Monday, June 29, 2015

cherry and blueberry buckle.

When we were in the depths of winter,  I went through the archives of my favorite food blogs (and some new ones) bookmarking recipes for when summer finally showed up.  There were recipes for roasted tomato tarts and grilled potatoes with mustardy vinaigrette.   There were minty sugar snap pea salads and fruit-filled cakes galore. 

So many fruit cakes.

As evidenced by the current state of refrigerator, I get a little trigger happy around farmers markets this time of year.  It's hard to walk past rows upon rows of cherries and blueberries and raspberries and not immediately gather up as much fruit as your arms can carry.  Our freezer is already bursting with rhubarb and strawberries. Our fridge is no better.  And while I've been doing my part to consume it as fast as I purchase it, there are only so many bowls of raspberries I can eat stirred into yogurt and drizzle with maple syrup.  

This is where a good buckle recipe comes in.

My love affair with fruit-filled strussel topped rustic cakes that can be severed with a dusting of powdered sugar or a spoonful of vanilla ice cream knows no bounds.  Actually, I find it to be growing exponentially.  This cake is my new favorite version (and will probably be included in my 4th of July menu).  Bake it as soon as you can.  Studded with fruit that bakes down into pockets of jammey summer wonderfulness it's positively addicting especially when paired with a crunchy, spiced, and subtly sweet strussel topping.  You'll be the hero at your next BBQ if you bring this.     

Cherry and Blueberry Buckle
Recipe from Bon Appetit and Seven Spoons

Once again the baking time on this recipe seemed exceptionally long.  Original recipe called for 75-90 minutes of baking.  I baked in what I think was a 9 inch pan and for about 60 minutes.  In an 8 inch pan it may require the longer time.  I would start checking it at 45 minutes.   

Feel free to use all blueberries or all cherries if you choose.  Though I find the cherry/blueberry combo to be brilliant that is until I get my hands on wild Maine blueberries and then all bets are off.   

For the Topping

½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
¼ cup (32 g) all-purpose flour (I swapped this for graham flour because I had some on hand)
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ cup (57 g) unsalted butter, cold and diced

For the Cake

¼ cup (57 g) unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
1 ½ cups (191 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt 
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
½ teaspoon ground ginger (optional)
¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar
1 egg, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or seeds scraped from a vanilla bean
¼ teaspoon almond extract
½ cup (120 ml) heavy cream
10 ounces (283 g) pitted cherries; a mix of tart and sweet is wonderful but just sweet would work
6 ounces (170 g) blueberries, fresh or defrosted

Start with the topping. Whisk sugar, flour, and spices in a medium bowl. Tumble in the butter cubes and rub between your fingers until the mixture is evenly damp and coming together in clumps. Set aside.

For the cake, preheat an oven to 350°F / 175°C. Grease an 8 or 9-inch springform or removable bottom pan. Line the base of the pan with parchment, then grease the parchment. Dust the pan with flour, and tap out the excess.
Whisk the 1 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. 

In another medium bowl, beat the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer on high speed until light and fluffy, around 5 minutes. Add the egg, vanilla, and almond extract and beat to combine, 2 minutes. Turn the speed down to low and gradually add the dry ingredients, stirring until mostly incorporated. Pour in the cream and stir until smooth. With a spatula, fold in the cherries and blueberries. The batter will be quite thick, and may not fold easily; as long as the fruit is somewhat stuck into the batter, all will be fine. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, and smooth the top. Place tin on a rimmed baking sheet, then sprinkle the topping over the batter in an even layer.

Bake in the hot oven until the buckle is golden brown and a cake tester poked into the center comes out clean, 50-80 minutes (see note above). Transfer pan to a wire rack and let the cool completely. Unmold and serve, as is, or dusted with icing sugar.

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