Lemons are our ingredient of the season. We’re exciting to fill our summer with all things lemony, and until then you can click through our archive of lemon posts, from body scrubs and shower cleaners to lemonade and vodka waters.
This past weekend we pulled together a last minute brunch at our place, and one of the things we served was this blueberry lemon buckle. Now that we’re fully settled in the new house, we want to do a lot of entertaining, especially during the summer months when we can have everyone out on the deck and the kids playing in the kiddie pool. To make entertaining actually happen, and to keep it stress-free, it’s nice to have a few reliable recipes, like this buckle, that you can make ahead. Don’t know what a buckle is? Read on to find out!
In my vocabulary, buckles are fruit-filled coffee cakes. You’ll commonly see buckles that call for blueberries as the fruit, but I was introduced to the buckle in Rustic Fruit Desserts, where my mind was blown by the variety of buckle options (rhubarb, apple, blueberry, and cranberry!). You really can have a buckle for each season. So far I’ve made the apple, cranberry, and blueberry varieties, but we recently discovered a rhubarb plant growing in our yard (no joke), so that will be next!
There are only two modifications I make to this recipe. The first is that I lower the sugar content slightly, but not too much since you do have the zest and juice of two lemons in the cake. Secondly, rather than baking it in a square pan as called for, I always bake my buckles in a springform pan. That way I can easily take the cake out of the pan and put it on a cake plate both for looks and for easy serving.
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup cold butter
- 6 tablespoons butter at room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- zest of 1 lemon
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup buttermilk (I often just make some with vinegar)
- 1 2/3 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
- 1/3 cup sugar
- juice of 2 lemons
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter a springform pan or 9 inch square baking dish.
- Mix the flour, sugar, salt, and lemon zest in a bowl. Add the butter and use a fork or your fingers to cut in the butter until it's the size of peas. Then place the topping in the freezer to remain cold while you mix the cake batter.
- Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, sugar, and lemon zest on medium-high speed for 3 to 5 minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl between each addition.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg.
- Alternate adding the flour mixture and the buttermilk to the mixing bowl, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, and remembering to scrape down the bowl occasionally.
- Gently fold in 1 cup of blueberries.
- Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Spread the remaining cup of blueberries over the batter, and then sprinkle the chilled crumb topping over the blueberries.
- Bake the buckle for 45-55 minutes, or until lightly golden and firm on top.
- When there's about 15 minutes of baking time left, combine the sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat for about 8 to 10 minutes until it becomes syrupy. The glaze bubbles while cooking, so you may have to remove it from the burner to determine how syrupy it is.
- Pour the glaze over the cake as soon as it comes out of the oven (you can reheat the glaze if it becomes too thick to pour).
- You can keep the buckle covered at room temperature for 2 to 3 days.
As I mentioned above, buckles keep well overnight, so I always bake one the night before I want to serve it. I let it sit in the pan overnight and then put it on the cake plate just before serving. Each buckle I’ve made looks like a beautiful coffee cake studded with fruit, and I think it’s always a nice compliment to any savory brunch. This past weekend we served it with a platter of bagels, lox, and cream cheese.
The Forth is coming up. If you’re having overnight guests, this would also be a great treat to leave out on the counter next to the coffee pot, then you don’t have to worry about hungry guests in the AM.