Recipe: Black & Blue Buckle

From 'Farmers' Market Desserts'

Farmers' Market Desserts
Farmers' Market Desserts
by Jennie Schacht
Paperback, 208 pages
Chronicle Books
List price: $24.95

Makes 9 servings

You'll end up black and blue fighting over this delicious concoction! In the lexicon of old-fashioned fruit desserts, the buckle is the one with a crumb topping over fresh fruit supported by a thin layer of cake. As it bakes, the berries bubble up and the topping quakes, creating a buckled appearance.

The dessert is best served warm the day it is baked, but I would never turn down a slice for breakfast the next morning, either cold from the fridge or warm, with a little milk or cream. The topping can be made and refrigerated, tightly covered, for up to 2 days ahead.

Season to Taste: Substitute any ripe berries or combination of berries for the blueberries and blackberries.

Topping

1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup gently packed light or dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into 4 pieces
1/4 cup pecans or almonds, toasted and chopped medium-fine

Filling

1 1/2 cups blueberries
1 1/2 cups blackberries
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Cake

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk

Heavy cream, cold; lightly sweetened, softly whipped cream; or ice cream, for serving (optional)

1. To make the topping, stir together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl. Scatter the butter over the top. Using a pastry cutter, two knives, or your fingertips, cut in the butter until it is in small pieces. (Alternatively, pulse the topping ingredients in a food processor until the butter is in small pieces.) Stir in the pecans.

2. To make the filling, toss the berries with the sugar, lemon zest, salt, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.

3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, with a rack in the lower third. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan.

4. To make the cake, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.

5. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a handheld mixer), beat together the butter and sugar, first on low speed and then increasing to medium speed as the ingredients come together, until light and creamy, about 5 minutes. Mix in the egg and vanilla. Stop and scrape down the bowl as needed. On low speed, add half of the flour mixture, then all of the milk, and then the remaining flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition. Stop to scrape down the bowl after each addition.

6. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Scatter the berry filling evenly over the batter. Distribute the topping evenly over the blueberries, squeezing it in your hands to make some small clumps as you go.

7. Bake until the topping is golden and a toothpick inserted near the center (avoiding the berries) tests clean, 50 to 55 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes before serving.

8. Serve warm or at room temperature, cut into squares. Pass a pitcher of cold cream at the table, or top with whipped cream or ice cream just before serving, if desired.

Excerpted from Farmers' Market Desserts by Jennie Schacht. Copyright 2010. Reprinted by permission of Chronicle Books.

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