streusel

Banana Crunch Cake

fullsizeoutput_89cd.jpeg

I am always amazed at the amount of fruit that I buy -- and that is consumed -- when my children and grandkids come. Quarts of berries of all kinds. Mangoes, pineapples, grapes and kiwi fruit. In season, also stone fruit such as peaches, fresh apricots, plums and so on.

Plus oranges, clementines, grapefruit.

Apples of course.

And bananas. Lots of bananas.

Usually I am left with nothing, which is why I am always amazed, just at the sheer quantity of what has been eaten.

And I am not complaining at the lack of leftovers! Eating fruit is a good thing. Glad my family is good with that.

IF and when I have leftover bananas I use them for banana bread or cake. I have so many different recipes it's difficult to choose one or another, so I often come up with something new.

Like this. The crunchy crust gets it one step beyond homey, making this suitable for company.

 

Banana Crunch Cake

Crust:

  • 1 cup crushed raisin bran or similar flakes
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons liquid coconut oil (or use melted butter)

Combine the cereal, oats, brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Pour in the coconut oil and mix until the dry ingredients are thoroughly coated. Set aside. 

Cake:

  • 1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 mashed bananas
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-inch square baking pan. Make the crust and set it aside. Mix the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda together in a small bowl. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the vegetable shortening and sugar together at medium speed for 2-3 minutes or until creamy and well blended. Add the eggs and bananas and beat the ingredients for another 2-3 minutes or until thoroughly blended. Mix the water and lemon juice together. Add the flour mixture alternating with the lemon-water and blend in ingredients thoroughly. Stir in the vanilla extract. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Cover the top evenly with the crust mixture. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

Makes 12-16 servings

 

Blueberry Streusel Pie

Recently I bought a load of blueberries because they were on sale (Fairway: $1.00 per pint carton!) and I couldn't resist.

So then of course I had to use them.

Pie came to mind first. It's always pie first for me.

My mother, who was a master pie baker, never baked blueberry pie because she said the insides were either too thick and gloppy or too runny. I experimented with the fruit, sweetener and thickening agent a few times before the filling consistency was right.

Here it is: 

Blueberry Crumb Pie

Crumb crust:

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons butter, margarine, shortening, coconut oil or a mixture

Combine the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter in chunks and work it into the dry ingredients with fingertips or a pastry blender until the mixture looks like coarse meal. If you use a food processor, add the ingredients to the work bowl and mix using 18-24 quick, short pulses (enough for the mixture to resemble coarse meal). Set aside.

 Filling:

  •  6 cups blueberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 unbaked pie crust bottom

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Mix the blueberries, sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt and lemon juice in a large bowl. Pour the filling into the pie crust. Cover the top with the crumbs. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until  golden brown.

Note: you can use almost 3 “1-pint” boxes of blueberries. Although a liquid pint equals 2 cups, a dry pint of blueberries from most markets is about 2-1/2 cups.

Makes 8 servings

Plum Cake with Oat Streusel

It wouldn’t be the Jewish High Holiday season if you didn’t see at least one recipe for  Plum   Torte .  I suppose it’s because the holidays come at around the same time as the harvest for those small, dark purple  Italian prune plums  and what could be better than dessert made with the newest, freshest, soon-to-disappear seasonal fruit? (Although the torte recipe is so versatile that my niece  Rachel Vail , renowned children’s book author, once made it with  pears .)  I’ve made several versions over the years, including the NYTimes recipe and my  Aunt Beck’s famous  apple cake made with plums.  This year I’m baking a new variation for the holidays. If Plum Torte is so delicious, can’t it be even better — and lovelier looking — with a streusel top?  Yes!  Here it is:  PLUM CAKE WITH OAT STREUSEL     CAKE:     Streusel (recipe below)  1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled  2 cups all-purpose flour  1/2 cup sugar  1 tablespoon baking powder  1/2 teaspoon baking soda  1 teaspoon salt  2 teaspoons grated fresh orange peel  2 large eggs  1 cup milk  12 Italian prune plums, pitted and sliced     Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Make the streusel and set it aside. Lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan. Melt the butter and set it aside to cool. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and orange peel in the bowl of an electric mixer. In another bowl, combine the eggs, milk and melted butter. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ones and beat for about one minute, until smooth. Turn the batter into the prepared cake pan. Top with the plum slices. Cover with the streusel. Bake for about 45 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove the outer ring from the pan and let the cake cool completely.  Makes one cake serving 8 people     STREUSEL     1/2 cup rolled oats  1/3 cup all-purpose flour  1/2 cup packed light brown sugar  1/8 teaspoon salt  4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces     Mix the oats, flour, brown sugar and salt in a bowl. Add the butter and work it into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.      

It wouldn’t be the Jewish High Holiday season if you didn’t see at least one recipe for Plum Torte.

I suppose it’s because the holidays come at around the same time as the harvest for those small, dark purple Italian prune plums and what could be better than dessert made with the newest, freshest, soon-to-disappear seasonal fruit? (Although the torte recipe is so versatile that my niece Rachel Vail, renowned children’s book author, once made it with pears.)

I’ve made several versions over the years, including the NYTimes recipe and my Aunt Beck’s famous apple cake made with plums.

This year I’m baking a new variation for the holidays. If Plum Torte is so delicious, can’t it be even better — and lovelier looking — with a streusel top?

Yes!

Here it is:

PLUM CAKE WITH OAT STREUSEL

 

CAKE:

 

Streusel (recipe below)

1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons grated fresh orange peel

2 large eggs

1 cup milk

12 Italian prune plums, pitted and sliced

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Make the streusel and set it aside. Lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan. Melt the butter and set it aside to cool. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and orange peel in the bowl of an electric mixer. In another bowl, combine the eggs, milk and melted butter. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ones and beat for about one minute, until smooth. Turn the batter into the prepared cake pan. Top with the plum slices. Cover with the streusel. Bake for about 45 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove the outer ring from the pan and let the cake cool completely.

Makes one cake serving 8 people

 

STREUSEL

 

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

 

Mix the oats, flour, brown sugar and salt in a bowl. Add the butter and work it into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.

 

 

Blueberry Crumb Cake

The blueberries are so fat and gorgeous now that last week I baked a  Blueberry Crumble Pie  and this weekend I had to bake this Blueberry Crumb Cake.  My Dad once planted a blueberry bush in our backyard and we were all thrilled the first summer we saw those little fruit things thriving, somehow escaping that rabbit, the one who nibbled all my parents’ strawberries. Those blueberries had that grayish-sheen skin and kiwi green inside that tells of great fruit. They were plump and sweet but also tart.  Perfect for cake. Which my mother made. Like this one, only she used a traditional streusel top and I changed that to get a more crumbly crust-type top.   Blueberry Crumb Cake    Crumb Layer:   1/2 cup unsalted butter  3/4 cup all-purpose flour  1/2 cup brown sugar  1/3 cup quick oats  1/2 cup finely chopped nuts  1 teaspoon cinnamon  1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg  Melt the butter and set it aside to cool. Place the flour, brown sugar, oats, nuts, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl and mix until well blended. Pour in the butter and blend it in. Let cool for 4-5 minutes, then crumble the mixture using your fingers. Set aside.      Cake:   1/2 cup unsalted butter  2 cups flour  1/2 cup sugar  1 tablespoon baking powder  1/2 teaspoon baking soda  1 teaspoon salt  2 large eggs  1 cup milk  1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract  2 cups blueberries     Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-1/2-inch springform pan. Melt the butter and set it aside to cool. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer. In another bowl, combine the eggs, milk, vanilla extract and melted butter. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ones and stir only to combine: do not overbeat. Turn the batter into the prepared pan. Top with the berries and press them down into the batter gently. Cover with the crumb layer. Bake for about 50 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Makes one cake serving 8   

The blueberries are so fat and gorgeous now that last week I baked a Blueberry Crumble Pie and this weekend I had to bake this Blueberry Crumb Cake.

My Dad once planted a blueberry bush in our backyard and we were all thrilled the first summer we saw those little fruit things thriving, somehow escaping that rabbit, the one who nibbled all my parents’ strawberries. Those blueberries had that grayish-sheen skin and kiwi green inside that tells of great fruit. They were plump and sweet but also tart.

Perfect for cake. Which my mother made. Like this one, only she used a traditional streusel top and I changed that to get a more crumbly crust-type top.

Blueberry Crumb Cake

Crumb Layer:

1/2 cup unsalted butter

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup quick oats

1/2 cup finely chopped nuts

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Melt the butter and set it aside to cool. Place the flour, brown sugar, oats, nuts, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl and mix until well blended. Pour in the butter and blend it in. Let cool for 4-5 minutes, then crumble the mixture using your fingers. Set aside.

 

Cake:

1/2 cup unsalted butter

2 cups flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1 cup milk

1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups blueberries

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-1/2-inch springform pan. Melt the butter and set it aside to cool. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer. In another bowl, combine the eggs, milk, vanilla extract and melted butter. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ones and stir only to combine: do not overbeat. Turn the batter into the prepared pan. Top with the berries and press them down into the batter gently. Cover with the crumb layer. Bake for about 50 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Makes one cake serving 8

 

Blueberry Pie with Oat-Coconut Streusel

I find this very difficult to believe, but there are actually some people in my family who don’t like pie.  Huh?  For me, pie is the ultimate dessert. Tender, crumbly golden brown crust. Just a little sweet and with enough salt, fresh fruit and maybe a hint of seasoning. Pie isn’t fancy and doesn’t need to be.  So who could not like it?  Once I asked my husband Ed why he didn’t eat my pie. I thought maybe it was because he grew up in a cake-and-canned-fruit-for-dessert house.  But he told me that he doesn’t like the top crust. He would eat pie if it had a streusel top.  I made those of course, but the problem with a standard, flour-based streusel top is that if you don’t eat the pie right away — like in my case, I bake a half dozen at a time when I can get good fruit — and you freeze it, then the streusel gets all soggy. And unlike regular pie-crust pie, it never bakes back crumbly and crispy. It looks awful too.  Recently I figured out a way to make a pie with a streusel type top that you can actually refrigerate or freeze and it will stay (or reheat to) crisp and crumbly: use a mixture designed for a fruit crisp. These bake properly because they usually contain ingredients (like nuts and oats) that create a firm texture.  As this one did.  I made this blueberry pie with a top crust that I’ve used for fruit crisp. This pie is the best of both worlds: a bottom crust and pie shape for those of us who adore real pie and a top crunchy streusel crust that stays crispy for those who prefer fruit crisp.      Blueberry Pie with Oat-Coconut Streusel   1 recipe Oat-Coconut Streusel (see below)  5 cups blueberries  1/2 cup sugar  5 tablespoons flour  3/4 teaspoon cinnamon  1/4 teaspoon salt  2 tablespoons lemon juice  1 9-inch unbaked pie crust  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Prepare the Oat-Coconut Streusel and set aside. Mix the blueberries, sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, and lemon juice in a large bowl. Pour the blueberry filling into the pie crust. Cover with the streusel. Bake about one hour or until top is golden brown.   Oat-Coconut Streusel   1/2 cup flour  1/2 cup grated coconut  1/2 cup old fashioned oats  1/2 cup chopped nuts  1/4 cup brown sugar  1/2 teaspoon cinnamon  6 tablespoons melted butter     Place the flour, coconut, oats, nuts, brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and toss ingredients to distribute them evenly. Pour in the melted butter. Mix until the dry the ingredients are covered with the melted butter.    

I find this very difficult to believe, but there are actually some people in my family who don’t like pie.

Huh?

For me, pie is the ultimate dessert. Tender, crumbly golden brown crust. Just a little sweet and with enough salt, fresh fruit and maybe a hint of seasoning. Pie isn’t fancy and doesn’t need to be.

So who could not like it?

Once I asked my husband Ed why he didn’t eat my pie. I thought maybe it was because he grew up in a cake-and-canned-fruit-for-dessert house.

But he told me that he doesn’t like the top crust. He would eat pie if it had a streusel top.

I made those of course, but the problem with a standard, flour-based streusel top is that if you don’t eat the pie right away — like in my case, I bake a half dozen at a time when I can get good fruit — and you freeze it, then the streusel gets all soggy. And unlike regular pie-crust pie, it never bakes back crumbly and crispy. It looks awful too.

Recently I figured out a way to make a pie with a streusel type top that you can actually refrigerate or freeze and it will stay (or reheat to) crisp and crumbly: use a mixture designed for a fruit crisp. These bake properly because they usually contain ingredients (like nuts and oats) that create a firm texture.

As this one did.

I made this blueberry pie with a top crust that I’ve used for fruit crisp. This pie is the best of both worlds: a bottom crust and pie shape for those of us who adore real pie and a top crunchy streusel crust that stays crispy for those who prefer fruit crisp.

 

Blueberry Pie with Oat-Coconut Streusel

1 recipe Oat-Coconut Streusel (see below)

5 cups blueberries

1/2 cup sugar

5 tablespoons flour

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 9-inch unbaked pie crust

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Prepare the Oat-Coconut Streusel and set aside. Mix the blueberries, sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, and lemon juice in a large bowl. Pour the blueberry filling into the pie crust. Cover with the streusel. Bake about one hour or until top is golden brown.

Oat-Coconut Streusel

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup grated coconut

1/2 cup old fashioned oats

1/2 cup chopped nuts

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

6 tablespoons melted butter

 

Place the flour, coconut, oats, nuts, brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and toss ingredients to distribute them evenly. Pour in the melted butter. Mix until the dry the ingredients are covered with the melted butter.