Raspberry Almond Coffee Cake



Wrinkles only go where the smiles have been. Jimmy Buffet (take off on a quote by Mark Twain)

Smile, kiddos, it’s good for your soul.  Have you ever noticed how people react to a big grin? It makes them feel loved, I think (I know it makes me feel loved!).

 I have well over 100 cookbooks, and probably about the same amount of those 5′ x 7′ booklets that are always calling my name when I’m checking out at the grocery store (100 Fabulous Casseroles or Slow Cooker Recipes 0r Springtime Cookies), and full access to the Internet with it’s millions of recipes.  But yet, I still find myself buying a cooking magazine on occasion (and certainly any new Ina Garten cookbooks!).  I recently bought the new Better Homes and Gardens recipe magazine, and in it was a recipe for a raspberry coffee cake.  And having a surplus of raspberries, I decided to try the recipe.  And, it was pretty good, but something was missing. So, I made a new version, but this time I used almond extract in lieu of vanilla, and almonds in lieu of pecans.  Yummy!

Somehow I deleted my picture of the ingredients.  I think it’s because I was taking pictures when I made this coffee the first time, the way the recipe was written, and then I chucked those photos!  But, I think it’s going to be okay.

First, gather together your ingredients. You’ll need fresh raspberries, lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch, flour, baking powder (make sure it’s not out of date), cold butter and softened butter (leave a stick in the fridge), eggs, sour cream, almond extract, powdered sugar, milk and Marcona almonds (you can use regular but the Marcoa’s add so much to it).

  

Put the raspberries and the lemon juice, along with some water, into a saucepan.  Bring to a boil and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Now add the lemon juice, give it a stir, and then add some sugar and cornstarch.  Bring it back to a boil.

Keep stirring – it’ll start to thicken up.  Cook it for about 2 minutes and then take it off the heat and set it aside.

Mix together some flour, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda. Add the butter – cut it into 4 or 5 pieces.  Using two knives or a pastry cutter (this is my first choice), cut the butter into the flour mixture.

Keep cutting in the butter…

Until it looks like big crumbs.

Now add the egg, the sour cream, and the almond extract. Stir just until combined.  This dough is sticky and a pain in the patootie to work with (a fact lightly brushed over in the original recipe I might add).

Take about half the dough and beat it into submission spread it in a greased pan. The original recipe calls for a 9 x 13″ pan, but I halved the recipe since there are only two of us here.  This is some work, because again, the Dough. Is. Sticky.

Now take your lucious raspberry concoction and spread it on the sticky dough.  This is the easy part. Really.

Now drop the other half of your dough in little piles all over the raspberry sauce.  This part isn’t too hard either.

Now, spread the dough over the the raspberry sauce.  This is a pain and I just have to wonder – do the magazines that publish these recipes actually try them first so that they can tell you if it’s hard to do?  Somehow I doubt it – the recipe made it sound like you just spread it out no problem. Instead, what happens is that the top layer of dough and the sauce mixes all together and looks a little gross.  But not to worry – it comes out all right in the end!

Now mix up some softened butter, chopped almonds, sugar and flour.

Sprinkle this all over the top (mmm, crumble).

Cover the whole thing and pop it in the oven.

While the cake is baking, mix some milk, powdered sugar and almond extract together to make a glaze.

Drizzle this over the cake when it comes out of the oven. Let it cool completely and then cut yourself a big slice (goes great with milk!).

Pretty!

Here’s your recipe.  Two things – remember that I cut my recipe in half.  This recipe is for a 9 x 13″ pan. And again, try using Marcona almonds – the flavor adds much to this treat!

Raspberry Almond Coffee Cake

Ingredients:

Raspberry Sauce:

  • 3-1/2 cups fresh raspberries
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 -1/4 cup sugar

Batter:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 sticks of cold butter
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

Crumble Topping:

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup chopped Marcona almonds

Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 or 3 teaspoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Directions:

  1. Place the raspberries and the water in a large saucepan.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for about 5 minutes
  2. Add the corn starch, 1-1/4 cups of sugar and the lemon juice.
  3. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a strong simmer.  Cook and stir until thick, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Grease a 9 x 13″ pan and preheat the oven to 350°.
  5. Mix 3 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and 1 cup sugar together in a large bowl. 
  6. Cube 2 stick of cold butter and add to flour/sugar mixture, and cut in until it resembles coarse crumbs.
  7. Add eggs, sour cream and 1 teaspoon almond extract, and mix just until combined.
  8. Pat half of this mixture into the prepared pan.  The dough will be sticky and difficult to work with.  Using a silicone spatula is very helpful.
  9. Spread the raspberry sauce over the top of the dough.
  10. Dollop the remaining dough over the raspberry sauce, and using a spatula, spread it around.  It will mix with the raspberry sauce, this is okay.
  11. Mix together the chopped almonds, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup flour and 1/4 cup softened butter.  Sprinkle evenly over the top of the cake.
  12. Bake for  40 to 45 minutes until golden brown.
  13. While the cake is baking, mix together the powdered sugar, milk, and 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract.
  14. When the cake is done, place it on a wire rack to cool and immediately drizzle the glaze evenly over the cake.
  15. Enjoy!

 


Popover for a Popover

Give us today our daily bread. Matthew 6:11 NIV

The title of this post reminded me of a joke my husband’s family likes to tell (okay, I like to tell it too – we’re all weird together).  So one guy says to the other guy, “I got a weak back”. The other guy replies, “When’d that happen?”. The first guy says, “About a week back”.  Really it’s funny! Try it!

While my soup was cooking I realized I had no crusty bread to dip in it. I had some soft marbled rye, but, well, yuck. Not a good combination.  Kind of like putting raisins in cookies. So anyway, I thought, “Popovers!”.  I just got a new popover pan (no more using muffin tins for this kid) that I was hot to use. I don’t know how many of you have made popovers, but they are super easy if you remember just a few key points.

  • Milk, cream or half and half and eggs at room temperature.
  • Preheat the pan (either the popover pan or the muffin tin you are using).
  • If your pan is not non-stick, butter it well before you preheat it.
  • NO PEEKING while cooking for the first 30 minutes
  • As soon as they’re done, take them out of the oven and put a little slit in each one (releases the steam which keeps them from collapsing).

There are literally dozens and dozens of recipes on the Internet.  They all have the same basic ingredients.  Some call for baking powder, which I don’t like to add, but experiment! Have fun!  I put some herbs de provence in mine because I like that flavor combination  and I thought it would work well with soup.  There’s only 2 of us here, so I only make 6 at a time. They are best eaten right away but are still edible the next day.  Just make sure they’re completely cool before you store them.

If you get a hankering like I did and don’t have the ingredients at room temp, never fear.  Put the eggs in a bowl of hot water for a few minutes, and heat the milk or cream to room temp in the microwave (that’s what I did!).

See? Very simple ingredients. Okay, preheat your oven to 425°. Once it’s hot, stick your pan in the oven to pre-heat.

Whisk everything together.

Divide the batter amongst your 6 vessels. Usually you want them about half full or so. Now put ’em in the oven and bake those babies!  NO PEEKING. Seriously. No. Peeking. Of course if your oven door is nice and clean (mine isn’t ) you can peek through there.

Yum.

There you go!  Make sure and stab each one to let the steam out. Then cut it open and slather with butter. Or better yet, honey butter!  Remember, you can put in whatever herbs you want, or leave them plain.

 Popovers – Makes 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoons butter, melted, plus extra if your pan is not non-stick.
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Herbs of your choice, or none at all – I use about 1 teaspoon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. When the oven is hot, put your muffin pan or popover pan in the oven to preheat. If it is not a non-stick pan, butter the cups first.
  3. Mix all ingredients together.
  4. Take the pan out of the oven and pour in the popover mix – dividing evenly among the cups.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes.
  6. When you take them out of the oven, pierce each to release the steam

 

 

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