01 Sep Enjoying Quebec’s Local Produce with Blueberry Crumb Cake
To kids, August means back to school; for adults, it means back to work, and watching this month pass us by we reluctantly accept the end of the summer season.
For us foodies, however, August is more a season of beginnings rather than a season of endings. July and August ring in the beginning of Quebec’s best local produce season.
Following the summer harvest of delicious rhubarb, and cherries, for the Quebec epicure, August means one thing-berries.
This is berry season, and it would be a shame not to put our province’s best to good use.
One region of our belle province, Lac St-Jean, notably produces the most spectacular wild blueberries that are great for baking. Pies, muffins, cakes, jams, scones, even pancakes are made that much better with addition of these wild berries.
One of my all-time favourite blueberry recipes is crumb cake. What is a crumb cake you ask? It is simply a type of cake or coffee cake that is typically topped with streusel, or a mixture of flour, sugar and butter.
Analyzing this recipe, this cake has a very low sugar and flour to fat content ratio compared to more standard cake recipes that call for more than double the amount of sugar, and about 75% more flour when using the same amount of fat. This ratio of high fat to low sugar and flour results in a rich and firm cake, not spongy or springy like birthday cake, but more crumbly and dense.
It goes very well with coffee or tea, or would do nicely for a light lunch-time dessert.
The cake is incredibly simple and quick to make, and the streusel adds a nice textural contrast.
Classic streusel does not include oats, but I happen to like them in my streusel. Feel free to leave them out, but then be sure to add more flour.
Here is the recipe:
Blueberry Crumb Cake with Streusel Topping
1/2 cup butter, unsalted at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 ½ cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup fresh blueberries
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup large oats
1/8 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line an 8×8 inch square baking pan with parchment paper.
Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl.
In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy then add eggs one at a time, then the vanilla.
Add in the dry dry ingredients and mix until combined, then stir in berries.
Spread the batter in the pan and spread to make an even top.
To make the streusel:
Combine all the dry ingredients and stir until well blended. Add in the melted butter and mix with a spoon or
spatula until clumps start to form.
Top the batter with the streusel covering the entire top.
Bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, and the streusel is golden brown.
If blueberries aren’t your thing, you could use plumbs, cherries, raspberries, blackberries or even apricots in their stead.
I hope you enjoy this easy and delicious recipe.