This week produced another winner from Dorie Greenspan’s cookbook. The blueberry crumb cake really deserves a more complex name, befitting its multitude of strong flavors: Blueberry-cinnamon-lemon-almond (yes, I substituted almonds for walnuts) crumb cake. Ok, so the new name won’t win any iambic pentameter awards, but the other flavors come through so well, they deserve star billing.
The lemon is so prominent because of Dorie’s very simple, lovely technique of rubbing together lemon zest and sugar before combining them with butter and other ingredients. I suppose it releases all the fragrant and delicious lemon oil hiding out in the humble rind. Whatever the culinary rationale may be, I’ll be doing this for the rest of my life.
The topping stole the show in my opinion. If I were to tweak the recipe just a little, I’d make the cake a little shorter (use less batter) so there’d be a higher ratio of topping to cake. Along those lines, do not let anyone else volunteer to clean up after serving this crumb cake. Get yourself into the kitchen with the pan and mush together the little crumbs, then press that into the crumbly topping that fell off during the slicing process, and you’ll have the best bite of the day. The recipe is up on Sihan’s Befuddlement blog, or flip to pp. 192-193 of Baking: From My Home to Yours.