From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I'm gong to pretend that the thermostat sits at 75 degrees and a strong breeze is blowing from the river, carrying with it the fresh odor of a fish run that rivals the aroma of my spiced apple cake for scent of the year. I want you to think it's a perfect fall evening, but truth be told, it's hot here and even this lovely crumb cake fails to whet the appetite. What does catch the eye are the great clumps of streusel that top the apple cake, and I know that, hungry or not, curiosity will get the better of me and I end up on the deck with a piece of this cake and iced coffee in hand. The cake is a riff on the Rhubarb Big Crumb Cake that first appeared on the blog Smitten Kitchen. Other than substituting apples for rhubarb and changing the way the crumbs are made, I've not strayed far from the original recipe. The cake is moist and lovely and packed with the flavor of cinnamon and apples, but it is the crumb topping that will capture the eye of any streusel lover worth their salt. This cake is all about the crumb topping. The largish chunks of streusel are formed by pinching them off a ball that's created as the crumbs are made. Is it wretched excess? Absolutely, but it make for a delightful coffee or snack cake, which is even better day two than it is day one. I do hope you'll give this cake a try. It is not that all hard to do and it really is a delicious special occasion cake. Here is how it is made.
Apple Crumble Coffee Cake
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen's Rhubarb Big Crumb Coffee Cake
3 cups (about 1-lb.) apples peeled, cored and diced in small chunks)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of ground ginger
2 teaspoons of cornstarch
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons of butter melted
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup sour cream
1-3/4 cups flour
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
2-3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
pinch of salt
1/2 cup or 4 ounce of butter (at room temperature and cut into small chunks)
1) Preheat over to 325 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square pan. Set aside.
2) To make apple filling: Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, ginger and cornstarch in a bowl, add apples and toss to coat. Set aside.
3) To make crumble topping: Combine butter, brown and granulated sugar in a bowl and beat until sugar dissolves. Combine flour, cinnamon, ginger, and salt in another bowl. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture and using a mixer, your finger tips or a pastry blender, work together until mixture forms a clumped ball (will be crumbled over top of cake before baking).
4) To make cake: Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl and whisk to mix well. In a separate bowl, beat butter, eggs and sugar until creamy. Add sour cream and vanilla and mix well. Slowly add dry ingredients and mix just until combined (don't over beat).
5) To assemble: Pour 1/2 of cake batter into prepared pan. Top with all of apple mixture, then top with remaining cake batter, spreading it as evenly as you can (apples will not be completely covered). Crumble topping over cake layer in 1/2-inch pieces and bake for 45 to 55 minutes. Remove pan to wire rack for cooling. If desired, sprinkle with confectioners' sugar before serving. Yield 6 to 8 servings.
One Year Ago Today: Two Years Ago Today:Bread and Butter Zucchini Pickles Blueberry Streusel Muffins
Three Years Ago Today: Four Years Ago Today:Tomato Crostini Pasta with Bread Crumbs and Herbed Tomatoes