I readily munched on the strawberries we picked, but the olallieberries and boysenberries were too tart to eat fresh. And yet, they were rendering more juice by the day (in this gruesome way, I have to describe it as–and this may not be fitting for a food blog about good eats–the berries just bleeding their juices–they were dying a ghastly death!)–and so the pressure to consume them quickly mounted.
What to make next? Again, I was feeling lazy, still possibly spent from the berry picking outing, or a frenetic work day or well, maybe I was simply lazy. So I thumbed through an old repertoire of flavors and dishes…and then it hit me: a buckle.
I’ve made a delicious almond plum buckle before, here on Muffin Top, and it is a dessert that I am an absolute fan of. But could I translate it to something fitting for boysenberries and olallieberries? The almond plum buckle had flavors that would not necessarily complement berries, and of course, the berries were way more “mushy” than a plum that could hold its structure throughout the baking process.
But I imagined the berries, suspended in a cake mixture, and felt determined to do it…and instead of almond extract, I used a BIG splash of chambord, a favorite berry liqueur of mine (I use it to make French Martinis–a combo of chambord, vodka, and pineapple juice).
The result? Wonderful. And the cake-like buckle is a delightful foil to Berry Usage Case #1, the galette.
Recipe follows after the jump…
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
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon chambord liqueur (if you don’t have chambord, substitute with vanilla, for a total of 1 tsp vanilla extract)
1/4 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
2-3 cups berries (olallieberries and boysenberries), picked over and rinsed
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
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 and chambord. 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. Do NOT add the berries yet (if you do, then they will turn into mush and turn your batter BRIGHT PINK).
Spread the batter in a well-buttered 10-by 2-inch round cake pan or 2-quart baking pan, and sprinkle the top with the berries. Then, sprinkle the topping evenly over it and bake the buckle in the middle of a preheated 350°F. oven for 50-60 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean and the topping is crisp and golden.