Crumb Topping Recipes

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New Beginnings Recipe

New Beginnings

05.25.12 by Jackie

2012 has definitely been a life-changing year for me. Yesterday, I underwent the Naturalization Oath Ceremony at the Heritage Theater in Campbell, California, and along with 403 other people from 63 different countries, I became a citizen of the United States of America. As I recited the Pledge of Allegiance for the first time as an American citizen, I felt very emotional. It's been a long journey. Vice Mayor of the city of Campbell, Evan Low, greeted us and made a wonderful speech. He's such a passionate and energetic citizen. He's a fourth-generation American and he talked about the wonderful opportunities this country has given his family, including the ability to contribute and engage in the community and to do his part to shape the country.

I was particularly moved by his comments on the diversity of cultures and backgrounds that we share with each other, especially here in California. It meant all the more for me, given that my baby daughter was in attendance, as I am of French-Vietnamese descent and my husband is Indian-American.

If you had asked me before, I would always have said that 2000 was the best year of my life. I was a young engineering student who found an internship in Silicon Valley for the summer and I met the love of my life. But I have to admit that this year is rising up the charts. I've watched my little girl grow up into a very entertaining six month old, I've become a U.S. citizen, and I have one more exciting announcement: I've been given the opportunity to publish my first cookbook at the end of the year! It's been a dream of mine to write a book, and it was kind of surreal when I was approached about it earlier this year.

I just finished the manuscript so I'm beyond excited to be able to share the news with you! I'm truly living my American Dream. I'd like to say a heartfelt thank you to every single one of you, my readers, for sending your lovely messages of encouragement and for being such faithful followers of my daily cooking adventures. I've been sharing my everyday life with you for the past three years, and it's given me the opportunity to cross paths with many wonderful people along the way. It's been an amazing journey. So merci!

Now back to my favorite subject, which is food! Being a freshly minted American, it just felt right to make an apple pie, though of course, with my own twist. The tart crust is made with cream cheese. The pie is covered with diced apples and pecan crumbs and to make the dessert more visually appealing, I topped it with sliced apples and brushed them with apricot preserves at the end.

And finally, since Memorial Day weekend is upon us, I'd like to take the opportunity to thank our soldiers who have fought and continue to fight for our freedoms. God Bless America!


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Apple Cake with Crumb Topping Recipe

Apple Cake with Crumb Topping

09.23.11 by Jackie

This apple cake recipe has become a standard in our house. It's probably one of the first desserts I remember baking as a kid in France. Over the years, the recipe hasn't changed one bit, with the exception of the addition of crumb topping for texture contrast.

The apples in our garden are smallish and a bit tart, which makes them better for cooking than eating. I was able to gather a basketful of the apples and put them to use in this recipe. The flesh was aromatic, crisp and firm, making them perfect for baking. Once cooked, they tasted nutty, sweet and tart. The cake is perfect for brunch as well, and as an added bonus, we ate it again the next day and it was still moist and perfect.


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Chestnut Crumb Coffee Cake Recipe

Chestnut Crumb Coffee Cake

03.07.10 by Jackie

For brunch, the girls and I made a crumb coffee cake flavored with chestnut purée, and a streusel topping made with cinnamon and brown sugar for a rich, caramel flavor. Buttermilk gives a moist texture to the coffee cake; the result was just divine. Chestnut may not be a common flavor for coffee cake, but I guarantee that after tasting it, you'll be hooked.

I served the coffee cake with a big pot of masala chai. We all enjoyed ourselves. Hope your weekend is as relaxing and peaceful as ours!


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Sweet Potato Pie with Pecan Crumb Topping Recipe

Sweet potato pie is a classic American dessert that is not overly sweet. The texture is similar to a pumpkin pie, but firmer. I jazzed mine up with a little anise extract, other flavorings and a crown of pecan crumb topping. It's a great pie for Thanksgiving, but really, you can enjoy it any time of the year.

I made this for a reader named Bill who e-mailed me a request for a sweet potato pie recipe. If you're reading Bill, I hope you like it!


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Cranberry Bars with Chestnut Spread and Crushed Pecans Recipe

As Thanksgiving approaches, I've been giving more thought to new dessert recipes to go with the traditional pecan and pumpkin pies that we make each year. I recently had an absolutely delicious lemon bar, and it occurred to me that a modified cranberry sauce would be a good substitute for the lemon curd.

I used shortbread as the cookie layer. Shortbread is very easy to make, and the buttery and crumbly texture is a nice foil to the sweet and tart flavor of the cranberries. Once the shortbread had baked, I spread a thin layer of chestnut spread over it. The chestnut spread balances the tartness of the jellied cranberries.

To make the cranberry jelly, I added guava in place of the usual orange juice to give the jelly sweetness as well as a more complex flavor. (It also reminds me of our recent anniversary trip to Cancun). Guava is not really in keeping with the season, so if you prefer, apple juice would be fine, but I think the guava has more depth. The goal is to limit the sourness of the jelly because after all, we're making a dessert.

After applying a generous layer of the cranberry spread to the bars, I finished them with a sprinkling of chopped pecans.


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