Saturday, May 26, 2012

A great way to begin the day...

When the sun starts peeking through the shades, one sometimes really needs to have a good reason to get out of bed. After an exhausting week, I wanted to make sure that at a certain someone would have enough energy to begin what will hopefully be a less-stressful Memorial Day weekend.

After being awoken at 5:30am by the smallest member of my family, who eventually fell back asleep, I (not as fortunate) decided to stay up and try out a recipe for Dutch Crumb Cake that's served at Clarendon's Liberty Tavern for brunch. (What else is there to do at that hour but bake?)

The fragrant aroma of cinnamon, butter and brown sugar baking in the oven filled every corner of our house, giving that someone the promise of a good start to the day, and he easily got out of bed this morning and made a quick beeline for the breakfast table.

Of course, adding a side of applewood smoked bacon to the crumb cake didn't hurt either. Everything's better with bacon, right?

Whether or not you have bacon, definitely give this recipe a whirl this weekend, especially if you need some coaxing to begin the day.

Dutch Crumb Cake
(Courtesy Liam Lacivita/The Liberty Tavern)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 cup butter or shortening, diced
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour an 8-inch round cake pan or similarly sized rectangle pan or baking dish.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and cinnamon. With the tips of your fingers, work fat into mixture until completely integrated. It's ok to see flakes of fat. Reserve 1/2 cup of this mixture for the topping, to be used later.

In a separate mixing bowl, combine egg, buttermilk, and baking soda. If using vanilla, add now.

Using a rubber spatula, fold wet ingredients into dry until well combined.

In a small bowl, combine brown sugar with the reserved flour mixture. Pour batter into pan. Top with crumb mixture and bake for about 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out almost clean.

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