While we can now purchase blueberries all year round, we are officially in summer berry season. The basic cake is a simple butter kuchen and in the fall I make this with Italian plums and sliced almonds on top or thinly slice apples. It’s wonderful to have something like this in your repertoire. It is easy to throw together, it’s versatile and – well, it’s delicious. You can even freeze the cake, although I never have room to do that.
Use the best unsalted butter you can buy and the freshest eggs. When you are making something that is not masked with lots of spices, the quality of your ingredients really matter. I’m afraid I no longer recall where the original recipe came from, although it likely was the New York Times.
Blueberry Almond Streusal Cake
Yield: One 9-inch cake
For the cake
1 scant cup of granulated white sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1.5 cups all-purpose, unbleached flour
pinch of salt
2 large eggs
2 Tablespoons milk or cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract OR zest of one lemon
For the Streusal
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1/4 cup light or dark brown sugar
1/4 cup almond flour (meal)
2 Tablespoons whole wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, cold
2 cups of washed and picked over blueberries
1 Tablespoon of sliced almonds
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Butter or spray with cooking spray a 9-inch springform pan and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, mix all of the streusal ingredients except for the blueberries by hand. You want to have some lumps of coated butter. Once this is mixed, gently toss through the washed and dried blueberries and set aside.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer (you can do this by hand or in a processor, but the lightest results will be with a standing mixer), cream the butter and sugar.
- Add the eggs, vanilla, almond extract OR lemon zest, salt and cream and mix until light and fluffy. On low speed add the flour and mix thoroughly. Turn the speed up to medium high and mix for 3 minutes.
- Spread the mixture on the bottom of the prepared pan. This is not a very high cake. It does not need to be perfectly smooth on top – just try to make the thickness even.
- Pour the blueberry streusal mixture over the top and with your hand, gently spread it to evenly distribute things. Bake for about 1 hour. As soon as it is ready to come out of the oven, scatter the sliced almonds over the top, if using.
- Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes and then loosen the spring. Continue cooling the cake on a wire rack. When it is totally cool, you can remove the outer springform. With a very thin metal spatula, carefully loosen the cake from the bottom of the pan and place on a cake plate.
The cake will get moister and the flavors more pronounced after sitting covered for a day. It’s good to go as soon as it cools, but for optimal flavor, make it the day before. Sometimes I dust it with confectioner’s sugar just before serving but it will seep into the berries over time.