Sunday, March 31, 2013

Blueberry Almond Crumb Cake

In honor of what I, as a pantheist/atheist, refer to as the pagan spring fertility ritual holiday, I baked a pair of crumb cakes.  I also wanted to use up some of the blueberries that I had been hoarding in the freezer and some of the buttermilk that I generated making butter a couple of weeks ago.  I've toyed with this recipe that originally came from A World of Breads by Dolores Casella.  This is a fine book that I often go to for muffins, quick breads and yeast breads too, she covers it all and it is the book that I take my Christmas stollen recipe from.  I've "healthed it up" a tad, I am at a point where I actually prefer to have some whole wheat in most baked things, and I try to follow the adage "make half your grains whole" as then I feel less guilty about the butter.  So here you go:

 Blueberry Crumb Cake

Sift together in a medium bowl:
   1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
   3/4 cups whole wheat flour
   1 t baking powder
   1 t baking soda
   1 t salt   generous grating of fresh nutmeg~ 1/4 -1/2 teaspoon
   3/4 cups of whole rolled oats (not instant, please)
   3/4 cups white sugar
   3/4 cups brown sugar- packed
   grated rind of a lemon
Cut in using a pastry cutter or 2 knives:
   1/2 cup of butter =  1 stick = 4 oz
Set aside one generous cup of the above mixture and add to it:
   1 cup of sliced almonds
   3 eggs
   1 cup of buttermilk
   1 t almond extract
   1 t vanilla extract
Mix together the wet and dry ingredients then stir in:
   2 cups of blueberries, fresh or frozen

Pour the mixture into 2 buttered cake or pie pans, top with the streussel mix.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes until nice and brown and a toothpick poked into the middle comes out clean.
Let cool on racks- if you can stand it- for at least a few minutes- before cutting. 

I also make this with apples, substituting 2-3 cups of chopped or sliced apples for the blueberries and walnuts or pecans instead of almonds.  I use 2 t of vanilla instead of almond extract and I add 1 t of cinnamon when making it with apples.

It freezes well, perfect to pull out for a quick breakfast or to accompany an afternoon cup of tea.


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