Sunday, June 20, 2010

Blueberries for Dad

If any of you remember last father's day, you remember that our dad is awesome.  The best dad in the world.  You may also remember that our dad is very hard to buy father's day cards for because he does not mow the lawn (as we don't have a lawn), play golf, drink beer or watch TV.  However, he does love blueberries, so it is always easy to make him something delicious for father's day.  This post is in honor of my awesome dad.  Sorry I can't be with you, but if I was, this is what I would make.  A shout out also goes to my awesome husband, who is a terrific dad and who also likes blueberries (but not as much as our son, who has been known to eat a whole pint in one sitting.  I guess he takes after grandpa).

In addition to this cake being delicious and appropriate for father's day, it also helps me in my ongoing quest to empty my fridge, freezer and pantry before the big move to LA.  We became the owners of a GIANT box of blueberries when our friends went to New York for 2 months, so I needed to find something to do with them.  Of course, I turned to Dorie and she did not disappoint.  This recipe also used up some buttermilk, brown sugar and pecans that I had around (her recipe calls for walnuts but I used what I had).  I also didn't have nutmeg or a lemon to zest, so I just left it out.  It turned out great without those things.  Look for more recipes from cleaning out my pantry in the next few days.

I urge you to make this cake.  It is delicious and easy.  The hardest part is waiting 1 hour for it to cook.  Make this for the blueberry loving dad in your life -- or raspberry or blackberry or any other kind of fruit (except strawberries -- Dorie says they are too watery) and wish all the dad's you know a Happy Father's Day!

The recipe is after the jump
blueberry crumb cake
dorie greenspan’s baking: from my home to yours

for the crumbs:
5 tbsp unsalted butter at room temp
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar (packed)
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts*

for the cake:
1 pint (2 cups) blueberries (preferably fresh, or frozen, not thawed)
2 cups plus 2 tsp all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
2/3 cup sugar
grated zest of 1/2 lemon or 1/4 orange
3/4 stick (6 tbsp) unsalted butter at room temp
2 large eggs, at room temp
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk

preheat oven to 350. butter an 8-inch square pan and put it on a baking make the crumbs: put all the ingredients except the nuts in a food processor and pulse just until the mixture forms clumps and curds and holds together when pressed. scrape the topping into a bowl, stir in the nuts and press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface. refrigerate until needed. (covered well the crumb mix can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.)

to make the cake: using your fingertips, toss the blueberries and 2 tsp of the flour together in a small bowl just to coat the berries; set aside. whisk together the remaining 2 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.

working in the bowl of a stand mixer or in another large bowl, rub the sugar and zest together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and aromatic. add the butter and, with the paddle or whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat the sugar with the butter at medium speed until light, about 3 minutes. add the eggs one by one, beating for about 1 minute after each addition, then beat in the vanilla extract. don’t be concerned if the batter looks curdled — it will soon smooth out. reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture and the buttermilk alternately, the flour in 3 parts and the buttermilk in 2 (begin and end with the dry ingredients.) you will have a thick, creamy batter. with a rubber spatula, gently stir in the berries.

scrape the batter into the buttered pan and smooth the top gently with the spatula. pull the crumb mix from the fridge and, with your fingertips, break it into pieces. there’s no need to try to get even pieces — these are crumbs, they’re supposed to be lumpy and bumpy and every shape and size. scatter the crumbs over the batter, pressing them down ever so slightly.

bake for 55 to 65 minutes, or until the crumbs are golden and a thin knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. transfer the cake to a rack and cool just until it is warm or until it reaches room temperature.


  1. I know it's been a while, sorry, but I'm so happy to see my cake given Father's Day pride-of-place, thank you.

    I hope all's well with your family and that the big move will be a great move.

  2. Hi Dorie. Thanks for stopping by. It is always nice to have your comments. Can't wait for the new book and thanks for making all our family gatherings delicious.


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