Loosen your belt for this buckle!
This week’s recipe follows, but first, some updates:
ZUCCHINI CHOWDER UPDATE - I made another batch of Zucchini Chowder. For whatever reason, the skin of the zucchini was extra tough, and even though I cooked it thoroughly, a definite skin texture remained. Such was not the case the first time I made the recipe. So, watch out for thick-skinned zucchini! But the “Big Story” is that I added lump crabmeat to the chowder, and sweet mother of Betty Crocker, it’s absolutely delicious! The crabmeat was already cooked, so I just placed some cold crab in the bottom of a bowl and ladled the piping hot chowder on top. The result was amazing! You’ve got to try it!
WEDDING UPDATE - This post is a little delayed. It was post-wedding catch-up week. I didn’t realize how much had been put on “hold” in the weeks leading up to my daughter’s wedding. She was a beautiful bride, and having the honor of not only walking your “little girl” down the aisle, but also of performing the ceremony is an incredible privilege. At the beginning of the ceremony, I announced that there would be no photography, indicating that I would give a signal when it was okay to point and shoot. My “signal” was getting my iPhone out after I offered the closing prayer and benediction in order to take the following shot from my perspective:
My daughter summed it up: “It was the best day ever!” It was a perfect day and I couldn’t be happier for Dan and Lauren. Thank you to so many of you for your well wishes, kind thoughts, and appreciated prayers!
THIS WEEK’S RECIPE – Blueberry Buckle has been a favorite in our family for many years. Of course it can be made with frozen or canned blueberries, but when fresh are available, using them is a no-brainer. Peach season is just about winding up and I took a chance by combining half of the blueberries called for in the original recipe (2 cups) and matching them with bite-size pieces from two peaches. The amount of peaches totaled slightly more than one cup. As a result, there was more moisture. This, in turn, had the effect of requiring increased baking time from the original recipe by about five minutes.
I did a little research on “buckles.” In doing so, I found a great site called “What’s Cooking America.” It gives suggestions for what to do with in-season produce. The site includes recipes, as well as the basics for preparing produce that is locally available. On a page detailing the history of cobblers, crisps, crumbles, and pandowdy, I learned that a buckle is a single layer cake with berries added to the batter. It is topped with streusel-type crumbs which give it a buckled or crumbled appearance, which is certainly true. Check out the cross section picture at the top of this post. Can’t you imagine layers of rock under the earth? Could be a science lesson!
PEACH & BLUEBERRY BUCKLE
For the batter:
½ cup butter (unsalted)
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons baking powder
2 cups sifted flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup milk
*1 cup fresh blueberries
*1 cup fresh peaches, cut into bite-size pieces (approx. 2 med. Peaches)
For the crumb topping:
¼ cups soft butter
½ cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Prepare the fruit in advance by rinsing and draining the blueberries and cutting the peaches into bite-size pieces. Don’t forget to use the sure-fire way of removing the skin from the peaches, as described in the previous Peach Cobbler post.
Sift the dry ingredients together so that they are ready in advance. In an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and beat well until light and somewhat fluffy. Blend in the egg. Add the dry ingredients, (approximately a third at a time), alternating them with the milk , beating until smooth.
Fold in the fruit. You want to add the fruit to the batter keeping as much as possible intact. This is going to be a challenge because the batter is very thick.
“Folding” means that you use a spatula to scoop under the batter and lift it up and over the fruit. Doing this several times will incorporate the fruit into the batter without smushing the fruit to smithereens. (Did you ever notice that you can’t just have one smithereen?) Check out the photos to see how it should look.
You’re going to smash a couple of berries. It just can’t be prevented, but the technique of folding will help. You’ve got to crack a few eggs to make an omelet, and you’ve go to smash a few berries to make a buckle.
Scoop the batter into a lightly greased 9”x9” baking pan or dish.
Next make the crumb topping, also in the electric mixer. If you wish, you can use a pastry blender, instead. Add all ingredients at once and mix or blend until crumbs form.
Sprinkle the batter with the crumb topping and bake at 350° for 50-60 minutes. Mine took the full 60 minutes. With most cakes a light touch that springs back indicates that it’s done. That is a challenge with a buckle, due to the crumb topping and the denser end product. I suggest using a cake tester or toothpick. When it is inserted and comes out clean, the buckle is done.
Serve it warm if you can. While I really dislike eating cold cakes, this one should be kept refrigerated due to the fruit content. It’s a moister cake as a result, which can invite spoiling. A quick trip to the microwave can reheat it.
*If you want to make a blueberry buckle, replace the peaches with a second cup of fresh blueberries. This recipe is great using other fruit, especially red raspberries.