Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Blueberry and Peach Buckle

To continue my summer-fruit-related baking streak, I made this buckle recently when we had my aunt and uncle over for dinner. The dinner we had, involving ribs and succotash, was delicious (despite the recipes' dissing by a certain blog co-author) and rather rich, so a relatively light and fruity dessert was in order. Bring on the peach and blueberry buckle.
I repeat, this was what you might call a relatively light dessert. The next day I made a crumb cake with almost two sticks of butter, making this dessert, with its one stick of butter balanced out by lots of healthy fruit, seem like regular health food.
We discussed what a buckle actually is while chowing down on this one: a buckle is like an upside-down cobbler, with the cake on the bottom and the fruit on the top. Apparently the cake "buckles" under the weight of the fruit. This recipe doesn't really conform to this--the blueberries are in the batter, and the peaches are in between layers of batter. But whatever--it's really good.

Here are my peaches blanching. These were from the same batch of cling peaches, but they sliced up OK.

Simple cake batter with butter and sugar.

Doing the alternating flour and milk is easy when you use a scale. And if you're especially picky about being even, it's the only way :-).

Here's the first layer. Note that it doesn't make it all the way to the edges of the pan--it's a thick batter and not much of it. The giant blueberries also don't help in the spreading.

Here come the peaches.

There is another layer of blueberry batter under the streusel topping. And a note on the streusel: I browned the butter before adding it to the flour and sugar, and it was delicious that way. Another note: the cake sat on the counter for an hour or so before the oven was free for it, and it turned out fine, since it's a milk and baking powder cake rather than a sour cream and baking soda cake.

Slightly out of focus but completely delicious, on its own or with whipped or ice cream.

Here's the recipe as I made it. Make it now, while both fruits are in season.

Blueberry and Peach Buckle

2 oz. (1/2 stick) butter (leave the other half on the counter for the cake)
1 t. cinnamon
1/3 c. (2.3 oz.) brown sugar
1/3 c. (1.3 oz.) sifted flour (whole wheat is OK here)

Put the butter in a pot over medium-high heat. You may want to cover it if you have watery American butter, which spatters all over the place. While the butter melts, mix together the cinnamon, sugar, and flour in a small bowl. Watch the butter carefully--when it stops sizzling and foaming and starts to brown, immediately take it off the heat and pour it in the bowl with the dry ingredients. Scrape out the brown bits if they're brown and not black. Mix the streusel with a fork and set aside (chill it if you want).

2 oz. (1/2 stick) butter
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 t. vanilla
1/4 t. almond extract
2/3 c. (4.5 oz.) sugar
1 egg
2 c. (8 oz.) sifted flour (part whole wheat is OK)
1/2 c. (4 oz.) milk
3 c. (12 oz.) blueberries
3 large peaches, peeled and sliced

Heat the oven to 375; butter a 2-quart baking dish. Cream the butter with the baking powder and salt; add the vanilla and almond. Gradually beat in the sugar and beat until fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Beat in the egg. On low speed beat in the flour in three additions, alternating with the milk in two additions. Gently stir in the blueberries.
Dollop half the dough over the bottom of the baking dish and do your best to spread it out without smashing the blueberries. Layer the peaches over the batter. Then dollop the remaining batter over the peaches. Get out your streusel and sprinkle it over the cake. Admire your masterpiece.
Bake this for 35 minutes--the cake under the streusel should start to brown and a tester not stuck in a blueberry should come out clean. Serve this warm with some kind of cream, preferably outside on a lovely evening.

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