Crumbly Delicious Blueberry Buckle

We have had such beautiful weather so far this year, unlike the typical 100 and up degree weather that we usually have. It has been perfect for baking and berry picking.. but alas, the berries at the local farm have faded and given their last bounty. I'm so glad that our grocery produce stalls are still full with these blue beauties, I think this gem has to be my favorite fruit of all!

This is a simply delicious recipe adapted from The Barefoot Contessa's Blueberry Crumb Cake.
It tasted just like you would think a moist coffee cake would, with lots of blueberries and cinnamony sugar goodness on top..
only to be enhanced by a scoop (or two) of vanilla ice cream.

For the streusel:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

For the cake
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature (3/4 stick)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2/3 cup sour cream
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup fresh blueberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9-inch round baking pan.

For the streusel
Combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl. Stir in the melted butter and then the flour. Mix well and set aside.

For the cake
Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed for 4 to 5 minutes, until light. Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla, lemon zest, and sour cream. 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 with a knife. 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.

2006, Barefoot Contessa at Home

Apricot Zabaione
Almond Shortbread Tartlets

With the heat of summer I haven't been cooking as much fancy fare.. but instead have been utilizing my indoor grill and then filling up our salad bowl with fresh lettuces and vegetables.

While staying close to the air conditioned kitchen though, I have had fun creating some new desserts while playing with some old Italian recipes to "up the flavor ante" and to add my own DMC style. (take a look at the address bar, Dalla Mia Cucina ~ DMC is now my sites domain) :)

Here with this Zabaione, I incorporated an apricot flavor by blending a puree I made by processing some sun dried apricots with a little bit of sweet fortified wine, then carefully mixing it with a bit of home made whipped cream. It gave it a mousse like texture.. light and airy and "oh so delicious".

I love the delicateness of a shortbread crust.. even more so.. an almond shortbread crust that pairs perfectly with apricots and amaretto.

This dessert has all the desired elements of a sweet craving, for an elegant dinner party or a gratifying end to a Sunday meal.

Hope you enjoy..

Buon Appetito!!