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BERRY RIPPLE TEA CAKE (KNOWN IN MY HOUSE AS THE BEST COFFEE CAKE IN 10 YEARS!) (Seriously!)

Usually, when I hear the word "coffee cake" I think of a sweet treat that is at it's best right out of the oven and it usually needs either a cup of coffee, tea or glass of milk to wash it down. Well, dear friends, this coffee cake IS the exception to that rule. My husband and I finished this cake in a single day with NO trouble (a cake this size usually lasts us three or four days). We just couldn't stop eating it!

"Three B's" blog posted this recipe a few days ago and it caught my eye (she has some great recipes). She made it with a combination of raspberries, blueberries and strawberries and her beautiful photographs encouraged me to give it a try.

I used all strawberries which added to the sweetness of this buttery cake.I sure hope you give it a try, you will NOT be disappointed. Make the fruit filling first. In a heavy bottomed sauce pan, mix:

12 ounces of frozen raspberries (I used 12 ounces of frozen strawberries that I chopped finely in my food processor).
1/4 cup granulated sugar (I used 1/3 cup)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Heat the above ingredients, over medium heat, stirring until it is thick and bubbling. Set aside while you make the batter.
Cake Batter:
2 & 1/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup COLD butter sliced in to thin pats
The directions say to use a pastry cutter, but I put the flour, sugar and butter in my food processor and pulsed until I had fine crumbs (much easier). Remove 1/2 cup of these fine crumbs and set them aside. To the remaining crumbs, add:
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 egg
3/4 cup buttermilk (no substitutions)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (my addition)
Mix the above ingredients into the four/sugar/butter crumbs and mix only until everything is good and moist (don't over-mix).
Preheat your oven to 350 and grease and flour a (2 piece) 10" round tart pan (I used Baker's Joy spray). Using your fingers, press 2/3 of the batter into the prepared tart pan, pushing the batter evenly across the bottom and one inch up the sides of the pan (flouring your finger tips helps here).
Once you have the batter spread out and pushed up on the edges, gently pour in the fruit filling and spread it around the bottom. With the remaining 1/3 of the batter, place small pieces of batter in an irregular pattern on top of the fruit (I used a one teaspoon measure to get the right size). Be very careful not to push the batter pieces down into the fruit, you want them to float on top of it as much as possible. Finally, sprinkle the reserved crumbs over everything. Bake in a 350 oven (I placed a heavy cookie sheet under my tart pan) for 30 to 35 minutes (my oven took 35 minutes). The finished cake will be golden brown and smell heavenly!! I am certain that any fruit would work with this coffee cake; the strawberry version would be hard to beat though! When the cake is done baking, place it on a cooling rack for 15 minutes before you take it out of the pan.









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