Triple Berry Crumb Cake

I’m very sad to say that summer is almost over.  My kids go back to school tomorrow and a new year of responsibilities, schedules, and homework begin.  So this is my homage to summer and the wonderful berries that we’ve enjoyed for the last 3 months.

This berry crumb cake is the epitome of the balance of flavors.  The cake is moist and tangy from the berries, then crunchy and sweet from the pecan crumb topping.  Make this for an easy evening at home or fancy it up with homemade whipped cream and fresh fruit on the side.

Put all the crumb topping ingredients into a food processor and pulse until………..

you get this.   Pour it out and set it aside.

Add the cake’s dry ingredients  to the same food processor and blend until crumbly.

In a bowl, mix all the wet ingredients together well and then pour in the dry ingredients from the food processor.

Mix it all together with a spatula until well incorporated.  It’s okay if it’s a bit lumpy.  The lumps are the magnificent specks of butter reminding you of how buttery good this cake will taste!!!

Pour out into a greased 8×8 pan.

Spoon the berries over the top and be sure to press them into the cake dough.

Sprinkle the crumb topping all over, covering every square inch.

See….this is what I mean by pressing the berries in well.

Here’s the lovely warm cake just out of the oven.  I could take a spoon and dig right into this, but that wouldn’t have looked very nice for my quests, huh?!  But………….I wish I could have!

Run a knife all around the gooey berry edges to release the cake from the pan, making sure you lick the knife when you’re done.  Not the sharp end of course, that would be silly, and irresponsible.

Enjoy my homage to summer and the berries that its warm weather brings us.

Care to share some of your end-of-the-summer recipes?  I’d love to know!

Triple Berry Crumb Cake

Adapted from Real Simple

 

FOR THE CRUMB TOPPING:

1/2  cup  pecans

1/3  cup  brown sugar, firmly packed

1/4  cup  all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled

2  tablespoons  cold unsalted butter

 

FOR THE CAKE:

1/2  cup  (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for the pan

2  cups  all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled

1  cup  granulated sugar

2  teaspoons  baking powder

1  teaspoon  kosher salt

1/2  teaspoon  ground cinnamon

2  large eggs

1  cup  whole milk

1  teaspoon  pure vanilla extract

1  pound  frozen blackberries, blueberries, raspberries thawed (about 3 1/2 cups)

 

Heat oven to 350º F.

Make the crumb topping: In a food processor, pulse the pecans, brown sugar, flour, and butter until crumbly; transfer to a bowl and set aside. Wipe out the food processor.

Make the cake: Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. In the food processor, pulse the butter, flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon until crumbly. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and mix just until combined.

Transfer the cake batter to the prepared pan. Sprinkle with the blackberries and crumb topping.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan before serving.

Chicken Picatta Pasta

It is HOT!  Southern California has been having a heat wave of triple digit temps all week.  And, the hotter it is, the less I want to use my oven, let alone be in the kitchen.  So, I found this refreshing pasta recipe that did not use the oven.

I did have to be in the kitchen though, but not for too long.

This is diced chicken breast, seasoned and browned nicely.

Pull it out when it’s done and set aside for now.

I’ve diced the aromatic shallots and garlic and gotten together the other ingredients for the dish.

Saute shallots and garlic in olive oil and butter.

After adding in the wine and reducing, add in some flour to make a thick sauce.  Thin out the sauce with chicken broth.

Stir in the capers.

Once all the flavors have had some time to marry, add the chicken back in and a squeeze of lemon.  Add in some penne pasta and you’ve got a simple and quick meal, made all in one pan.  You gotta love only having to clean up one pan, right?

Here’s is the very aromatic and savory chicken piccata pasta, garnished with some slices of green onion.  I love the creamy sauce with the hint of sour lemon juice and capers.  Refreshing for a hot summer night.  A tall glass of lemonade would complete the meal for me!

Chicken Picatta Pasta Toss

Adapted from Rachel Ray

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/2 pounds chicken breast , cut into 1-inch pieces

Salt and pepper

1 1/2 tablespoons butter

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 shallot, chopped

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 cup white wine

1 lemon, juiced

1 cup chicken broth or stock

2 tablespoons capers, drained

1 pound penne rigate pasta, cooked to al dente

Chopped scallions, for garnish

Heat a deep nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add a tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil and the chicken to the pan. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Brown chicken until lightly golden all over, about 5 to 6 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and return the skillet to the heat. Reduce heat to medium. Add another tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter, the garlic and shallots to the skillet. Saute garlic and shallots 3 minutes. Add flour and cook 2 minutes. Whisk in wine and reduce liquid 1 minute. Whisk lemon juice and broth into sauce. Stir in capers. When the liquid comes to a bubble, add remaining 1/2 tablespoon butter to the sauce to give it a little shine. Add chicken back to the pan and heat through, 1 to 2 minutes. Toss hot pasta with chicken and sauce and serve. Adjust salt and pepper, to your taste. Top with fresh snipped scallions.