by Eva Felis on October 14, 2013
I told you, I would serve you a cake as soon as my oven is back on duty. The service guy gave us the pleasure of his company – finally. I have to admit I had been miffed about this situation. We are in the era where anything can be delivered in between 24 hour nationwide. I don’t really get why it took him almost four weeks to replace a glass panel in the oven door, just because he had to order it in California. I wonder if he took the wagon train through the Great Plains or the donkey caravan via Mojave Desert? As soon as Mr. customer-service-guy-of-the-year arrived in my kitchen, he started raving about the cookies I gave him last time. I couldn’t resist explaining to him: no oven-no cookies, not for me and not for him. Can you believe this guy?
We could have had this cake weeks earlier but it didn’t happen, so lets bury the hatchet and have a piece of cake. He is just a poor guy who’s wife serves him too much lentils (and who talks too much). Yes you learn a lot about people especially if you have them more often on the phone when your own mom, whether you want to or not.
Let’s talk cake. What is better than cake? Cake with streusel! What is better than streusel? Cake with nuts in the streusel! It’s that simple. I appreciate recipes, that are flexible, and leaving some freedom to put your own spin on it. I also like to mix and match fruits and nuts. Through there are dream teams like pears with almonds, apples and hazelnuts or was it apples and walnuts? I don’t have to run to the grocery store, if I am in need of cake, and don’t have enough fruits of one kind but enough all together. I just assign dedicated areas for every sort, top it streusel and be surprised which kind of fruit I get to taste.
The bottom is a standard tart dough crust – a pâte brisée, buttery and a little flaky. If you have a favorite pie crust recipe, go for it, I don’t mind. The fruits are what you find on the market right now, some plums, lot of pears and apples. Topped with streusel made with roasted nuts and a hint of cinnamon, brings my favorite fall flavors into one baking pan.
recipe for the crust: pâte brisée
- 250 g / 8.8 oz. all-purpose flour
- 70 g / 2.5 oz. granulated sugar
- ½ tsp. fine sea salt
- 1 egg
- 125 g / 4.4 oz. unsalted cold butter (about 9 Tbsp.)
If you use a food processor:
- Place flour, sugar and salt into the bowl of your food processor with the blade attached. Pulse a few times. Add cold butter in chunks and pulse until small crumbles form, add the egg and pulse again until crumbles are about pea size.
- Empty on a piece of plastic wrap, press tightly and form a disk. Put the dough into your refrigerator for 30-60 minutes.
If you use a handheld mixer or your hands:
- Use a big bowl with enough room to work in. Add flour, sugar, salt, stir well. Make a dent in the middle with your fist. Add the egg and mix (or use a fork) with just a small amount of the flour–sugar mixture to make mash.
- Cut the cold butter into little pieces and distribute over the mix. Use your mixer or rub with your fingers until the dough comes together. Press to form a disk and cover with plastic wrap, place into your refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
The dough will be very crumbly at first but hold together when pressed. You can add a little bit ice water if needed.
Don’t over-work, otherwise you end up with tough dough.
fall fruit streusel cake
for the streusel:
- 100 g / 3.5 oz. roasted, ground nuts
- 100 g / 3.5 oz. all-purse flour
- 100 g / 3.5 oz. granulated sugar
- 110 g/ 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
for the filling:
- 600 g / 21 oz. stone fruits like apples, plums, pears… or a mix of them
- 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- For the streusel mix everything until well incorporated. Set aside.
- In a small bowl mix flour, sugar and cinnamon. Prepare the fruits: if necessary peel them (apples and pears), slice or cut into small chunks, and cover evenly with the flour mixture.
Assemble the cake:
- Preheat your oven to 390 F / 200 C. Grease a springform pan or a tart pan 24 cm / 9.5 inch or 30 x 20 cm / 12 x 8 inch.
- Roll out the dough between two sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap. Remove the top sheet and transfer the dough into your baking pan, remove the other sheet. Press dough into the pan and form a rim about 2.5 cm / 1 inch high.
- Place the fruits evenly into the pan, crumble the streusel on top, press carefully and bake for 30-40 minutes.
- Let cool for 20 minutes, serve with ice cream or whipped cream.