Monday, August 16, 2010

Something Blue

I could go into some heady discussion about the history of blueberries, how they are native to North American and they have been a part of the culinary landscape here for centuries. That would only detract from the purpose of this article, which is to rave about this deliciously spectacular orb and the magnificent Blueberry Buckle. Many years ago while reading a science fiction novel’s description of some blue food the characters were eating I wondered what it would be like to eat something blue. Then it hit me! We have the blueberry! How could I have forgotten?! (Obviously, not one of my finer moments.)

Over the years I’ve made a myriad of blueberry baked goods. When I was baking professionally, the list was quite extensive, now I make what we like, which tends to be the tried and true old-fashioned favorites. One of these is Blueberry Buckle. This deliciously moist buttery cake dense with blueberries hails back to Colonial days. The blueberry part of the name is obvious. The buckle part of the name refers to the top of the cake, which “buckles” or “warps” during baking. This recipe need not be limited to blueberries—diced peaches, sliced strawberries, raspberries, halved cherries all work well, too.

Blueberry Buckle
1/3 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
4 oz. unsalted butter, softened
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
¾ c. brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
½ c. milk
4 oz. unsalted butter, softened
2 c. fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a round 9” baking pan. Line bottom only with parchment paper. Grease the parchment paper and dust the entire pan with flour, tap out excess flour.

Measure the topping ingredients into a small bowl. Using your fingers, blend the mixture completely. Set aside. Measure the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Stir to combine and set aside. Combine the milk and the vanilla and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl beat the brown sugar and butter until creamed. Add the egg and beat until blended.  Add the flour and milk alternately, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix only until blended. Fold in the blueberries. Scrape into the
prepared pan.

Sprinkle on the topping. Bake for 45 minutes or until done. The edges should be browned and slightly pulling away from the pan. Remove Buckle to a wire rack. Cool for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the pan. Place a second wire wrack over the top of the cake. Turn the cake upside down onto the second rack. Remove the pan, peel off the parchment from the Buckle’s bottom. Place a cooling rack over the bottom of the Buckle and gently flip it top side up. Cool completely or serve warm.

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