rhubarb and blueberry buckle

I spent a few short days on the Cape this past Memorial Day weekend – only two nights away and I’m feeling completely transformed.  This might be partly due to the new found color creeping across my skin; amazing that a winter’s worth of whiteness can be washed away in a weekend.

It’s always a little hard to come back from vacation – seems the shorter the break, the harder the re-entry for me.  To ease the transition, I spent sometime in my kitchen this week making a recipe from Lottie + Doof, a cheerful collection of stories and recipes I’ve only recently discovered.  I settled in on a recipe for a rustic rhubarb buckle and thankfully, since my brain seems to still be in vacation-land despite my body’s presence back here in Boston, this recipe is a synch.  The perfect project for a lazy summer afternoon.  Buckles are closely related to crisps, but with a layer of cake wedged in between the fruit and the crumb topping.

Not only an ingenious combination, the buckle is delicious beacon of summer: this one featuring juicy rhubarb and blueberries hidden under buttermilk cake lid and topped with crunchy oatmeal crumb.  Equally comfortable after dinner with a hearty scoop of vanilla ice cream as it is munched for breakfast with your morning coffee, the buckle will take anywhere you want to go.

Rhubarb is all I can think and eat lately, but I’m sure this would also be delicious with any other bake-able fruits you like.  Makes one very large buckle – enough to serve 12, which thankfully keeps well wrapped at room temperature up to 1 week.

Happy Summer Everyone!

One Year Ago: Ricotta Gnocchi with Morels, Peas, and Baby Turnips, Roasted Broccoli Leaf Tart with Caramelized Onions and Camembert, My Favorite Lemon Parmesan Dressing.

Rhubarb Blueberry Buckle

Adapted from Matthew Rice via TimeOut Chicago via Lottie and Doof

For the Fruit Filling

  • 2 lbs rhubarb, washed and roughly chopped
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • Scant ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Toss together all ingredients in a large bowl and set aside to macerate while you prepare the crumb and cake.

For the Crumb Topping

  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup rolled oats
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and pinch together with your fingers until you achieve a crumbly consistency.  Set aside in the refrigerator while you prepare the cake.

For the Buttermilk Cake

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup or ¼ lb) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • ¾ cup buttermilk

Sift together the flours, baking powder, and salt and set aside.  In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or using a handheld electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until lightened.  Beat in the eggs one at a time.  Add the vanilla and honey and mix well.  Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the butter mixture, beginning and ending with the dry, and mixing after each addition.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix just until you achieve a uniform batter – don’t over-mix.

Assembly and Baking

Spread the fruit filling in the bottom of a 9×13 inch casserole dish.  Dot the cake batter over the fruit and spread with a spatula – it doesn’t have to be pretty or completely even.  Sprinkle the crumb over the cake.  Bake 50-60 minutes until golden, set, and bubbling.  A toothpick inserted into the cake layer should come out clean.  Cool at least 30-45 minutes before eating.