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I have a friend, Nancy, who is a bit of a baker. In her past life, she was a cake decorator and now in her current life, she whips up yummy desserts whenever we have play dates with our kids. Even her "failures" are eaten up with an intensity that borders on embarrassing.
So, when my friend said she was going to make a blueberry buckle, I was like "Wha? Huh?" A buckle? Never heard of one. Turns out, it's sort of like a coffee cake with a crumble on top. Not at all sure why it got a name like buckle. Then again, how did an apple betty get called a betty? Why not Susy or Christine? If the kids hadn't killed off my brain cells, I'd sit and ponder that for a minute....
I turned to the buckle when I needed to make a quick dessert for a family dinner. The raves I got convinced me to keep making them. This weekend alone, I have made 2. A friend asked if the recipe was on my blog and I realized, sadly, no. So, here it is!
Base recipe from Alton John at foodnetwork.com.
The measurements might look a bit strange. The new trend in baking is to weigh your dry ingredients for more accuracy and better results. Makes sense since baking is a science and your "level cup" might be more than mine. If you have a food scale, use it (of course, zero out the container you're using). If not, don't sweat it and just use the measurement.
The main recipe calls for blueberries, but I've used whatever berries I have at the house, even frozen mixed berries. If you use frozen, make sure you drain the liquid off after they've defrosted. You can also bake with the berries frozen, but sometimes I feel the cake gets too dry. The spices can be anything like cinnamon, nutmeg or a combo. The cake flour is good because it makes a very light cake; use all purpose if you don't have any.
For the cake:
Nonstick cooking spray
9 ounces cake flour, approximately 2 cups
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature (4 tablespoons)
5 1/4 ounces sugar, approximately 3/4 cup
1 large egg
1/2 cup whole milk
15 ounces fresh whole blueberries, approximately 3 cups (or berries of your choice)
For the topping:
3 1/2 ounces sugar, approximately 1/2 cup
1 1/2 ounces cake flour, approximately 1/3 cup
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg (or cinnamon or apple pie spice or combo)
2 ounces unsalted butter, chilled and cubed (4 tablespoons)
For the cake:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Spray a 9 by 9-inch glass baking dish with nonstick spray and set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and ground ginger. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, approximately 1 minute. Add the egg and beat until well incorporated, approximately 30 seconds. 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.
For the topping:
In a small bowl combine the sugar, flour and nutmeg. Add the butter and work 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 for at least 10 minutes before serving.