We are big blueberry fans in our household.
In fact, blueberries are one of the only fruits I can get my husband to eat voluntarily.
The problem is that for half the year they are prohibitively expensive – around $7 a punnet.
So I’m always chuffed when they are in season and I can start baking with them again.
One of my favourite recipes is Ina Garten’s Blueberry Crumb Cake. I have long been an admirer of Ina, aka the Barefoot Contessa, and envy her life in the Hamptons with her gorgeous husband Jeffrey.
Her whole journey from being a budget analyst to the White House, to running a beautiful café/store by the beach resonates with me (not the finance part) and I often dream about giving it all up to move somewhere beautiful and bake all day.
This recipe is essentially a butter- and sour cream-based tea cake with a few extra elements – the fruit provides extra flavour and moisture, but the streusel is the crowning glory.
This spicy, buttery mix makes your whole kitchen smell like Christmas as it bakes.
There are really no tips and tricks with the recipe, because it’s been perfect for me every time. I guess the only thing I would say is that you end up with a lot of leftover streusel, but that’s just an excuse to make a fruit crumble or some muffins to use it up.
Also, it’s a bit awkward tipping out of the tin so make sure you line your pan well and be prepared to spill some streusel all over your bench.
Ina Garten’s Blueberry Crumb Cake
For the streusel
¼ cup granulated sugar
⅓ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
115g unsalted butter, melted1⅓ cups all-purpose flour
For the cake
6 tbsps unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
½ tsp grated lemon zest
⅔ cup sour cream
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp salt
1 cup fresh blueberries
Icing sugar for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 175C.
Butter and flour a 9-inch round baking pan. 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.
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 icing sugar.