It amazes me how something neither myself nor most of my friends had heard of could so quickly become a most requested recipe. Until a few weeks ago a buckle was known as something belonging on a belt or a cool pair of boots, certainly not something to eat, which was why the first time I announced I was going to make it the common response was “what’s a buckle?”
It turns out a buckle is essentially a fruity coffee cake that gets its name because the top “buckles” as it bakes. But seriously, this buckle is so much better than any coffee cake I’d ever eaten. First of all, it’s extremely light and fluffy, not to mention moist. The crispy crumb topping adds a perfect touch of sugary goodness, and the peaches and blueberries throughout make you think you’re eating something healthy.
In fact, as far as baked desserts go, this one is relatively healthy. The total amount of butter is just a bit more than one stick and I like to tell myself that the fruit cancels out all the sugar.
As for feedback, this buckle was such a huge hit at the first dinner I brought it to that it was demanded for an overnight hiking trip just two weeks later where it was eaten as both dessert and breakfast. Sadly, I used up the last of my peaches on the second buckle so there won’t be another one this year, but the results were so worth it.
Here’s the recipe:
White Peach & Blueberry Buckle – makes 16 servings
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch ground nutmeg
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup milk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 white peaches, peeled, pitted and thinly sliced
1 cup blueberries
3/4 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons butter, softened
Preheat the oven to 375°F and coat an 8-inch by 8-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
Beat the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for 1 minute. Add the sugar and beat on high for 2 minutes, then add the egg and beat until well-combined. Use a rubber spatula to wipe down the sides of the bowl to ensure all the ingredients have been mixed well.
In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and ginger. Also combine the milk and vanilla in a liquid measuring cup. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter and beat until just combined, then add 1/3 of the milk. Continue alternating the flour and milk two more times until all have been incorporated. Be careful not to over mix; the batter will be very sticky.
Spread half of the batter evenly in the prepared pan and arrange the peach slices in an even layer over the batter.
Fold the blueberries into the remaining batter in the mixing bowl, then spread the batter over the peaches.
Prepare the topping by mixing all the ingredients together with your fingers until small crumbs form. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the cake.
Bake at 375°F for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean with just a few moist crumbs clinging to it. Cool to room temperature and serve.