Reward kitchen laziness with blueberry buckle
Blueberries are often touted as a health food, but I think of them more as a convenience food. No peeling or pitting is required.
If you are into pick-your-own, blueberries are one of the easiest fruits to pick. Grown on 3-foot high bushes, they require no bending to pick. To make the picking even easier, the bushes are briar-free.
Blueberries are also easy to freeze. Just spread them on a cookie sheet and pop them in the freezer. When frozen, scoop them into bags for later use. When frozen this way, you can take out as many as you need.
My family loves blueberry pie, but the warm weather makes me a little lazy, and the thought of rolling out pie crusts is not appealing. A cobbler is a possibility, but I find the blueberries get overwhelmed by the heavy biscuit topping. I want a dessert where the blueberries get top billing rather than a supporting role. Bring on the buckle.
Blueberry buckle is a dessert that lets the fruit be the star. Not as well known as its cousins, the cobblers and crisps, a buckle is more like a fruit-laden coffee cake. As the batter rises, the fruit and topping weigh it down, causing the top to buckle, hence the name.
Blueberry buckle stands fine on its own, but topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, it moves to the sublime.
For the topping
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
4 tablespoons butter, chilled and cubed
For the cake
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup whole milk
3 cups fresh blueberries
Grease and flour a 9-by-9-inch baking pan or spray with nonstick spray.
To make the topping, in a small bowl combine the sugar, flour and nutmeg. Add the butter and work into the dry ingredients, using a fork to combine. Continue until the mixture has a crumb-like texture. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and ground ginger. Set aside. In a larger bowl, using a mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until well mixed. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and beat on low speed just until incorporated, then add 1/3 of the milk and beat until incorporated. Repeat, alternating flour and milk until everything is combined. Gently fold in the blueberries and pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan. Sprinkle on the topping mixture.
Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 40 minutes or until golden in color. Cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.
— Julie Falsetti, a York native, comes from a long line of good cooks. Her column, From Scratch, runs twice monthly in The York Dispatch food section. Reach her with questions and comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.