Sour Cherry Coffee Cake
So the other weekend, R and I took a trip to Washington DC in my continuing quest to Americanize him (just kidding, really. I like him Euro.) We were visiting friends who make living outside of NYC look awfully appealing, what with their adorable little house that actually has a backyard (!!), their ability to own and drive a car without taking their lives into their hands, and, well, all that space. They actually have space.
It was a hugely wonderful weekend, full of eating, farmers market shopping, cooking salmon on the grill in their wonderful backyard (two more !!'s for that backyard). Not to mention seeing the Library of Congress, the National Gallery, the Phillips Collection and long walks on The Mall. So you know, I wanted to bring something for them. A host gift, I guess. They're pretty into food as well, my friends, so I thought I'd bring something for breakfast, or snack time, or dessert. And a coffee cake fulfills all of those functions. And I think it would have gone over really well, if I'd remembered to bring it with us rather than leaving it on the kitchen counter.
So this cake never made it to Washington DC, but it was still pretty darn good three days later when we got back. I couldn't find frozen sour cherries, so I used sweet. But I thought the cherries faded too much into the background, and would recommend something tarter, like, you know, the sour ones I was supposed to use, or maybe raspberries, or even cranberries when they're in season. The recipe given for streusel topping makes way too much, so you could easily cut it in half if you don't need it for anything else. The rest of mine is sitting in the freezer waiting for an appropriate use.
Cherry-Streusel Coffee Cake
Adopted from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus a little more for greasing the pan
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
1 cup frozen sour cherries (or other tart berry), thawed and well drained
1 cup streusel (follows)
Milk glaze (follows)
Oven preheated to 350F. Grease a 9" tube pan and set aside. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a medium pan, then set aside as well.
With an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until light and fluffy. Do this on medium spead for 2 to 3 minutes. Add one third of the flour, then half the sour cream, then one more third of the flour, followed by the rest of the sour cream, an then the rest of the flour. Be careful not to overmix.
Pour half the batter into the prepared pan, then arrange the carries on top. Be sure the cherries don't touch the sides of the pan, or they may burn. Then pour the rest of the batter on top of that. Sprinkle on the streusel topping.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the cake is golden and springy to the touch. Let the cake cool in the pan set on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes. Then turn the cake out so that it's streusel side up and let cool completely.
In the meantime, make the milk glaze. Whisk together 1 cup confectioners sugar and 2 tablespoons of milk until the mixture is smooth. Drizzle over cake once it's completely cooled.
You can easily cut this recipe in half if you don't have another use for it
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature.
Combine the flour, sugar cinnamon and salt, then use a pastry blender to cut in the butter. The streusel should be crumbly looking. Crumble over the top of the cake as directed in the recipe.