Sunday, February 25, 2007

New York Crumb Cake

One of my wonderful friends, Miss Ashley, is currently 6 months pregnant and on strict bedrest. I told her I was going to bake her something and asked for any requests, and she said she'd like a coffee cake. So I made her this crumb cake.

It is from an issue of Martha Stewart Living. It was very simple to make, but the batter spreads very thinly in the pan - like 1/4 of an inch deep. I really thought I'd somehow ruined it. But once you add the topping and pop it in the oven, the cake bakes up to a surprisingly normal size. A note about the topping: it did not end up "crumbly" like the recipe suggested it would. In fact, it was almost like a second dough. So I used my fingers to drop pieces of it over the top of the cake batter to simulate crumbles. This worked very well. There is also a LOT of topping, but you really do need all of it!

After it cooled, I cut it into squares to arrange on a plate to take to Ashley, and saved one for myself. My goodness, it is fantastic. It's very buttery and cinnamon-y. I used my new Korintje Cinnamon from Penzeys, which truly is the best cinnamon I've ever tasted. Awesome. I hope Ashley and Adam and Baby enjoy it!

New York Crumb Cake
2 tablespoons canola oil, plus more for pan
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

1. Place rack in center of oven, and heat oven to 325°. Lightly brush a 9-by-12 1/2-inch baking pan with canola oil, dust with flour, and tap to remove excess. Set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together 1 1/2 cups flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a second bowl, whisk together egg, milk, canola oil, and vanilla. Using a rubber spatula, fold dry ingredients into egg mixture.

2. Spread batter evenly into prepared pan, and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine remaining 2 1/2 cups flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Pour melted butter over flour mixture, and toss with a rubber spatula until large crumbs form. Sprinkle crumbs over batter.

3. Transfer pan to oven, and bake, rotating pan after 10 minutes. Continue baking until a cake tester comes out clean, about 10 minutes more.

4. Transfer baking pan to a wire rack to cool. Dust with confectioners’ sugar. Using a serrated knife or bench scraper, cut into 3-inch squares. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Cakey cake cake:

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