Posted by: Josey Lyne Payne, Esq. | March 8, 2010

Big Crumb Coffee Cake with Fruit

Originally this recipe called for rhubarb, which I adore.  When I was younger my nana used to make a rhubarb, which she called “rhubub”, pie that was amazing.  Though, it was the color of snot most times, and wasn’t exactly window-sill pretty, it was delicious.  We also used to dip the stalks, raw, into sugar; just thinking about that I can feel that ping of pain in my jaw brought on by the sour juice.  But, this is not rhubarb season, unfortunately.  So, even if I could find it somewhere, in some exotic market, I’m sure I’d be required to pay through the nose – then I’d be pinging in my nose and jaw, and, well, I’m just not that into pain.  That being said I chose strawberries and subsequently, I’m glad I did.  This big crumby strawberry cake was delicious and despite my intentions to avoid pain, this brought on the most obnoxious case of Heartburn to date.  Thank You Cinnamon.

Big Crumb Cake with Seasonal Fruit
         adapted from The New York Times June 2007

1 lb strawberries, hulled and quartered
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 3/4 cups flour
1/3 cup sour cream
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, softened and cut into pieces

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Butter an 8-nch baking pan.

Filling:  Hull and quarter strawberries and toss with sugar, cornstarch and ginger; set aside.

Crumbs:  Whisk sugars, spices and salt into melted butter.  Add flour and stir until it comes together, and looks pressed, like a dough; set aside.

Cake:  Stir together sour cream, egg, egg yolk and vanilla.  Mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Add butter and a spoonful of the sour cream mixture and mix until flour is moistened.  Beat for 30 seconds.  Add remaining sour cream mixture in 2 batches, beating well after each addition.  Scoop about 1/2 cup of the batter and set aside.
Assembly:  Scrape remaining batter into buttered baking dish.  Spoon strawberries over batter.  Dollop the set-aside batter over the strawberries randomly.  Using your fingers, break the topping into big crumbs, 1/2 to 3/4 inch in diameter – they do not have to be uniform.  Sprinkle over the cake.

Baking:  Bake in preheated oven 45 to 55 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.  Cool cake completely before serving.


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