Out of all the famous chefs and cooking shows, there is one that really call my attention: Barefoot Contessa, featuring the great Ina Garten. I watch it faithfully. She is very classy and her cooking not only looks amazing but it tastes great. Trust me, I have cooked it myself.
Ina got in the world of cooking almost by accident. In 1978, she used to work for the White House and it was around this time that her life took a huge turn and she dived into the food business. She and her husband left their jobs, bought a specialty food store in Long Island and instantly became gourmet shop owners. Life smiled at them and eighteen years of great learning experiences later, they were well known among the socialites in New York and beyond. They later sold the store to two of their employees and Ina exclusively dedicated herself to writing cookbooks. Once more, she was atop the world, her cookbooks sold quickly and were a tremendous hit. Finally, in 2002 she was offered a job at the Food Network, and the rest is history. She is one of my favorite, down to earth chefs. Her recipes are original, yet classic, easy to follow and with an excellent final product. You can check her blog at www.barefootcontessa.com.
If you ask me which recipe I prefer best, I could not tell you. But one of her recipes that really called my attention and the attention of my fellow tasters (my friends,) is the Blueberry crumb cake. I made it myself, and I assure you that it came out amazingly delicious. You can even make it ahead of time.
I recommend to be served at tea time. In Spain, for example we have "merienda", which is a small, usually sweet snack at around 5 to 6 o'clock. Remember that in Spain we eat dinner late, at around 9 to 10 o'clock. Well, for me this and a cup of "cafe con leche" (espresso with milk) is the perfect pair for a "merienda." Que aproveche!
Blueberry Crumb Cake
- 6 tablespoons of soften butter
- 3/4 cups of sugar
- 1 and 1/4 cups of flour
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla
- 1 teaspoon of lemon zest (half a lemon)
- 2/3 cup of sour cream
- 1 cup of fresh blueberries
- 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinammon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 stick of unsalted butter (8 tablespoons)
- 1 and 1/3 of all purpose flour
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined. Fold in the blueberries and stir with a spatula to be sure the batter is completely mixed. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and spread it out evenly. Set aside while you prepare the streusel.
For the crumb, combine together the granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl. Stir in the melted butter and then the flour. Mix well with a spatula. With your fingers, crumble the topping evenly over the batter. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely and serve sprinkled with confectioners' sugar.