Wednesday

Blueberry Buckle

Blueberry Buckle

My dad called me last weekend with a fabulous invitation: "The blueberries are in; do you want to come pick them today?" You see I had been waiting, maybe not so patiently, for that phone call. And I'm sure he had been ready to call me so I'd quit bugging him. But all I had been hearing was "Not sure we're going to get any berries this year. All these storms have beat the blossoms to death." But the berries did survive, and now we're eating them by the handfuls. And we're washing and freezing them by the cup-fulls.

Blueberry Buckle

One of us can't get enough blueberries and have eaten them at every meal. And one of us ate them right off the vine, too, to the point that our mama wondered if a tummyache would follow. It didn't. So one of us ate more blueberries for breakfast the next morning while we watched Sesame Street. (I'll just let you guess who that little somebody is.)

Blueberry Buckle

I have always wanted to make a blueberry buckle because I just think the name is so cute. While that's not usually a guideline for most people when they're choosing recipes I happen to be a sucker for a cutesy, clever or intriguing title. I mean, just look around here and you'll see what I mean: whoopie pies, mud hens, popovers and Santa buttons. How could you not bake those goodies? And blueberry buckle belongs right in there with them. Before I made it I thought that perhaps it's called a buckle because it's just so good it makes you weak in the knees. But it's actually called a buckle because while it bakes the baking powder makes the cake rise, which makes the blueberries and streusel fall, creating a buckled look on top. That's right. I said cake and streusel. My friends, a buckle is what most of us call coffeecake.

Whatever you call it, it's good eating. Blueberry buckle is good for breakfast, it's good for a snack, and it's good for dessert. And it's a great way to use up fresh blueberries - if you haven't already eaten them plain. And if you have eaten them all? Get to pickin'! The season isn't over yet.

Blueberry Buckle

Blueberry Buckle
Adapted from Allrecipes
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This is not a super-sweet cake, which makes it perfect alongside the obligatory cup of coffee. I think it would be made even better with pecans in the streusel, which I didn't use but will next time I make it. (The recipe reflects this addition.) I also think the blueberries could easily be switched out with fresh raspberries, fresh sour cherries or fresh, chopped peaches.

Ingredients for cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup milk
2 cups fresh blueberries

Ingredients for streusel
1/4 cup cold, unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup pecans, chopped

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375. Prepare an 8-inch, square baking pan.
2. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl mix butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about three minutes. Add egg and vanilla and mix well. And flour to sugar mixture, alternating with milk. Gently fold in berries, and spread batter in prepared pan.
4. Make streusel: Combine butter, sugars, cinnamon, flour and pecans in a small bowl. Using a pastry blender, mix until ingredients resemble coarse meal. Sprinkle it over the cake batter.
5. Bake 50 minutes then check to see if cake is done. If it is a cake tester inserted in the center will come out clean. If it needs more baking time, check on it again after five more minutes. Serve warm, and with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream, if desired.