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Sunday, July 11, 2004

Buckling Under

I got my new Fine Cooking on Thursday, and was drooling over the delicious desserts. As it happens I got an opportunity to try something else from the magazine almost immediately when the Exploding Frog had a somewhat impromptu barbeque party at his house so people could meet his seeester. (I'll cheerfully admit here that I enjoyed sitting on my ass and watching someone else do the work once I got there - he did get some help from his guests, including his highly domesticated and all-around-good-guy BiL, however, I was specifically verboten to enter the house except for necessary plumbing use to avoid any possibility of picking up feline coronavirus.)

The one I picked was from an article by Greg Patent about old-fashioned American fruit desserts with interesting names - grunts, buckles, brown betties, pandowdies. (No slumps, as slumps are the same as grunts. Here is a useful guide to the terminology.)

I picked the buckle, which is a yellow cake with fruit in and on it and some struesel (what's not to like), and made raspberry-peach and blueberry-peach instead of the recipe's specified apricot-raspberry. (Blueberries are the classic buckle fruit and I can see why. Like a cinnamon blueberry muffin.) I did also tweak the streusel somewhat by using some ginger instead of the cinnamon. Next time I might make more struesel because either most recipes are stingy with it or I have a heavy hand distributing and need more. But in any case it was a keeper.

I doubled the recipe as I was hoping to feed dessert to 11 or so people. I made one batch in a 9" square pan obtained at great expense from Andronico's, and one in a 7 by 11 brownie pan I have. I may have put more batter in the 9"; it certainly took longer to cook.

All-American Summer Fruit Buckle
after Greg Patent, Fine Cooking Magazine, Aug/Sep 2004

375 F Oven
Pan: 9" square (or 7"x11" - clb), buttered

For the streusel:

1 1/2 oz (1/3 cup minus 1 TBS) flour (unbleached all purpose)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
(Ed. comment: you could add some brown too. Heck, you could double all the quantities)
Pinch salt
1 Tea ground cinnamon
2 oz (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, cold, cut in small pieces
(Ed. comment: you can work with it softened too, I usually make mine that way for crisps)

Fruit:
Four cups - stone fruit should be pitted, peeled if you think appropriate, and cut into thumbnail sized chunks.

For the cake:

6 oz (1 1/3 cup) flour (unbleached all purpose)
1 1/2 tea baking powder
1/2 tea salt
6 oz (12 TBS) unsalted butter, softened
(Ed. comment: You know it's going to be good with that much butter)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tea vanilla extract
1/2 tea almond extract
3 large eggs (room temperature)

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat.

Make the struesel by combining ingredients till butter resembles small peas, or it is well mixed. Refrigerate till needed.

Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl and set asides.

Beat the butter with an electric mixer (Ed: recipe says to use the paddle attachment, but even my ancient Sunbeam or a hand mixer will do) on medium till smooth, about 1 minute. Add 1/4 cup sugar and the extracts and beat 1 min on medium. Gradually add the remaining sugar while beating on medium. Turn off mixer, scrape sides and beaters. Beat on medium-high for 3 mins or so, until pale and slightly fluffy. Reduce speed to medium and add eggs, one at a time, beating completely each time. Stop and scrape again. On low speed, add the flour mixture and beat only until incorporated. (Batter will be thick.)

Add half the fruit to the batter and fold in gently with a large rubber spatula. Spread batter into prepared pan and top evenly with the rest of the fruit, and then sprinkle with struesel.

Bake till cake springs back in center when lightly pressed and toothpick comes out clean, 45-50 mins. Cool cake on a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. It's good by itself, but some whipped cream or vanilla ice cream would be extra delicious with it.

Doesn't keep long according to the article but it's good enough that it probably won't. As with many other old-fashioned homey fruit desserts, it makes excellent breakfast food.

Edited later to add a photo of raspberry-peach (the blueberry disappeared before I had a chance to photograph it):

Cakey Goodness


Comments:
Charlotte,

THanks for posting this recipe. I also used Greg's Patent recipe from
September's issue of Fine Cooking Magazine last year, but I left out the apricot, and used fresh raspberries only. THe result is a moist, buttery, tasty fruit dessert. I need to make a potluck dish today, went on the internet for inspiration,and saw your recipe. I am going to go right out to the farmer's market and pick up some fresh peaches to add to the recipe, since peachs are still in season now. It is difficult to find fresh apricots at this time.

Diana
 
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