Something about ripe summer fruit brings out the old-fashioned baker in me. I reach for recipes for all manner of cobblers, crisps, crumbles, grunts, betties, muffins, and pies. And I’m not the only one. On Father’s Day, my daughter offered (or did my husband request?) a homemade blueberry buckle.
This one comes from the superb Jim Fobel’s Old-Fashioned Baking Book. A similar recipe is in Marcia Adams’ equally inspiring Cooking From Quilt Country. She calls it Blueberry Cake with Streusel Topping. That turns out to be a fine description for the Buckle: a moist coffee cake with a crunchy crumb topping.
For the topping:
1/3 c. all-purpose flour
1/3 c. packed light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
4 Tbsp. (1/2 stick) butter, chilled, unsalted, sliced
For the batter:
6 Tbsp. (3/4 stick) butter, softened
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. sour cream
1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
pinch of salt
1 1/2 c. fresh blueberries, rinsed and dried
Position rack in center of oven. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter an 8-inch pan.
Prepare the topping: In a small bowl, combine flour, brown sugar and cinnamon. With a pastry blender, cut in the butter to resemble coarse crumbs.
Prepare the batter: In a large bowl, beat the butter until creamy. Gradually beat in the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until smooth, then beat in the sour cream.
In a medium sized bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt to evenly blend.
Quickly stir the dry ingredients into the butter mixture just to moisten: the batter will be thick and lumpy.
If you are inspired to do a batter dance around the house or yard, this would be the time.
Gently fold in the blueberries and turn into the prepared pan.
Crumble the reserved topping over the batter.
Bake 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the cake portion emerges clean. Cool on a rack for 15-20 minutes. Slice to serve. (9 squares makes healthy portions.)
Yum! Thank you Jim Fobel, and the roadside stand in Maine, where we first had a buckle and decided we liked them.
Photos by Susan Sachs Lipman
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