Monday, April 27, 2015

fruit-filled coffee cake.

Our freezer has turned into an arctic tundra where things go to die.  

I have the habit of throwing things in there haphazardly and then 3 months later while I am frantically searching for something I vaguely remember throwing in there, un-earthing a whole other world of items I had completely forgotten about. Homemade pesto, sausage, berries - the list goes on.  

I've spent the last couple of weeks making attempts to use what I have - to try and really get creative in the kitchen and instead of getting new things, to shop from my own cabinets and to do more with what I have.  It isn't always easy.  We are trained to constantly want new.  But, I am proud of my resourcefulness - it's forcing me to think differently.

And freezer clean-out isn't such a bad thing when it means cake! Coffee Cake nestled with berries you've had stored in your freezer for months just waiting for their time to shine.  This is one serious coffee cake with (in my opinion) the perfect ratio of tender cake to tart fruit to crunchy crumb.  It's a classic cake and one that will be on repeat this summer.  

Fruit-Filled Coffee Cake 
Recipe adapted from Lootie and Doof

The original recipe called for fresh sour cherries and while I have plans to make such a version this summer when cherries return to the market, this also works insanely well with just about any fruit.  My version was made with a combination of raspberries and cherries – but I think blueberries would be killer as well.  Rhubarb would also be grand (note to self must make rhubarb version next).    

For the topping

2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for dish
3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dish
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger 
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

For the cake

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup whole wheat 
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons buttermilk
2 ½ cups fresh sour cherries, blueberries, raspberries, or some combination of fruit (frozen also works incredibly well)

Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter a 9-inch round baking dish,  dust with flour, tap out excess.

In a medium bowl, stir together butter, flour, sugars, salt, and cinnamon, ginger, and almond extract. Set topping aside.

Whisk together flours, baking powder, salt, and spices in a medium bowl. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and granulated sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla and almond extract.

Working in alternating batches, add flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour. Beat until just combined. Pour into prepared dish, and smooth with an offset spatula. Dot top with fruit, and sprinkle with crumb topping.

Bake until golden and a tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let cool before cutting.  

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