Sooooo, this is awkward. I said I was finished with blueberries, but I’m a big old blueberry-loving hypocrite. I’m the girl who keeps wearing white after Labor Day. But that’s totally cool now, right? It’s all about the winter white anyway.
A large amount of blueberries found its way into my hands recently, as well as a fantastic recipe for a Blueberry Buckle that originally appeared in Cook’s Illustrated. What’s that you say? A buckle? While an edible way to hold up your pants would be awesome, that’s not exactly what this is. (Note to self: invent edible belt buckle…)
In the pastry world, a buckle is a type of cobbler or crumb cake that is filled with an abundance of berries and topped with a crumbly mixture. The top of the cake appears to sink or buckle in the middle while baking, hence the strange name.
This coffee cake-crumb cake-cobbler hybrid is veritably riddled with blueberries which is what makes it so incredibly moist. It almost has a bread pudding-like texture when you slice it because of the dense batter and ridiculous amount of blueberries. Just look at all of them! That cake is practically turning violet, Violet!
The streusel crumb topping is primarily made up of delicious things like butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon all shmooshed together. It adds a delightful crunchiness to the soft cake and the added weight gives it that telltale sunken look in the middle. Each bite is laden with flavor from the tart blueberries and brightness of the lemon zest to the rich, buttery sugar topping. It is perfection. Everyone must make this!
Despite its elaborate gorgeousness, this buckle is surprisingly easy to make. And everyone will be wildly impressed because it is just so fantastic. It’s the perfect thing to serve at a fancy brunch or a casual family breakfast. And guess what, if you have any left over, it makes an amazing dessert. Seriously, it is a double duty recipe…assuming you have enough self control not to eat it all in the morning. Better make two just to be safe.
- For streusel:
- 1/2 Cup unbleached all-purpose flour ( 2 1/2 ounces)
- 1/2 Cup Light brown sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
- 2 Tbsp Granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp Ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp Table salt
- 4 Tbsp Unsalted butter (1/2 stick), cut into 8 pieces, softened but still cool
- For cake:
- 1 1/2 Cups unbleached all-purpose flour ( 7 1/2 ounces)
- 1 1/2 tsp Baking powder
- 10 Tbsp Unsalted softened butter (1 1/4 stick)
- 2/3 Cup Granulated sugar (4 3/4 ounces)
- 1/2 tsp Table salt
- 1/2 tsp Grated lemon zest
- 1 1/2 tsp Pure vanilla extract
- 2 Large eggs, room temperature
- 4 Cups Blueberries (20 ounces), picked over
- For the streusel: In standing mixer fitted with flat beater, combine flour, sugars, cinnamon, and salt on low speed until well combined and no large brown sugar lumps remain, about 45 seconds. Add butter and mix on low until mixture resembles wet sand and no large butter pieces remain, about 2 1/2 minutes. Transfer streusel to small bowl and set aside.
- For the cake: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9-inch round cake pan with 2-inch sides with nonstick cooking spray, line bottom with parchment or waxed paper round, and spray round; dust pan with flour and knock out excess.
- Whisk flour and baking powder in small bowl to combine; set aside. In standing mixer fitted with flat beater, cream butter, sugar, salt, and lemon zest at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes; using rubber spatula, scrape down bowl. Beat in vanilla until combined, about 30 seconds. With mixer running at medium speed, add eggs one at a time; beat until partially incorporated, then scrape down bowl and continue to beat until fully incorporated (mixture will appear broken). With mixer running on low speed, gradually add flour mixture; beat until flour is almost fully incorporated, about 20 seconds. Disengage bowl from mixer; stir batter with rubber spatula, scraping bottom and sides of bowl, until no flour pockets remain and batter is homogenous; batter will be very heavy and thick. Using rubber spatula, gently fold in blueberries until evenly distributed.
- Transfer batter to prepared pan; with rubber spatula, using a pushing motion, spread batter evenly to pan edges and smooth surface. Squeeze handful of streusel in hand to form large cohesive clump; break up clump with fingers and sprinkle streusel evenly over batter. Repeat with remaining streusel. Bake until deep golden brown and toothpick or wooden skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Cool on wire rack 15 to 20 minutes (cake will fall slightly as it cools).
- Run paring knife around sides of cake to loosen. Place upside-down plate (do not use plate or platter on which you plan to serve the cake) on top of cake pan; invert cake to remove from pan, lift off cake pan, then peel off and discard parchment. Re-invert cake onto serving platter. Cool until just warm or to room temperature, at least 1 hour. Cut into wedges and serve.