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Blueberry Baked Bliss

La Petite Maison Verte: Blueberry Baked Bliss

Friday, July 30, 2010

Blueberry Baked Bliss

If I haven't mentioned it before, I absolutely *LOVE* Ina Garten, aka The Barefoot Contessa. I've made a number of her recipes and I cannot think of a single one that didn't turn out beautifully. We enjoyed her Banana Sour Cream Pancakes for breakfast and her Panna Cotta with Balsamic Strawberries for dessert. Her Lemon Yogurt Cake is light, tart and perfectly citrusy and the Blueberry Sauce is perfect as an accompaniment to the cake as well as any number of different baked goods (pancakes, cheesecake, ice cream, etc.).
The most impressive thing to me about Ina is her versatility (and yes, I usually refer to her as Ina as though we are on a first name basis). Not only are her desserts excellent but I've been equally as happy with the results of her lunch and dinner recipes. I consider her Greek Salad Dressing a stand-by, and I have frequently used her Mustard Chicken Salad recipe with leftover roasted chicken (using her method for roasting the chicken, of course!!) I've also made Ina's Tomato and Goat Cheese Tarts with rave reviews from everyone who has tasted them.

I can honestly say these are just a FEW of the many Barefoot Contessa recipes that I have made and enjoyed. Well a few days ago I had a craving for a blueberry dessert and remembered that I had bookmarked a recipe for Blueberry Crumb Cake by none other than my favorite queen of the kitchen, Ina Garten. I had all of the ingredients on hand so I immediately set about to baking and let me tell you, I have no regrets in spite of the messy kitchen I was left to clean up afterwards :) AND Bonus: Blueberries are perfectly in-season right now and so not only are they readily available in every market and grocery store but they're inexpensive too! YAY for saving money!

The cake smelled amazing as it was baking in the oven and when I served it for dessert last night both B and I HAD to have seconds. I'm not exaggerating. It is very much a breakfast or brunch cake but we couldn't wait for breakfast! I especially enjoyed the hint of cinnamon and nutmeg and the note of lemon, and found the dense crumb just perfect for this dessert. I should say that I doubled the amount of lemon zest that the recipe called for and substituted some non-fat greek yogurt for half of the sour cream (and used light sour cream for the other half). I also substituted some light brown sugar for the white sugar in the cake, just because I could :) (You can find my adapted version of the recipe below and the original recipe via Food Network)

When I was making and assembling it, I thought there was too much streusel topping and I certainly think the cake would have been delicious with even half that was called-for, but I like streusel so the abundance did not bother me in the least :)

Next time you've got a container of blueberries sitting in your fridge and you're trying to think of something to serve for breakfast, brunch or dessert I hope you'll try this cake. I don't think you'll regret it!

mise en place

Blueberry Crumb Cake

adapted from The Barefoot Contessa

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)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/3 cup light sour cream
1/3 cup nonfat greek yogurt
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 heaping cup fresh blueberries
Confectioners' sugar for sprinkling (optional, I omitted)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9-inch round baking pan or 8x8 square 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/yogurt. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Take 1 tablespoon of the flour mixture and toss with the blueberries (this helps them not sink to the bottom of the pan during baking. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined. Fold in half of 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. Scatter the reserved blueberries evenly over the top of the batter. With your fingers, crumble the topping evenly over the batter. Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely and serve sprinkled with confectioners' sugar if desired.

streusel topping before being put onto the cake batter

the finished product

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At July 30, 2010 at 1:58 PM , Anonymous -Colleen & Ben said...

OMG it looks AMAZING!!!

At August 4, 2010 at 4:36 PM , Anonymous HeidiRob said...

Tony Bourdain would love your 'meez' (that's mis en place to you common folks). I would love all of this stuff you're cookin'.


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