Monday, January 16, 2012

Lickety Split Blueberry-Lemon Coffee Cake

I bought a package of blueberries on sale last week and was saving them for just the right recipe. I knew that I wanted something to serve for a simple dessert last night...something that I could whip up really quick but still tasted homemade. Then I remembered the package of blueberries in the fridge. I found a Paula Deen recipe for her rustic skillet-baked blueberry cake on Food Network's website that I knew I had found what I was looking for. I don't own a cast-iron skillet, so I just baked my cake in a 9-inch pie plate...which worked perfectly! 

As usual, I made a few tweaks to the original recipe. First, I doubled the amount of the brown sugar-butter mixture. I also added a bit of lemon zest on top of the blueberries and drizzled a lemony glaze on top of the cake after it had finished baking. I love how lemon brings out the flavor of blueberries! I also subbed chopped pecans for almonds in the streusel and added a bit of fresh nutmeg to compliment the cinnamon. Paula's secret ingredient to pulling this cake together so quickly? Refrigerated buttermilk biscuits! Yes...just like my Shortcut Strawberry Shortcakes from this summer. They worked perfectly in this simple coffee cake!

Lickety Split Blueberry-Lemon 
Coffee Cake
adapated from Paula Deen via Food Network

Step 1:  Preheat oven to 375. Add 1/2 stick butter, 1/3 cup packed brown sugar, and 1 tsp. cinnamon to a small saucepan. Heat until melted and combined, stirring frequently. Pour the mixture on the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate. Take 9 refrigerated buttermilk biscuits and dip the tops of the biscuits into the brown sugar-butter mixture, then flip the dipped side up. 

Step 2:  Scatter 1 small container of blueberries evenly over the tops of the biscuits in the pan. Sprinkle the blueberries with the grated zest of one lemon.

Step 3:  Make a quick streusel by combining 2 tbs. softened butter, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/3 cup chopped pecans, 3 tbs. flour, 1 tsp. cinnamon, and a few grates of fresh nutmeg. Combine with a pastry cutter or clean fingers until well combined. Evenly crumble the streusel on top of the blueberries.

Step 4:  Bake the cake for approximately 3o minutes. The biscuits around the edge will get quite brown, but they won't burn. It's important to bake long enough for the biscuit in the middle to puff up and back through. I rotated my pan halfway through baking. While the cake cools, make a drizzle by combining 1 cup powdered sugar with enough lemon juice to make a icing that you can drizzle with a spoon. Drizzle the cooled cake with icing before serving.

As you can see, the cake is golden-brown on the outside and fluffy on the inside. The flavor reminds me a bit of monkey bread, only better. The juicy blueberries, nutty streusel, and lemon glaze all combine for a fantastic coffee cake. This would be the perfect addition to spring brunches, but it's simple enough to whip up for a spur-of-the-moment dessert. It's sweet, but not overly so...and it's as good at room temperature as it is warm. 

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