Secret Sauce: Huckleberry’s Pear Whole Wheat Crumb Cake

By

From Huckleberry’s pastry chef and director of bakery operations, Laurel Almerinda:

When Zoe [Nathan, owner of Huckleberry and the Rustic Canyon Family of restaurants like Birdie G’s, Cassia, Milo & Olive] and I were writing the Huckleberry cookbook, we wanted to create a variation on our old-fashioned coffee cake (which is also in the book) that incorporated a lot of different grains, as it just brings a beautiful nuttiness and depth of flavor in baked goods. This particular cake uses almond flour, whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, and some toasted wheat germ. You can also use different seasonal fruits throughout the year, like blueberries, raspberries, apricots, peaches and figs.

Huckleberry’s bakery director of operations, Laurel Almerinda // Photo by Matt Armendariz for Rustic Canyon Restaurant Group

Ingredients

Makes one 10-inch cake

TOPPING 

1⁄2 cup/110 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1⁄2 cup + 2 tbsp/55 g almond flour
1⁄4 cup + 2 tbsp/20 g rolled oats
1⁄4 cup/50 g granulated sugar
1⁄4 cup/30 g whole-wheat flour
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp wheat germ, toasted
2 tbsp brown sugar
1⁄4 tsp kosher salt
1⁄4 cup/20 g sliced almonds 

CAKE 

3⁄4 cup/170 g unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
1 cup/200 g granulated sugar
2 tbsp brown sugar
3⁄4 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
11⁄4 cups/160 g all-purpose flour
3⁄4 cup/55 g wheat germ, toasted
1⁄4 cup/25 g almond flour
3 tbsp rye flour
2 tsp baking powder
1⁄2 tsp baking soda
1 cup/240 ml whole plain yogurt
Zest of 1 orange, fruit reserved
3 pears, peeled and thickly sliced 

Instructions

  1. To make the topping: In a bowl, combine the butter, almond flour, oats, granulated sugar, whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, wheat germ, brown sugar, salt, and sliced almonds and blend with your fingertips until homogenous. Refrigerate until needed. 
  2. To make the cake: Position a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat to 350°F/180°C. Line and grease a 10-in/25-cm round cake pan or springform pan (see page 78). 
  3. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and salt on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Incorporate the vanilla and eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl well. Pause mixing and add the all-purpose flour, wheat germ, almond flour, rye flour, baking powder, baking soda, yogurt, and orange zest. Mix cautiously, just until incorporated. Do not overmix! 
  4. Scoop the batter into the prepared pan and cover evenly with the pears. Top with the crumble, allowing a little fruit to poke through. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Do not overbake! Allow to cool for about 15 minutes in the pan; then squeeze the orange over the entire cake. 
  5. Place a flat plate on top of the cake and pan. Carefully invert the cake onto the plate by flipping both upside down. Then lift the pan off the cake. Gently pull the parchment from every nook and cranny of the cake, being careful not to break the cake. Rest your serving plate on the bottom of the cake and turn the cake right-side up onto the plate. 

Note: This is best served the day it’s made but keeps, tightly wrapped, at room temperature, for up to 2 days. 

Pro Tip:

Here’s a bonus trick: Many cake batters will hold for at least a few hours, if not longer. So, for example, you can completely mix and build out the pear whole-wheat crumb cake a day ahead and hold it, wrapped well in your refrigerator. About 1.5 hours before you want to bake, take it out and leave it in a corner of your kitchen to take the chill off.  Then just throw it in the oven 1.5 hours before you want to serve dessert.

Discover More in Local Scene


Courtesy Kalimotxo

Guides

The Resy Guide to Holiday Desserts and Pastries in Austin

By