difference in taste between fresh and frozen in this recipe. Save yourself the extra bucks and go for frozen unless you just went blueberry picking last weekend.
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