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Warm Strawberry Crumb Cake
© John Kernick

Warm Strawberry Crumb Cake

  • ACTIVE: 30 MIN
  • TOTAL TIME: 2 HRS 30 MIN
  • SERVINGS: 8
  • MAKE-AHEAD
  • STAFF-FAVORITE
  • VEGETARIAN

Gerard Craft tops spring's first strawberries with batter and bakes them until the fruit is warm and jammy and the cake is airy, with a wonderful, crisp crust.

Filling

  1. 3 pounds strawberries, hulled and halved (8 cups)
  2. 1/2 cup sugar
  3. 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  4. 2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 2 1/2 tablespoons of water
  5. 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped

Crumb Topping

  1. 1/2 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
  2. 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  3. Pinch of salt
  4. 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed and chilled

Cake

  1. 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1 tablespoon baking powder
  3. 3/4 teaspoon salt
  4. 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  5. 1 1/4 cups sugar
  6. 3 large eggs
  7. 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  8. 3/4 cup buttermilk
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large bowl, toss the strawberries with the sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch slurry and vanilla seeds and let stand until the berries release some of their juices, about 30 minutes. Pour the fruit filling into a 9-by-13-inch glass or ceramic baking dish set on a sturdy baking sheet.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix all of the ingredients with your fingers until a coarse meal forms; press into small clumps.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the butter with the sugar at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between additions. Beat in the vanilla extract and scrape down the bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the batter in 3 additions, alternating with the buttermilk.
  4. Spoon the batter over the fruit filling, spreading it to the edge. Sprinkle with the crumb topping. Bake in the center of the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes, until the fruit is bubbling, the crumb topping is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Transfer to a rack to cool slightly. Serve the crumb cake warm or at room temperature.
Make Ahead The crumb cake can be refrigerated overnight. Serve warm or at room temperature. Notes The fruit filling can also be made with a combination of blackberries, raspberries and blueberries. Serve With Vanilla ice cream.
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