Sunday, April 10, 2011

Tree Tomato Coffee Cake

Now I probably never would have even tried tree tomato (tomate de arbol) if it hadn't come in our biweekly organic basket.  So it's funny that I'm a little obsessed with it now.  I've made pies, crumbles, compote and I even tried it in a smoothie.  The smoothie was not a success; the fruit is really too bitter when it's not cooked.  I use tomate de arbol in anything that would be good with rhubarb.  Rhubarb is the fruit I miss most from Canada, which is probably why I have become so fond of this bitter, sour fruit.

Tree Tomato Coffee Cake

Butter for greasing pan
For the tree tomato filling:
6 tree tomatoes blanched and peeled*
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
For the crumbs:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter
1 1/4 cups flour
For the cake:
1/3 cup plain yogurt
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
*Tree tomato peel is extremely bitter, so you have to blanche and peel the fruit.

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease an 8-inch-square baking pan. For filling, roughly chop the fruit and toss with sugar, cornstarch and ginger. Set aside.
2. To make crumbs, in a food processor, mix sugar, spices, flour and salt; add pieces of  butter and pulse unti crumbly. This can also be done in a bowl with a pastry cutter.  Set aside.

3. To prepare cake, cream the butter and sugar; add the eggs one at a time add the vanilla. In a separate  bowl sift and mix the flour, spices, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Add half the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Mix in the yogurt and add the remaining flour mixture. Set aside about 1/2 cup of the cake batter.
4. Scrape remaining batter into prepared pan. Spoon fruit over batter. Dollop set-aside batter over fruit; it doesn't have to be even.

5. Sprinkle the crumb mixture over the cake. Bake 40-45 minutes.

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