20 August 2009

Buckle, buckle, who's got the blueberry-peach buckle?

I do! I do!

Well, I did...all gone now.

My dessert preferences have definitely taken a turn towards rustic and hearty. Don't get me wrong. My heart still skips a beat when I see a fancy, schwoopy, piped, spun-sugared architectural marvel. But really, the older I get, the more like myself I become and apparently foof-less desserts are what I am.

Un-iced cakes and cupcakes, crisps and cobblers...serve me some of those and I'm as happy as the Cookie Monster in a Peek Freans factory (really...cookies aren't a sometimes food).

This year, my baked go-to dessert has been studies in baked, stewed and roasted fruits. I know I haven't posted much about this, and I'm not sure why. Maybe my thoughts are deluded in that they aren't fancy enough to blog about. Maybe they are so omnipresent in my kitchen that I just don't think of them as blog fodder. Really, everything that comes out of a functional kitchen (even one with Beelzebub) is food blog fodder.

Residents of my part of the world know this has been an odd summer with the coldest July on record for a good 15 -20 years. Normally, I'd have turned my scullery into an ice cream factory by now, but with such pleasant temperatures, I've kept with my baked fruit desserts. In cooler months, I'd usually be using wintered fruits--apples, pears or some canned or frozen fruit--so it was a bit of a treat for me to use in-season blueberries and peaches for this buckle.

Buckles--at least this one--combines the best of several dessert worlds. A stewed fruit base, a cakey top and then there a streuselly top. Add ice cream, custard, chantilly cream or just straight pouring cream and I think this may be pretty darned close to a perfect dessert...if I could figure out a way to incorporate cream cheese icing, then I would call it a perfect dessert.

While this isn't a true non-recipe recipe--the cake part is, as we know, chemistry and we know what happens when things go askew so it is necessary to measure things out--the fruit and topping are really done by feel and can easily be changed to match your mood, palate and pantry: change the fruits to what's available, just keep roughly the same weight and spice or sweeten it to your taste; if you want to add Scottish Oats or chopped nuts to the topping go ahead. It's all up to you.

Blueberry-Peach Buckle
Fruit layer
500g chopped peaches
250g blueberries
1 rounded Tbsp cornstarch
2-3 Tbsp brown sugar
pinch of salt
squeeze lemon juice

Cake layer
200g ap flour
1 dspn baking powder
110g butter
100g sugar
two eggs
125ml milk
1/2 tsp vanilla

50g sugar
50g ap flour
1/2tsp cinnamon
1/4tsp nutmeg
50g butter

Preheat oven to 350F/180C.

Tumble the fruit layer's ingredients into a 9" cake pan (or equivalent).

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.

Cream together butter and sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time, then mix in milk and vanilla.

Stir in sifted flour mixture and pour over fruit.

Rub together topping ingredients, to a sandy texture. Sprinkle on top of the batter.

Bake for 45 minutes or until golden. and a skewer comes out cleanish.

Serve warm with ice cream, custard, chantilly cream or pouring cream, if desired.


What I'm reading:
Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons

I'm a quill for hire!

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jeff said...

I understand where you're coming from in terms of worrying something isn't "fancy enough" to blog about: the roasted chicken I do or the eggs I insist on double-boilering or the bread I faithfully bake each Sunday.

But the blogs I read (like yours) focus energy not just on the what, but the why and the how- and will be a tasty read regardless.

That said, your buckle looks divine - such texture! I wish it weren't so hot here.

Mickle in NZ said...

Jasmine - my copy of Cold Comfort Farm is right here beside the laptop! A gift from my sister a few years back, it is such a fun read.

Now I know what a buckle is I'll have to make one.

Sorry to learn about EXBF's Cleo.

Care and huggles from Michelle and a once more snoring Zebbycat, xxx

NKP said...

I am missing that cool July weather now..
Great way to use peaches, totally delicious. I'd love to eat the leftovers for breakfast..

Valérie said...

Hey, I like seeing no-frills recipes on a blog: they seem more accessible, and are just as inspiring as fancy, elabprate presentations.

And I didn't know what a buckle was, so I learnt something anyway! I'm loving the colour of the topping and the juicy fruit!

diva said...

i'm always up for the homey and the rustic. they have the best special place in my heart!! :D

browniegirl said...

Ive never heard of buckle before but I sure as heck am gonna make one when our summer season comes around....thanx so much for this.

Im so very sorry about Cleo....warm comforting hugs to you xxx

George@CulinaryTravels said...

I've never heard of a buckle before but I am certainly going to make one now. Sounds and looks delish.

Anh said...

I love those fruity desserts like this!

Anonymous said...

Looks wonderful!
Thanks for adding me to your Canadian Food Blog list :)