My basket was overflowing when I left the Farmers Market this past weekend. Most impressive are the blueberries, juicy-sweet and large as if on steroids. I'm loving them on cereal and yogurt.
Hubby requested a blueberry cake for breakfast. I knew just which recipe to choose, Blueberry Crumb Cake from Baking: From My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan. Brimming with berries, this light, tender cake has a walnut crumb topping. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack time, anytime is perfect for this cake.
Yield: 8 servings
For the Crumbs:
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
¼ cup sugar
1/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup chopped walnuts
For the Cake:
1 pint (2 cups) blueberries (preferably fresh, or frozen, not thawed)
2 cups plus 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2/3 cup sugar
Grated zest of ½ lemon or ¼ orange
¾ stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk
Getting Ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8-inch square pan (Pyrex is great for this) 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 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 teaspoons of the flour
together in a small bowl just to coat the berries; set aside. Whisk together the remaining 2 cups flour, the 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 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 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.
Serving: Like all good coffee cakes, this needs nothing but coffee - or tea.
Storing: Best served the day it is made, the cake can be wrapped well and kept overnight at room temperature.