Anna Mintz is a Publicist for Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, and is an editor for The Recipe Club. Originally from Atlanta, she now lives in New York City and loves exploring NYC’s restaurant scene and trying out new recipes in her own kitchen.
I was so thrilled when Elizabeth, one of my best friends from college who is now about to start her final year of law school, told me that she’d gotten an internship in New York for the summer. To celebrate her arrival to the city, my friend Preston decided to throw a welcome brunch in Elizabeth’s honor this past Sunday. As you all know by now, I love to cook, so of course I offered to help out and make something special for the brunch. I’d made a great coffee cake before, but this time, I thought I’d try out a new recipe. I chose Blueberry Crumb Cake from Barefoot Contessa at Home (Clarkson Potter, 2006) by Ina Garten, and boy was it good!
As I read over the recipe on Sunday morning, I was really pleased to see that I already had most of the ingredients stocked in my pantry. I just needed to run to the grocery store to grab a lemon, some fresh blueberries, eggs, and sour cream, and I was good to go. One thing I really love about this recipe (well, really all of the Barefoot Contessa recipes) is that the instructions are so clear and the steps are easy to follow. The first step for this recipe: Making the streusel topping (super easy!) by combining granulated sugar, light brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, flour, and melted butter.
Next, I made the cake batter out of butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, sour cream, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and the secret ingredient: lemon zest! I love the very subtle zing that the lemon zest brings to the cake. It totally pumps up the flavor without hitting you over the head with a sharp lemon taste. After combining the batter, I carefully folded in the fresh blueberries. The recipe calls for just one cup of blueberries, but I added almost two cups because I love them so much, especially in the summer.
Then, it was time to pop this baby in the oven! The recipe calls for a 9-inch round baking pan, but I just used an 8×8 Pyrex baking dish, and that worked just fine. The end result was a light and fluffy cake with juicy blueberries and a crisp and crunchy streusel topping. Perfection. Best of all, there were a few pieces left over after brunch, so I’ve been able to enjoy a slice with my coffee the past few mornings. I can honestly say that it’s just as good on day three!
Blueberry Crumb Cake Recipe from Barefoot Contessa at Home:
Serves 6 to 8
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 (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2/3 cup sour cream
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup fresh blueberries
Confectioners’ sugar, for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9-inch round baking 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 one 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 confectioners’ sugar.