Apple Crumb Coffee Cake

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A good coffee cake is an underrated baked good. Most recipes are easy to make, they can be fixed ahead of time, they are great for crowds, and best of all they transform a standard cup of joe into a quaint occasion. Our friends from college visited us last weekend and I decided a seasonal version of apple crumb coffee cake would be wonderful shared with some of our favorite people.

This particular recipe is from the gregarious Emeril Lagasse. A brief side note about Emeril: I will always hold a special place in my heart for this man. When I was in middle school, The Food Network was added to our cable package and I became obsessed with Emeril Live. One of the big highlights of my day was watching his show at night after I finished my homework. It was so fascinating watching him entertain the studio audience with his catchphrases “BAM!” and “let’s kick it up a notch!” and I tried to start incorporating a similar narrative into my detailed construction of nighttime snacks.  I was a pretty wild child, if you can’t tell. I think even my parents lovingly teased me about my infatuation with my boy, Emeril. I eventually stopped watching his show and replaced it with more age-appropriate social activities; but it was fun while it lasted.

Okay enough about New Orleans’ favorite chef; and back to this coffee cake. I was very pleasantly surprised how well it turned out. I am often so swept up in the pumpkin mania that surrounds this time of year, that I forget how delicious apples are in baked goods. This cake is well-spiced and scattered with generous chunks of apples and then topped with a crumb topping that balances the whole concoction. Don’t be deceived by the homely appearance of it. It really is anything but ordinary. Luckily I sent the majority of the leftovers home with our friends so I wouldn’t end up eating most of it.

If you are looking for a seasonal treat to jazz up your weekend morning, may I suggest this gem from my childhood friend, Emeril?

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A few snapshots from Autumn in Amish country:

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 Apple Crumb Coffee Cake

Yield: 12 servings

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups apples, chopped (I used 3 medium honey crisp apples)
For the crumb topping:
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9 inch springform pan with butter and line with a circle of parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Cream together the stick of butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition and scrape down the sides. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. In a third small bowl stir together the sour cream and vanilla. Add to the flour mixture to the butter mixture, alternating with the sour cream mixture. Stop the mixer, remove bowl and carefully fold in the apples just until evenly distributed. Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan and spread out evenly.
  3. Next, make the topping by combining the sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, and butter in a medium-sized bowl. Mix using your fingers or a fork until it resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle the topping over the cake and carefully press into the batter. Bake until golden brown and set, 50-55 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes. Remove from pan and serve.

Source: Emeril Lagasse

 

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