Happy Endings

The next time you are meeting someone for coffee or tea and they offer some buckle, don't fear the belt! Instead, find yourself a napkin and get ready for a sweet treat. Buckle refers to a dessert which combines a cake batter base, a fruity layer, and a streusel topping. The result is a rich, dense cake with a moist crumb which is sometimes compared to coffee cake.

The base of buckle is a rich cake batter, which is sprinkled with fruit, traditionally blueberries but it's equally delicious with raspberries, peaches, cherries and/or many other options. Some cooks prefer to split their batter, layering half in the bottom of the pan and mixing the other half with the fruit before pouring it in. The fruit is then topped with a streusel mixture. During the baking process, the cake batter rises up around the fruit, encasing the fruit in batter and causing the streusel to buckle, creating a distinctive crinkly appearance and giving the dessert its name. It seems only appropriate to introduce you to the most traditional form of the buckle this month: the blueberry buckle.

As always, I encourage you to share your recipe ideas and comments. You can always post comments using the forms provided in the articles or email me directly at . Enjoy!

Blueberry Buckle

Batter layer:

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup milk

Fruit layer:

  • 3 cups fresh or frozen whole blueberries

Streusel layer:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup butter, chilled and cubed

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Spray a 9 by 9-inch glass baking dish with the nonstick spray and set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and ground ginger. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, approximately 1 minute. Add the egg and beat until well incorporated. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and beat on low speed just until incorporated and then add 1/3 of the milk and beat until incorporated. Repeat, alternating flour and milk until everything has combined. Gently stir in the blueberries and pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.

In a small bowl, combine the sugar, flour and nutmeg. Add the butter and work it into the dry ingredients using a fork to combine. Continue until the mixture has a crumb-like texture. Sprinkle the mixture on top of the cake. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 35 minutes or until golden in color. Cool the buckle for at least 10 minutes before serving.

  • Yields: 9 servings
  • Preparation Time: 45 minutes

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