Monday, April 9, 2012
Meyer Lemon-Cranberry Buckle
Where has the time gone? It seems like only yesterday I couldn't believe it was March and now we're steam rolling through April. Signs of spring are everywhere: big bouquets of ranunculus and tulips; lingering warm, sunny afternoons; crisp, seasonal beers. I even saw strawberries at the farmers' market this weekend!
As much as I love warm weather and summertime, I must admit that I'm sad to see winter go. Here in the Bay Area at least, we hardly felt winter at all. Aside from a few swiftly passing storms, our winter was dry and unusually pleasant. Which means that I didn't quite get my fill of cold winter nights and rainy afternoons. It's like we missed winter entirely.
My favorite part of winter is mornings so blustery you don't feel a tiny bit bad for sleeping in. On mornings like those, I want something special for breakfast. Not cereal, not oatmeal. Something that cries out for a hot cup of coffee and a newspaper. Something that sings with the crisp, clean flavors of winter fruit. This meyer lemon cranberry buckle does the trick just fine. Sure, it's original recipe was intended as a dessert, but with a tad less sugar I thought it adapted beautifully to breakfast. The fresh cranberries and lemon give it a bright freshness, while the buttery crumble topping offers crunch and a bit of decadence. I substituted yogurt for sour cream, since that's what I had on hand, and it worked just wonderfully and imparted a pleasant tang to the cake itself.
The recipe comes from the San Francisco Chronicle. For ease, I won't retype it here, but as I said I made a few changes: swapped yogurt for sour cream, used a scant 1/4 cup of sugar in the cake batter, and added about two tablespoons more of butter for the crumble topping. If you make the dough and have a friend make the strussel, it comes together in a flash, and while it takes about an hour to bake, it rewards your patience by making your entire house smell like a European pâtisserie. Easy enough.
Spring may be around the corner, but you can still celebrate winter's end with breakfast cake. Take my advice: bake this up this Sunday and enjoy watching the seasons change before your eyes. You wouldn't want to miss it.