And because it is Wednesday and I am feeling blue I had another of my famous late night baking session. Today is my Dad’s birthday (or would have been, for that matter) and every year, I try to make something with crumbles, zu Deutsch Streusel. He loved Streuselkuchen, plain and simple – a sweet yeast dough (500g plain flour / 100g white sugar / 300ml milk / 100ml veggie oil, the-answer-to-life-the-universe-and everything grams of fresh yeast, a pinch of salt) topped with crumbles (400g plain flour / 250g white sugar / 250g butter), baked in the oven for appr. 30 min at 180°C. Since I’m not the biggest fan myself, and my Dad’s not around for eating it, I rummaged through my mind and freezer and found a bag of hand-picked blueberries from hiking in the Vosges last summer. Perfect! This recipe has been tried, tested, and approved by my colleagues on 4.1 – and therefore I am happy to share my
BLUEBERRY CHEESECAKE WITH GINGERBREAD CRUMBLES
First, we need a shortcrust pastry. Easy. 250g plain flour / 100g white sugar / 150g butter / 1 tsp baking powder / 1 egg. Mix and knead (IMPORTANT EDIT: I was today years old when I learned it’s pronounced nIIIIId, not nEd. Pronunciational revelation. A dough needs kneading. Niiiidz Niiiiiding. Nice.) and chill in the fridge. The pastry, not you. No, you get out and go to a symphony concert and listen to Tchaikovsky’s 6th, the Pathétique, and if you feel like shedding some tears because life or because you, too, are feeling a little blue, go for it. That’s what B minor is here for.
Back from our emotional musical intermission, line a greased springform with the pastry (or remember that you threw yours out and use a square Mediterranean clay form instead so the blueberries get to swim with turquoise fish. Mix the following ingredients: 800g low-fat curd (aren’t we healthy!) / 1 pk custard powder (aren’t we lazy!) / 120g brown sugar (aren’t we sweet!) / 3 eggs and some egg liquer (aren’t we eggstravagant!) / and, most importantly frozen or fresh blueberries ad libitum.
Pour our now violently purple (nod to Schube’s for coining this expression in his amazing, hilarious, and very entertaining Potterless-Podcast) mixture into our baking form.
Now to the important bit: THE CRUMBLE. Generally, you make them exactly as mentioned above in the basic Streuselkuchen recipe. Oh, fun fact about Streusel: in Colmar, France, there is a tiny little Tarte Flambée restaurant where they have one that says “Pommes Streusel” and of course I know it is basically an apple crumble served on Flammkuchen base but for us Germans, it translates as “French Fry Crumbles” and I find that very amusing. Anyway, let’s get this cake done so no further interruptions! Of course you can just go with the normal Streusel ingredients. Alas, I felt fancy and inventive and I still had some gingerbread cookies left from Christmas and so I crumbled them up, mixed them with flour and melted butter and ta-da: Streusel with a whiff of winter.
After sprinkling out Streusel on top of the cake, our blueberry cake goes into the oven at 180°C for, well, I wanted to tell Siri 50 (fiftYYYYYYYYYYYYY) minutes and she refused to hear the absence of an n at the end and kept setting a timer for 15 (fifteeNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN) minutes and after the fourth attempt, I was too annoyed to try again and I gave up and deliberately changed the baking time to 55 minutes approximately. And that turned out to be perfect.
And while we enjoy a slice in the middle of the night, because why not, let’s read a very long poem by Robert Frost, titled Blueberries from which I shall quote the beginning and bid you farewell with blue tongue and full stomach.
You ought to have seen what I saw on my way
To the village, through Mortenson’s pasture to-day:
Blueberries as big as the end of your thumb,
Real sky-blue, and heavy, and ready to drum
In the cavernous pail of the first one to come!
And all ripe together, not some of them green
And some of them ripe! You ought to have seen!Robert Frost, Blueberries