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Mixed Berry Cornmeal Cake with Ginger Crumble

yield: 1 (9-inch) cake
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Ingredients

For the Berry Topping

    (makes around 6 cups, enough for one 9-inch cake)

    • 6 cups (around 1 pound) fresh berries (see my baker's note above)
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract

    For the Ginger Crumb Topping

      (makes enough for one 9-inch cake)

      • 1/3 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
      • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
      • 1/4 cup candied ginger, diced into small pieces
      • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into 1-inch cubes

      For the Cornmeal Cake:

        (makes one 9-inch cake)

        • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
        • 1/2 cup finely-ground cornmeal
        • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
        • 2 teaspoons baking powder
        • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
        • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
        • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1-inch cubes
        • 2 eggs
        • 2/3 cup whole milk

        Instructions

        For the Berry Topping

        • In a medium bowl, toss together 6 cups fresh berries of your choice with 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons vanilla extract. Set aside at room temperature while making the rest of the cake — the sugar and vanilla will enable the berries to macerate (that is, become soft and exude their juices).

        For the Ginger Crumb Topping

        • In a medium bowl, combine 1/3 cup firmly-packed brown sugar, 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup diced candied ginger, and 4 tablespoons unsalted, cubed butter.
        • Blend 4 tablespoons unsalted butter into the dry ingredients, using either a pastry blender, a fork, or your fingertips until the mixture forms crumbs. Put the topping in the freezer while you mix the cake batter.

        For the Cornmeal Cake

        • Preheat the oven to 375 (F), and prepare your baking pan by spraying liberally with cooking spray.
        • In a large bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup fine cornmeal, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, and 1 teaspoon sea salt.
        • Blend 6 tablespoons unsalted butter into the dry ingredients (from the 1st step), using either a pastry blender, a fork, or your fingertips until the mixture forms crumbs and the butter has been completely worked into the dry ingredients.
        • In a separate bowl, whisk 2 eggs and 2/3 cup whole milk together.
        • Drizzle the egg and milk mixture (from the 3rd step) on top of the flour and butter mixture (from the 1st and 2nd step), and, use a rubber spatula to fold into the batter. Continue folding only until the dry ingredients have been incorporated into the wet ingredients — the batter will look a little bit lumpy, but that's okay.
        • Use a rubber spatula to transfer the cake batter into your prepared pan. Evenly distribute the macerated berries (from the 1st recipe) on top of the cake batter. Scatter the chilled ginger crumb topping (from the 2nd recipe) on top of the macerated berries.
        • Transfer to the center of the oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the berries bubble and the cake is firm (ignore the places where the crumb has melted into the cake — it's hard to tell in those spots). Cool the cake on a wire rack for 30 minutes, before serving warm from the dish.

        Notes

        Adapted from Vintage Cakes‘ “Berry Long Cake with Ginger Crumb” Recipe