Blueberry-Nectarine Buckle

By Katherine

It is once again my favorite time of the year at the market: stone fruit and berry season! Even though it's still early, I went a little overboard at the store last week because I was so excited to see these old favorites back again, and I came home with cherries, nectarines, blueberries, and pluots. I have been enjoying snacking on them on their own, but this weekend I got a bit of a baking bug. I remembered a recipe for blueberry buckle that I hadn't made in a long time and decided to revisit it. 

The finished buckle

The finished buckle

Have you ever had a buckle? It comes from the same family as fruit crisps and cobblers, but it is a simple cake with fruit and a streusel topping. I was first introduced to it years ago, when my sisters and I were visiting our friends the Berkeleys at their vacation home in the Poconos. We picked bucketfuls of wild blueberries that weekend and made a buckle with them. I managed to write down the ingredient list for the recipe we used back then, and a baking temperature and time, but in recreating it, I had to guess at the rest of the instructions. Nonetheless, the buckle turned out delicious. The original recipe called solely for blueberries (2 pints), and I didn't have enough so I decided to supplement with nectarines. Also the original recipe listed a bake time of 40 minutes, and mine took much longer than that (and my square pan was full to the brim) - I think you could bake this in a larger pan to reduce the baking time. 

Blueberry-Nectarine Buckle

For the cake:

½ cup butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 ½ cups flour

3 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

2/3 cup milk

2 tsp. vanilla

1 pint blueberries

2 nectarines, chopped

For the streusel:

½ cup sugar

1/3 cup flour

1 tsp. cinnamon

6 tblsp. butter, cold, cut into bits

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a square baking dish (I used an 8x8 glass one). Make the cake batter: using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar, then add the eggs. In a separate bowl, sift (or whisk) together the flour, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk. Once combined, fold in the blueberries and nectarines by hand. Pour the batter into the baking dish. 

Buckle batter

Buckle batter

Next, make the streusel. In a bowl (pro tip: use the same bowl you used for mixing the flour to cut down on dishes), combine the sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Cut the cold butter into the mixture using a pastry blender, two knives, or your fingers. You want the mixture to look like small pebbles. Sprinkle the streusel over the cake batter.

Streusel in place and ready for the oven

Streusel in place and ready for the oven

Bake the buckle for approximately 1 hour, until a cake tester comes out clean. Serve warm or at room temperature, with some ice cream on the side if you're so inclined!