Today was a really good day.
As I write this post, I’m staring at two buckets overflowing with ripe red raspberries, and sweet, juicy blueberries.
We took the girls and joined my parents on an afternoon drive way out into the country. It was the kind of summer day where the sun kisses your shoulders, but a gentle breeze whisks away the heat and humidity. We meandered through an old general store filled with penny candy and knick knacks. We drove so far into the mountains we lost any form of GPS or cell signal and had to rely on — gasp — a map! We drove past rambling farmhouses and dusty, dirt roads. And when we happened upon a berry farm, we dug through the trunk for two buckets and soon found our fingertips stained purple from the berries.
We went after the blueberries first – big, fat berries that had soaked up the recent rains and grown to twice the size you’d find in a grocery store. My oldest happily sang the entire “Trolls” soundtrack as she weaved in and out of the rows, picking the fresh berries. My youngest toddled through the blueberry bushes, just small enough to be shaded by the leaves. She walked, arms outstretched and plucked the purple berries and dropped (most of) them into the bucket.
When we’d had our fill of blueberries, we made our way to the raspberry grove, where the bushes were even higher. Prickles and thorns made it slow going, but the sweet raspberries made the trip well worth it.
We got some fresh mountain air, some exercise and a boatload of fresh, juicy berries. And the stop at a winery on the way home didn’t hurt either.
I made this recipe with a container of crumbs I’ve been saving in the fridge. Odd I know, but it’s a trick I learned from my grandmother.
Any time she’d make a batch of seasoned bread crumbs or a crumb or streusel topping, she’d save any leftovers in the fridge for a future use. Believe me, I thought it was strange at first to open her fridge and find containers of bread crumbs labeled, “Save for artichokes 9/3/15” or sweet crumbs labeled “Would be good in blueberry pie 7/12/17.” But it makes sense. Often a recipe for crumbs makes way more than you need, and rather than chuck the leftovers you can save them to save yourself time on a future recipe. And hey, it turns out Martha does it too.
It only works on mixes where the ingredients won’t spoil. In this instance, I had crumbs leftover from a blueberry pie (cinnamon, flour, butter and brown sugar), and I thought it would be a tasty addition to this coffee cake.
Raspberry Crumb Coffee Cake
1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Half stick of softened butter
1/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup milk
1 Tablespoon ground flaxseed
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 1/4 cups raspberries tossed with 1/2 cup sugar
Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Stir together flour, baking powder, salt and ground flaxseed.
In a stand mixer, beat sugar and butter until well blended. Add eggs and milk. In batches, add in the dry ingredients to the wet mixture. Add in vanilla and orange zest. Pour into a greased 9-inch pan.
Top with your sugared raspberries. Then spread crumbs evenly over the top. Bake about 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Do not eat straight from the oven as it will be hot as the dickens and you will scorch the roof of your mouth, as I did. Once cool, it’s delicious with a cup of coffee or tea.
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