Monday, December 14, 2009

Jammy apricot crumb cake

A week or two ago, I was running some errands in Noe Valley and noticed that the old pizza place we liked when we lived there was gone. Not only was it gone, but a Boulange de Noe had popped up in its place. 

I was sad about the pizza place, but I do like these boulangeries that dot the city. There's one in my neighborhood, Cole Valley, as well as one on Hayes and one on Fillmore, and I think a few others as well.

I happened to need some bread so stopped to pick up a quarter loaf of their multigrain levain, which makes excellent toast. The bakery had the happy hum of people at ease on Saturday morning: couples enjoying the newspaper with big bowls of cafe latte, mothers buttering rolls for children, and people like me, spontaneously picking up something delicious to bring back home.

The line was long, and while I waited I admired the lovely pastries and breads. When I got up to the register with my levain, I noticed little jars of brightly-hued homemade preserves. There was mission fig, raspberry, and apricot. On an impulse, I decided to buy the apricot. It looked cheery and rustic in its little jar.

I ate it on toast a few times, enjoying the tangy sweetness. Then, yesterday morning, a rainy Sunday, I decided to use it in this simple crumb cake I'd made once before with raspberry preserves.


I'm not sure whether I prefer apricots over raspberries, or, more likely, that the quality of the boulangerie's apricot jam was superior to the raspberry jam from Trader Joe's. All I know is that this cake was light and tender and not overly sweet, with a perfect jammy layer of apricots nestled under a cinnamon and brown sugar crumble.


The husband and I inhaled two rather large pieces, warm from the oven, without uttering a word.


This is a great recipe to keep on hand. You could use any kind of preserves or jam, and the batter is incredibly simple to throw together. No need to have softened butter ready or to pull out the hand mixer: this one comes together with a whisk and a spoon. Perfect for a lazy Sunday morning.

15 comments:

  1. Looks delicious. I have a habit of buying apricot jam, but I never do anything special with it. This looks like my chance.

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  2. Yum, warm crumb cake right out of the oven on a rainy day sounds so perfect. But with my cholesterol, I couldn't do it that often. Do you know if there's a recipe that just makes one single slice?

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  3. Oh my, that looks wicked good. I love crumb cake. I love it even more than most cakes. I have several bottles of homemade jam sitting in my cabinet...

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  4. I love apricots but might have been tempted to try the mission fig preserves on that lovely bread- wish we had someplace nearby that had a wonderful grain bread.

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  5. Yum. I think I will make this on Christmas morning!

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  6. Oooh, another fab bakery to check out in the City. YUM!

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  7. That looks so good, no wonder you guys inhaled it. Don't think I've ever made a crumb cake, sounds excellent, that's gone on the "to-bake" list :)

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  8. i'm a crumb cake FIEND, but i've never really like apricot. i love its color, though, and it makes for a beautiful breakfast treat. perhaps with some raspberry preserves swirled in it'd taste even better to me and be even more lovely!

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  9. Thansk, y'all! I think this would be good with any kind of jam or preserves--Grace, raspberry is definitely a good idea. It's very versatile.

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  10. That is a great crumb cake! Thanks for sharing :)

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  11. This looks perfect for a weekend dinner. I have some apricot jam I made last summer when the apricots were in. This would be the perfect thing to use it for.

    I love your description of the boulangerie on Saturday morning. I LOVELOVELOVE Saturdays!

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  12. Wow this one looks so great! I bookmarked the recipe, I have to try this! ;)

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  13. Karine: you should try it!

    Kate: Aren't Saturdays the best? That is the most relaxed time of the week.

    Chocolaty Lifestyle: I hope you try it! And thank you for visiting, I look forward to checking out your blog as well.

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  14. Excuse me, but I'd eat that whole dang thing. No sharing (belch).

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  15. This blog is wonderful and interesting, i really enjoyed reading!!! i must to say the apricot is delicious and contain many vitamin. That is why i prefer to eat it frequently. Actually when i bought my house through
    costa rica homes for sale i didn´t see an apricot tree. Now i am really happy.

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