I think summer is my favorite season for fruit. Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, cherries and especially watermelon. I could probably eat an entire watermelon on my own. Okay, maybe that’s a little bit of an exaggeration. There’s a watermelon festival every year where hubby grew up and the last time we went they gave out free watermelon. I barely made it through the ginormous piece they gave us. But man was it good. Cold and crisp and juicy. Mmmm. I just totally gave myself an awesome idea for a drink! I’ll let you know if it pans out.
You’d think this post was going to be about watermelons, but alas, it is about blueberries. I know, I know, I’ve already given you blueberry pancakes, blueberry sauce, blueberry banana oatmeal pancakes, dos berry muffins and blueberry crumblies. But, I can’t help it. I am a lover of the blueberry.
I perused through my meager collection of cookbooks and landed on Dorie’s Blueberry Crumb Cake in the Baking book. You know, maybe I should just join Tuesdays with Dorie. I’m slowly making my way through this book anyway. Ok, so I’ve only made two other things from the book, but somehow I keep drifting back to it.
Anyway, despite the fact that I did not follow the instructions properly, the cake itself was pretty good. It did end up being a little dry, but I think I overbaked it. It was a lot better with a scoop of ice cream on top.
The thing is, I was trying to give hubby some alone time by having MC bake with me. He loves to stir things up (quite literally), scoop things out, turn on my stand mixer, you know, normal things an almost three year old would love to do. Hubby had a LONG day, the day before. The boys (Hubby, MC, BIL, BIL’s son – 4 and Nephew – 12) all went to Hurricane Harbor. Long story short, Hubby has decided that no one gets to go until they are at least five years old and the children can not outnumber the adults. I’m so glad I stayed home with GB.
Things didn’t quite work out in the kitchen. I really want my children to cook and bake with me in the kitchen, so I’m trying to learn to relinquish a little control and order, but it’s not easy. I ended up scolding MC for something and he ran off to daddy. Granted, this is currently a normal occurrence – one parent scolds him and he runs to or cries for the other one. What I’m trying to say here is, I didn’t read the instructions as carefully as I normally do and my crumb cake didn’t have any “crumbs” on top. I was supposed to refrigerate it with the nuts, but I forgot to put the nuts in, so they ended up getting sprinkled on top, and I forgot to refrigerate it until I was halfway through assembling the batter. The “crumbs” never firmed up and didn’t get cold like they should have, which is why my “crumb cake” just turned into a cake with a crunchy top.
Blueberry Crumb Cake
Yield: 9 squares
Adapted from Baking From My Home to Yours
5 tablespoons butter, softened
¼ cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup pecans, chopped
1 pint (2 cups) blueberries (preferably fresh, or frozen, not thawed)
2 cups + 2 teaspoons all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
2/3 cup sugar
6 tablespoons butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 350F. Butter an 8-inch square pan and put it on a baking sheet; set aside.
Put all crumb 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.
Using your fingertips, toss the blueberries and 2 teaspoons of 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.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, add the sugar and butter and beat on medium speed until light, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one by one and beat for about 1 minute after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture and 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 break it into pieces. 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 until it is warm or reaches room temperature.