Monday, August 9, 2010

Blueberry Crumb Cake

I love crumb toppings. There's just something about sugar, flour, and butter baked together until it's crunchy. I'm especially fond of coffee cake, with the dense moist cake and dry crumbly topping. With my massive box of blueberries waiting in the fridge, Ina's blueberry crumb cake was definitely a recipe to try.

There is a lot of crumble topping and the cake is moist and tangy thanks to sour cream. D. and I often snark at Ina's insistence on "good" ingredients. We're hardly using low-quality ingredients, but can't afford to buy only the highest-end labels. Anyway, for once, I realize she might have a point. My blueberry binge was inspired by a stand at the Hillcrest farmers' market and, instead of buying the real McCoy, I bought a giant tub at our local bulk warehouse. Needless to say, the berries were picked too early and weren't too sweet. The cake and crumble need a very sweet, really fresh berry to stand up to it, so it does behoove you to splurge on the blueberries.

One note: I highly recommend making this in a 9-inch springform pan instead of the 9-inch round baking pan.

Blueberry Crumb Cake
(From Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa at Home)

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
Confectioners' sugar for sprinkling

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

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