Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Blueberry-Lemon Cheese Crumble Cake

I'm ready for the transition to spring. As part of that readiness, I can't wait for the return of fresh berries. Unfortunately, that's still a ways away, so frozen berries will have to do. Of course, the upside of baking right now is I don't have to worry about overheating the apartment.

This cake made me happy. It's a classic crumble/coffee cake with cheesecake hiding inside. Can it get any better? Well it could if I'd remembered to have patience and let it chill before cutting into it and ruining the layering. I made one change to the recipe which I think helped, but feel free to omit. I substituted the last of my buttermilk for milk ... and then cursed myself today when I wanted to make some cheddar-garlic buttermilk biscuits!

This recipe is a keeper, but I can wait to adapt it ... maybe as a chocolate raspberry cheese crumble cake next? We'll see.

Blueberry-Lemon Cheese Crumble Cake (from The Cooking Photographer, originally Beth Hensperger)

250g cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 large egg
1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
Crumb Topping
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch springform pan and set aside.
2. In a medium-large bowl, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer until creamy.
3. Beat in the sugar, lemon juice, egg, and flour until smooth. Set aside.
Crumb mixture
4. In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, and butter. Pulse until a crumb-like texture is formed. Set aside.
5. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and mix well.
6. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt.
7. Beat the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture in two additions, alternating with the milk. Beat until smooth and fluffy.
8. Spread the batter into the pan, building up the sides slightly.
9. Sprinkle the surface with half of the blueberries.
10. Pour the cream cheese mixture on top and sprinkle with the rest of the blueberries.
11. Sprinkle the crumb topping over the top and press it gently into the cake.
12. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes until the edges are golden-brown and the crumb topping is golden. If the crumb topping doesn’t brown, broil it for a couple of minutes at the end but watch closely as it can quickly burn.
13. Cool for at least 4 hours or overnight.

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