Happy Labor Day! Time to buckle down now and get back to school and serious business tomorrow, right? Somehow I think we all revert back to our younger selves, our school day calendar, and I find it’s rare that any serious business gets done in the summer, you agree? So yesterday, I made this Blueberry Buckle in honor of “buckling down.” (I couldn’t resist!)
So what exactly is a buckle, I asked and looked it up. From whatscookingamerica.net on the history of these things, they say, A buckle is a type of cake made in a single layer with berries added to the batter. It is usually made with blueberries. The topping is similar to a streusel, which gives it a buckled or crumpled appearance.
I adapted the recipe by Melissa Clark in a recent New York Times and while this is a terrific, light fruit dessert, not too sweet, just the way I like it, it did not have a streusel top. The top cracked as you can see, but no streusel crumbs. Maybe I should work on that for next time…
No matter, this is not time consuming to make, although I think mine turned out so light precisely because I did take the time to thoroughly cream the butter and sugar, while I grated the lemon zest and prepared the dry ingredients. Incidentally, one tablespoon of lemon zest is not too much – I might even add more lemon the next time as it diffuses once it bakes – you’ll use about 11/2 large lemons. And I continued to thoroughly beat the batter after adding each one of the three eggs, using speed two on my KitchenAid. When you add the dry mixture, use speed one, mixing just until no flour is visible. Fold your blueberries in by hand and you’ll be all set.
As I said, I adapted Melissa’s recipe, so there are changes. She calls for 41/2 cups of blueberries while just barely 4 cups is more than plenty in my book. I also buttered the pan and dusted it with flour to prepare it for baking. I don’t trust just using butter and there’s nothing more disappointing than to go through all this work and then have to struggle to get the beautiful dessert out of the pan, in order to make a neat presentation.
Also, I followed her instructions to serve with ice cream, but I think I would prefer creme fraiche the next time.
Hope you get a chance to make this, with LOVE, while fresh blueberries are still abundant! Enjoy!!
BLUEBERRY BUCKLE – serves 8 – adapted from Melissa Clark
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing pan
½ cup granulated sugar, more for sprinkling
¼ cup light brown sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 Tbs. finely grated lemon zest
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1¼ cups all-purpose flour plus some extra for dusting the pan
½ tsp. fine sea salt
3/4 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg – use ½ tsp. if already grated out of the jar
¼ tsp. baking powder
4 cups blueberries or a mixture of summer berries (a mix of blueberries, raspberries, blackberries or use any one kind)
Cinnamon, for dusting
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan. Dust with flour on all surfaces.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar and beat together until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, then add lemon zest and vanilla and mix until combined.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, nutmeg and baking powder, and whisk to combine. Gradually add dry ingredients to egg mixture and mix until just combined.
Gently fold blueberries into the batter by hand, then spread batter in the prepared pan and sprinkle lightly with more granulated sugar on top. Bake 40 to 50 minutes, or until top is golden and cake is cooked through. (Mine took 50 minutes.)
Allow cake to cool, then sprinkle with cinnamon and confectioners’ sugar.
Serve with vanilla ice cream or crème fraiche. LOVE!!
Melissa states that this is best eaten the same day but I had a bite this morning with my coffee after breakfast, and it was just fine!!