Sunday, September 6, 2009
Joy in Repitition: The Amazing Three Layer Blueberry Buckle
"How BORING," I hear you thinking, "no wonder you're in a cooking slump."
But, I promise you, it's not true. Although I've made this recipe (at least once each summer since 2004... ever since I spied it in Gourmet Magazine), it's definitely not ordinary. And certainly not boring. I've made it so many times that it feels like my own; my experimental modifications have become the norm. And people have begun to make requests that I bring this buckle (er... Burple??) to mid-summer functions.
This year's buckle was one of the best yet. And it had everything to do with the quality of the blueberries. Although they're the last of the season (and more regional than local -- hailing from MI), these berries tasted like I'd picked them myself. Unlike most commercial varieties, they were tiny. And sweet. And they held the Very Essence of blueberry-ness. Just like the wild blueberries I remember picking with my parents when we stayed at my great grandparents' cabin way up north when I was a kid.
What I will confess to you is that this is NOT a quick recipe. The buckle has three layers -- a pastry crust, a cakey layer (surrounded by two layers of blueberries), and a streusel topping. There is a deadly amount of butter, a copious amount of pastry blending, and a whole lot of "make this and refrigerate it for a while" instructions. But, it's seriously good.
You start off with the pastry crust. Roll it thin between two pieces of waxed paper.
You place the finished crust into your baking dish and put it in the fridge for a while (I warned you). Fortunately, you can occupy yourself with other parts of the recipe while it's chilling.
You can wash your blueberries. And zest a lemon.
And make the streusel topping.
And whip together the eggs, buttermilk, flour, and butter the compose the cakey layer.
Then you can begin to layer the ingredients in the baking pan -- first the blueberries, which have been mixed with the lemon zest.
Then the cake batter.
After that, another layer of blueberries.
Finally, you can add your streusel topping. The original recipe makes more than I need, but I happily make the entire batch and stow some of it away (in the fridge or freezer) for use on some other impromptu fruit cobbler.
The baked cobbler browns up nicely. The edges bubble, and the topping gets a sugar-topped --almost creme-brulee-like--crunch.
A bit of the buckle would be just fine scooped out, warm, onto a plate.
But, it's definitely better with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Triple Layer Blueberry Buckle
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