4cupsfresh strawberries, cleaned, hulled and halved
1/4cupwhite granulated sugar
1Tablespoonfreshly squeezed lemon juice
4teaspoonscornstarch, dissolved in 4 teaspoons of water
1/2tspvanilla or vanilla bean paste
1/4cuplight brown sugar, lightly packed
2Tablespoonsunsalted butter, cold and cut into 6-8 pieces
Pinchsalt, omit if using salted butter
1cup + 2 Tablespoonsall-purpose flour
1 1/2teaspoonsbaking powder
1/2teaspoonsalt , reduce to 1/4 teaspoon if using salted butter
1/4cupunsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2cup + 2 Tablespoonswhite granulated sugar
1 1/2largeeggs, *see Note 1 below
1teaspoonvanilla or vanilla bean paste
6Tablespoonsbuttermilk, or milk
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Preheat oven to 350F (not fan-assisted).
Gather 4 large or 6 small ramekins for individual servings or alternately, an 8x8 baking glass baking pan. Grease the baking dish(es) with baking spray or butter. Set dish(es) on a baking sheet and set aside.
Prepare the strawberries: In a large bowl, combine the strawberries with the sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch slurry and vanilla. Stir together and let stand at room temperature while you proceed with the recipe.
Prepare the crumb topping: In a medium bowl, stir together the brown sugar and flour for the crumb topping. Add the pieces of cold butter and with your finger tips, rub the butter into the flour mixture until you have an even, coarse meal. Squeeze the mixture together a bit into clumps, then pop into the fridge while you make the cake batter.
Make the cake batter: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl with an electric mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the sugar and butter at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. Scrape down the bowl and re-beat briefly. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture to the batter in 3 additions, alternating with the buttermilk. Mix until smooth and well combined.
Divide the strawberries (and their liquid) between ramekins, filling about 1/2 full. Divide the batter between the ramekins and spread into an even layer. Take the crumb mixture from the fridge. Squeeze into clumps, then sprinkle over batter, while breaking up the clumps a bit, as needed.
Bake on top of a baking sheet about 35-40 minutes, or until the fruit is bubbling and the crumb topping is golden. A toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake part should come out with just a few moist crumbs attached. Transfer to a rack to cool slightly. Serve the crumb cake warm or at room temperature, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, if you like.
1. To get "1/2 an egg", break a whole egg into a small dish. Whisk together with a fork, then use 1/2 of it in the cake batter.You can double the recipe and bake in a 9x13-pan, if you like. Be sure to carefully check the centre of the large cakes for doneness and cook longer, if necessary.Above this Recipe Card, you'll find more tips for making this recipe, along with Step-by-Step photos, that you might find helpful.