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Spring Has Sprung

Yesterday, I ate my way through my neighborhood. I met my friend at Cheryl’s which is right around the corner from my apartment, for brunch. The meal was delish, I had the buttermilk pancakes with berries and a tasty whipped cream, my friend had a mushroom sandwich and we shared a side of bacon. Another great part is that you get coffee and a mimosa or bloody mary included with brunch. We then stopped by the farmers market, where I picked up apples, mushrooms and tulips. My friend got a cup of hot apple cider which we spiked with some rum. So good! After that we went on a shopping trip in Park Slope. We came back to my neighborhood, to one of my favorite restaurants, The Vanderbilt. We just wanted to have a drink or 2 but ended up staying for 3 hours! I sipped on the Vanderbilt Pimms, a lovely cocktail of gin, pimms, basil and lemon. To eat we had blistered shishito peppers, you can find a recipe here, pork belly and multiple orders of the Serano ham croquettes. A great day of eating and drinking.

Crumb Cake

I ate a lot of crumb cake growing up. I saw this recipe in Martha Stewart Living a couple of month ago and it keeps popping into my head so I decided to give it a try this weekend for Easter breakfast. My sister made it and confirmed that is was great. There is an optional jam layer between the crumb and the cake. I used blackberry because that’s what I had. The recipe uses a whole pound of butter and 6 cups of flour but it is totally worth it. The cake is nice and fluffy to go with the crunchy topping. I had it for breakfast this morning with homemade bacon and coffee. Yum. My coworkers are going to love me tomorrow!

New York Style Crumb Cake

Makes a 9″ x 13″ cake

Ingredients:

For the crumb topping:
3 1/2 cups flour (the recipe calls for cake flour but I used all-purpose and it was still good)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon  salt
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted (save the butter wrappers for greasing the pan)

For the cake:
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup low-fat buttermilk (you can make this by adding 1 teaspoon vinegar to whole milk)
1 cup jam (optional)
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Directions:

Make the crumb topping: Mix together flour, sugars, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl. Gradually pour warm melted butter over mixture, and mix using your hands until medium to large clumps form. I used about a tablespoon or 2 less than the recipe calls for so add it until you get the right consistency. Set aside.

Crumb Topping

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Make the cake: Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Whisk together flour, baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl.

Beat butter and granulated sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs and yolks, 1 at a time, then vanilla. Beat in flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour. Continue to beat until well combined.

Pour batter into pan, and spread evenly with a spatula.

Batter

Spread the jam over the top of the batter. If it is too thick to spread you can stick in the microwave to thin it out a little. I didn’t have a full cup so mine is light on the jam.

Jam

Sprinkle the crumbs on top of the jam. It seems like there is too much topping but it’ll work out during cooking.

Crumb Topping

Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour.

Baked

Let cool about 15 minutes. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.

Crumb Cake and Tulips

Yum!

A Perfect Breakfast

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