One, Two, Buckle My Berry
Most Americans are familiar with cobbler or crisp, which come from a lexicon of classic American desserts featuring baked fruit. The difference between the two is all in the topping - crisp is 'crispier' with butter, brown sugar and sometimes rolled oats; cobbler is often crowned with biscuits.
But a buckle -- what the heck is that? I like to think of it as a trifecta -- part fruit, part topping, with an extra bonus component of cake. I am beginning to think that the buckle is far superior to the cobbler, although my opinion may sway, depending on the fruit being used. As many of you know, there's nothing quite like a peach cobbler, but I'm thinking that berries are best in a buckle.
In the recipe below, blueberries are the star, but raspberries, blackberries and strawberries would also work beautifully. Here's the lowdown: A greased baking dish gets lined with a simple vanilla-y batter (sugar, butter, egg, vanilla, milk, flour). Fruit goes on top, then gets the final touch of a sugary 'crumb topping.'
What happens is that as batter rises, the sandwiched fruit does too, and kind of 'buckles' in the process, giving it a dimply appearance. Cut into squares and serve with a smidge of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
Don't expect leftovers - this one's sublime.
"Mama's Blueberry Buckle"
Adapted from "Recipes From a Very Small Island" by Linda Greenlaw and Martha Greenlaw
¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
½ cup sugar
1 large egg
¾ cup all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla (Not in original recipe, but spritzes up flavor of batter)
2 cups blueberries (1 pint)
½ cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into dice
Preheat oven to 350. Butter an 8-inch square baking dish.
In the bowl of a electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and mix until combined.
In a small bowl, sift or whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Add dry ingredients to the batter, alternating with the milk, mixing until smooth and blended.
Scrape batter into prepared pan and spread with a rubber spatula so that it evenly covers the pan. Sprinkle berries over batter.
To make topping, whisk together sugar, flour and cinnamon in a small bowl. Add butter and work with a fork or your fingers until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle topping over blueberries. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until berries are bubbling and topping is golden brown.
Let cool slightly and serve warm or at room temperature.
Serves about 6 buckle fiends.
Have more to dish? Questions? Contributions? Join today's What's Cooking discussion at noon.
See you then.
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