Occasionally, with a sudden surplus of extra energy which magically appears out of the ether, I’ve been known to whip up a mid-week home baked dessert with Caleb and Sadie. On Monday night, after taking the day for myself, I had some of that hard-to-come-by reserve and with it we made blueberry and nectarine buckle.
This dessert is quintessentially summertime. Served warm out of the oven with vanilla bean ice cream à la mode, it’s that old-fashioned, this is what your grandma used to bake anecdote to the mid-week rut we all get stuck in. The buckle was also easy to assemble as most of the ingredients were already in my pantry.
The results are summery and sublime, warm and nurturing, and extremely gratifying. Caleb and Sadie literally licked their bowls clean and we had enough leftovers to supply us with warm dessert for three more evenings. If my assistant pastry chefs could help me get this in the oven just as we were starting our dinner preparations, then you can do it too.
For the topping:
- 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
For the batter:
- 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups blueberries, picked over and rinsed (we added raspberries)
- 2 nectarines, pitted and cut into 1-inch wedges (you can substitute peaches)
- whipped cream or ice cream as an accompaniment
Make the topping: In a small bowl blend together the butter, the sugar, the flour, the cinnamon, and the nutmeg until the mixture resembles coarse meal and chill the topping while making the batter.
Make the batter: In a small bowl with an electric mixer cream together the butter and the sugar and beat in the vanilla. In a small bowl stir together the baking powder, the flour, and the salt, beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture alternately with the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, and fold in the blueberries and the nectarines.
Spread the batter in a well-buttered 10-by 2-inch round cake pan or 2-quart baking pan, sprinkle the topping evenly over it and bake the buckle in the middle of a preheated 350°F. oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean and the topping is crisp and golden. Serve the buckle with whipped cream.