Monday, September 02, 2013

Blueberry Buckle

Happy long weekend!  I told myself I had to post a new recipe soon so I could get my soul-baring thoughts on turning 30 moved down on the homepage.  Being honest to a faceless computer screen can seem scary. 

I love Labor Day weekend because it is the 'official unofficial' end to summer.  Which means fall is just around the corner!  New York is giving its inhabitants one more balmy, warm weekend before, hopefully, showering us with crisp mornings and bright sunshine. 

As you may recall, I had developed a Summer Bucket List for the summer.  My focus on that, plus the fact it was a fairly mild summer compared to the summer of 2012, means I had a wonderful few months.  We did not check everything off but we did fairly well and went places that I would usually put off going (ie, never go).  We went to the Cloisters and Coney Island (squeezed this one in this weekend!).  We saw a baseball game (two in fact!) and took Newt on a walk a couple of times a month (granted most of them were to-and-from the vet).  And yes, taking Newt on a walk was on my bucket list because I feel bad keeping him in our box of an apartment all the time.
The exciting news is that I have now created a Fall 2013 Bucket List (Robbie was excited about the summer one . . . not so much about the fall one).  When will this madness stop, you wonder? I wish I knew.

I'll check back in around Thanksgiving with the outcome of the Fall 2013 Bucket List but, in the meantime, I wanted to share this Blueberry Buckle recipe with you.  If you have Labor Day off, there's nothing more comforting than sleeping in and waking up to enjoy a piece of cake you can eat for breakfast.  Put it in a red casserole dish and you have yourself a red, white and blue dessert. (Is Labor Day patriotic?  I need to Wikipedia that.)

Blueberry Buckle
Adapted from the "Fresh Blueberry Buckle" recipe from the Essential New York Times Cookbook
According to the cookbook (and some googling), a buckle has streusel on top.  Ironically, the streusel in this recipe doesn't show up as well once baked so I think I'll make a heartier streusel next time.

1 stick, softened, unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup milk
2 cups blueberries
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (the original recipe called for 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom but I did not have any so I substituted the ginger and it was delicious)
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Butter a 9-inch square baking dish (or a 7 x 11 rectangular dish which is what I used).  In a mixer with the paddle attachment, beat half the butter with half of the sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in the egg and vanilla.  Sift together 1 cup of the flour, the baking powder and salt.  Add alternately with the milk to the creamed mixture.  Start and end with the dry ingredients.  Pour into the baking dish and pour the blueberries over the dish.  In a separate bowl, combine the remaining sugar, 1/3 cup flour, ginger and nutmeg.  Cut in the remaining butter until the texture is that of a streusel topping (mine is always a little chunkier but it should be the same consistency of coarse cornmeal with some bigger pieces throughout).  Sprinkle over the blueberries and bake for 30-40 minutes or until the cake is baked through.  The original recipe said to bake 40-50 minutes but in my small oven, it was ready after just 30 minutes. 

Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.  (Or with a side of coffee.)

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