Yesterday I drove out to Wolcott with my friend Matt to practice shooting. It’s totally a boy thing, as evidenced by the remnants of television sets, propane tanks, and a lone a high heel.

But besides shooting to learn proper gun handling, there is also a feeling of triumph you feel when you make a really big noise. Kind of like you are a little kid again.

It’s been deliciously warm out here the past week, and after I returned home I sat out back in the sunshine for awhile to soak it all in. I know better than to think that this is it for our snowfall this winter. In the mountains it will snow in June if the temperatures are right.

When I returned inside, I decided to put my discount pint of blueberries to use. Sometimes you can find berries at the grocery store for $3.00 or less, and that’s when I snatch them up. They are not the best tasting, but when baked or cooked their flavor dramatically sweetens.

The best berries are the kind you find growing wild. A few years ago I was hiking near Asheville, NC, with my brothers and we came across a wild blueberry patch. We probably stayed there for a good half an hour, picking and popping the berries into our mouths with delight. A good memory for certain.

But back to the cake. This is a recipe I adapted from The Modern Baker by Nick Malgieri. I was so impressed with how beautifully it came out. The base is a tender, yellow cake that is covered in purple, plump blueberries and topped with sweet crunchy crumbs.

It’s great for breakfast but it would also work perfectly as an afternoon pick-me-up with some tea, or as a light after-dinner dessert. Raspberries, huckleberries, blackberries, or cranberries would all work well in place of the blueberries.

Blueberry Crumb Cake (adapted from The Modern Baker by Nick Malgieri)

Crumb Topping:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
6 tablespoons butter, melted

Cake:
4 oz unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup milk
1 cup fresh blueberries, washed and picked through

Preheat your oven to 350 F. Grease and line an 8-inch round cake pan with parchment paper.

For the crumb topping: combine all of the ingredients and set aside.

For the cake: in the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter, salt, and sugar until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. You may need to stop the mixer a few times and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Follow with the vanilla.

Combine the flour and baking powder. In another bowl, combine the milk and egg yolk. Beginning with the flour mixture, add to the batter, alternating with the egg yolk-milk mixture, until the batter is just mixed.

Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan. Cover with the blueberries, and crumble the topping over the blueberries. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the cake is lightly golden and set in the middle. Cool on a baking rack for 10 minutes, then invert. Some of the crumble with fall off the top but you can sprinkle it back over. Peel off the parchment (at high altitude cakes tend to stick more to their pans, so parchment is used as a precaution). Revert onto a serving plate and enjoy.

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