Monday, May 29, 2017

Blueberry Hyssop Streusel Cake



I'll address the elephant on the blog right away. What the hell is hyssop? For those of you who don't know, this strong flavored herb is commonly made into an expectorant and ingested in tea form. 

I also discovered it has been used for hundreds of years to clean holy places as well as to ward off evil and even as an aphrodisiac. Hyssop has been around and gets around. 



A pretty lofty task for an unassuming looking green plant. I feel almost guilty taking it down a peg by pairing it with plain old workhorse blueberry but it turns out they make a great duo.


My hyssop plant was an impulse buy from the local farmers market. I don't expect most people who have a garden to have it on hand. You can substitute mint, rosemary, basil or any other type of herb for the hyssop and this recipe would work just as well.



I put the hyssop in the filling and the streusel. You can also further flavor up the filling by adding a tablespoon or two of rum or liqueur to the mixture.  There are only two parts to this cake, filling, and streusel. The filling is cradled between two layers of sugary crumb goodness which makes it a cinch to pull together, especially for summer entertaining. 


I served this to a group of United Nations spouses who had visited for brunch recently. There was not one crumb left when they did. 

Blueberry Hyssop Streusel Cake
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Bake Time: 30 minutes
Chill Time: 30 Minutes
Yield: Serves 8
Ingredients:
  • 1  cup butter (2 sticks) 
  • 3 +1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar 
  • 2 teaspoons salt 
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh hyssop 
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 3/4 cup of blueberry jam 
  • 1 pint of fresh blueberries 
  • 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs 

Instructions:
  • Grease a 10" round tart pan. The tart pans with the lift-off bottom are the best. 
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Cut the butter into small pieces
  • Place the all-purpose flour, white granulated sugar, salt, and 1 tablespoon of the hyssop in a bowl. 
  • Beat the egg in a small separate bowl and add to the streusel mix. Add the butter and use a fork or your hands to knead everything together to form a streusel.
  • Separate out 1/3 of the streusel and press it into the pan. Place the pan in the refrigerator and chill for 30 minutes.
  • In a separate bowl, add the blueberry jam and whisk until smooth. 
  • Add the blueberries to the jam and mix together. Stir in the remaining tablespoon of hyssop.
  • Remove the pan from the refrigerator. Evenly sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the bottom of the shell.
  • Layer in the blueberry mixture evenly spreading it into the shell. Distribute the rest of the streusel evenly over the blueberries.Place the pan in the oven and bake for 30 minutes until the top start to turn golden brown.Remove from oven. When the cake is cool enough to serve. Remove the cake from the pan and serve.

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