Due to their intense color, balanced flavor and unique texture, blueberries are my favorite fruit for baking and when it comes to baking you can’t beat a buckle. If you look “buckle” up in a decent dictionary, right after the bit about the thing at the end of a belt, you’ll see the verb form: “to bend, warp, bulge or collapse.” Read on and you may find: “an early American form of coffee cake, usually baked with fresh fruit.” Although I may be a loyal cobbler fan, I think it’s high time Americans rediscover the art of the buckle.
FOR THE TOPPING
- 3 1/2 ounces sugar
- 1 1/2 ounces cake flour
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (freshly grated)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (cubed and chilled)
FOR THE CAKE
- 9 ounces cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (left at room temperature for 30 minutes (or until instant-read thermometer stuck into the middle reads about 60 degrees F))
- 5 1/4 ounces sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 15 ounces fresh blueberries
MAKE THE TOPPING
- Combine the sugar, flour and nutmeg in a small bowl then work in the butter, using a fork to combine. Keep “forking” until the mixture has a crumb-like texture. Set aside. (Note: If you have a pastry cutter, now’s the time to use it.)
MAKE THE CAKE
- Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch square GLASS baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt and ginger together in a medium bowl and set aside.
- Beat together the butter and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed until light and fluffy, approximately 1 minute. Reduce the speed a bit and thoroughly incorporate the egg. Reduce the speed to low (or “stir” on a Kitchenaid) and add one-third of the flour mixture. Once incorporated, add one-third of the milk then repeat alternating until all ingredients are combined.
- Gently stir in the blueberries and pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle on the topping mixture.
- Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 45 minutes, or until golden. Cool for 30 minutes before serving.
Makes: 1 (9-inch) Cake