18 November 2009

Blueberry Peach Buckle

I am reading Jodi Picoult's Handle With Care. It's about a pastry chef who had to quit her job when her second daughter was born with osteogenesis imperfecta (brittle bone disease). She sues her OB/GYN (who just so happens to also be her best friend) for wrongful birth, claiming that had she been properly warned about the disease she would have terminated the pregnancy. Now, before you judge, she is only doing it so that she can afford to take proper care of her daughter, whose medical bills are off the charts. ANYWAY, there are recipes interspersed throughout the book, which is written as a series of letters to the young daughter with OI. One of the recipes is Blueberry Peach Buckle. Alton Brown says that a buckle is a type of cobbler, but is is more cake than biscuit. The book describes is as "cake made in one layer with berries in the batter." Is Alton ever wrong? :) I thought it would be fun to try out at least one of the recipes and boy am I glad I did! Incredible dessert. When I make it again (and I will) I will cut down on the butter in the topping. Other than that, perfect. And the book itself is really good, too!

You will need:

1/3 cup butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp cinnamon (I used two)
1 tsp fresh ginger (I did not use ginger at all)
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 large eggs
2-3 cups wild blueberries (frozen fine)
2 ripe peaches (frozen fine)

I chose this recipe because I knew I had a half-bag each of peaches and blueberries in my chest freezer that I needed to use up or throw away. I don't know how much was left in each bag, but it looked to be a little more than a cup of peaches and 2 cups of berries.

Grease an 8-inch baking dish and preheat your oven to 350.

The recipe does not specify at what temperature the topping butter should be, but it should be cold. By the time I took a picture of my butter it was soft and I should have gotten another stick because you are supposed to mix the topping ingredients until you get a "coarse meal." I just got mush because it was 82 in my house today. I stuck it in the fridge while I made the cake. I would suggest using closer to 1/4 cup of butter instead of 1/3 because, well you'll see.

To make the batter, you'll need a mixer. Cream together the sugar and butter for 3 minutes.

Then add the vanilla and the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Then the book/recipe gets fuzzy because it doesn't mention when to add the flour, but...now is good. I added it (with the baking powder and salt mixed in) in 1/2 cup increments, beating slightly after each 1/2 cup.

Then fold in the peaches and berries. Don't mix too much or you'll wind up with purple cake. Then again, purple cake is good!

Spread batter into your greased pan.

The book/recipe suggest baking for 45 minutes and it really does take that long. The center of mine was still a bit underdone when I took it out, but I didn't want the sides to dry out. I think it didn't bake in the middle because of the frozen berries. But the middle tasted heavenly! :)

See, that's why I suggest less butter in the topping. I used a spoon to get that excess butter off the top. No big deal, but I'll decrease the butter next time.

The cake part is delicious vanilla cake and the berries are out of this world good. Everything is sweet, but not too sweet. And I was worried about it being too sweet because of all the brown sugar. We ate it without whipped cream or ice cream and I recommend it plain. It does not need a darn thing added to it.

Absolutely perfect!


my recipe card:

Blueberry Peach Buckle

See Blueberry Peach Buckle on Key Ingredient.


Steph said...

I love those shots of the creamy batter! They're my favourite.

Sunshine Mom said...

me, too!

MrsLavendula said...

looks delicious!

PMP said...

I love how Jodi Picoult is able to present all sides of a story. Nothing is ever at it seems, nor is it ever simple. I guess people who see things in black and white have trouble with her ;) I really want to read the book!
I helped a friend make a plum buckle once and I thought it was called a buckle because we pushed the plums in the batter once it was already in the pan, making the batter buckle. I guess I was wrong. This looks super good!

Blackswan said...

Looks so delicious! May I have some pls??

Jessie said...

that last photo is just delicious! I just want to take a bite out of that!

Sunshine Mom said...

thank you all!! I finished the book and was so disappointed in the ending. I would still recommend the book, would just caution not to read the last chapter. :) :)

Jen said...

we have those same blue bowls!

these are beautiful, my mouth is watering!