Monday, July 19, 2010

{blueberry buckle}

Have you ever read Cook's Illustrated magazine? It's great. A few bucks more than your normal cooking magazine, but every recipe is tried and true, and I've never made a bad one. I have probably 15 or more of these magazines and special issues lying around my house, and I will never rip recipes out or throw them away like I do with my other ones! Well worth the extra few dollars, and they don't have advertisements in them.



Blueberry Buckle? Sort of a strange name, really, but I promise this will be the tastiest blueberry dessert that you will ever put in your mouth.
( <---Photo courtesy of Cook's Illustrated)

Blueberries have been on sale for the last few weeks for only a dollar or less per package, so I knew this would be cheap and cheerful.

Imagine a thick yellow cake with just as many sweet blueberries as there is batter, with a crunchy streusel topping. Mmmm. To let you know how good it was, we consumed it between the three of us in a matter of 2 days, save one lone piece that will probably be eaten for my breakfast tomorrow.  I used a 10" springform pan to make this, but if you have a deep round cake pan that will work too.

Blueberry Buckle
Source: Cook's Illustrated American Classics 2009

A blueberry buckle is a blueberry coffeecake with a streusel topping. The batter will be extremely thick and heavy, and some effort will be required to spread it into the prepared cake pan. This buckle is best made with fresh blueberries, not frozen ones, which are too moist. If you'd like to serve the buckle as dessert, consider a vanilla ice cream or whipped cream accompaniment (see related recipe for Cream Cheese Whipped Cream). Leftovers can be wrapped in plastic and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.
Makes one 9-inch cake, serving 8 to 10


  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (2 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch table salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick), cut into 8 pieces, softened but still cool


  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour ( 7 1/2 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/4 stick), softened but still cool
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar (about 4 3/4 ounces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs , room temperature
  • 4 cups fresh blueberries (about 20 ounces), picked over

1. For the streusel: In standing mixer fitted with flat beater, combine flour, sugars, cinnamon, and salt on low speed until well combined and no large brown sugar lumps remain, about 45 seconds. Add butter and mix on low until mixture resembles wet sand and no large butter pieces remain, about 2 1/2 minutes. Transfer streusel to small bowl and set aside.

2. For the cake: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9-inch round cake pan with 2-inch sides with nonstick cooking spray, line bottom with parchment or waxed paper round, and spray round; dust pan with flour and knock out excess.

3. Whisk flour and baking powder in small bowl to combine; set aside. In standing mixer fitted with flat beater, cream butter, sugar, salt, and lemon zest at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes; using rubber spatula, scrape down bowl. Beat in vanilla until combined, about 30 seconds. With mixer running at medium speed, add eggs one at a time; beat until partially incorporated, then scrape down bowl and continue to beat until fully incorporated (mixture will appear broken). With mixer running on low speed, gradually add flour mixture; beat until flour is almost fully incorporated, about 20 seconds. Disengage bowl from mixer; stir batter with rubber spatula, scraping bottom and sides of bowl, until no flour pockets remain and batter is homogenous; batter will be very heavy and thick. Using rubber spatula, gently fold in blueberries until evenly distributed.

4. Transfer batter to prepared pan; with rubber spatula, using a pushing motion, spread batter evenly to pan edges and smooth surface. Squeeze handful of streusel in hand to form large cohesive clump; break up clump with fingers and sprinkle streusel evenly over batter. Repeat with remaining streusel. Bake until deep golden brown and toothpick or wooden skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Cool on wire rack 15 to 20 minutes (cake will fall slightly as it cools).

5. Run paring knife around sides of cake to loosen. Place upside-down plate (do not use plate or platter on which you plan to serve the cake) on top of cake pan; invert cake to remove from pan, lift off cake pan, then peel off and discard parchment. Re-invert cake onto serving platter. Cool until just warm or to room temperature, at least 1 hour. Cut into wedges and serve.  

PS. We did not wait an hour to eat it. How could you?? 

Edited to add this:

Cream Cheese Whipped Cream

A dollop of this can raise blueberry buckle to dessert status.

  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup confectioners sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup heavy cream

In mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whisk cream cheese, sugar and salt together until light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes. Add vanilla and beat until combined. With machine running at low speed, add heavy cream in a slow steady stream ; when almost fully combined, increase speed to medium high and beat until soft peaks form, about 1-2 minutes.

Makes about 2 cups.

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