ONE-BOWL BLUEBERRY BUCKLE
Makes one 9-inch buckle
During the summer before my senior year of high school, my friends and I would wake up early every Saturday in June to pick blueberries. As we drove to the blueberry farm in East Feliciana Parish, familiar suburban fixtures melted into endless rural landscapes under the Louisiana sun. Armed with a repurposed gallon milk jug with its top cut off, which I tethered to my denim shortall’s belt loop, we’d head into the fields in search of the plumpest blueberries. I reached both hands high over my head to pluck blueberries so dark they were ashy. I always filled my belly before the makeshift bucket.
One of my oldest friends, Grace, shared this recipe with me after one morning of blueberry picking. I have since made this one-bowl buckle countless times. The admirers of this crave-worthy dish either love it or learn to love it. If you’re not swooning the first time you try it, the buttery and caramelized edges of the cake that rise over the plump, juicy berries will have you hooked by the second time. Be sure to serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream—the perfect creamy, cold complement to the syrupy, warm berries.
- ½ cup (1 stick/113g) unsalted butter
- 1 cup (125g) self-rising flour (see Note)
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (240ml) whole milk
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup (150g) fresh or frozen blueberries
- Vanilla ice cream, for serving
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1. Preheat the oven to 375°F and place a rack in the middle of the oven. Place the butter in a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan and put it in the hot oven. When the butter has melted, remove the pan from the oven.
2. Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, sugar, milk, and salt in a large bowl (it’s okay if the batter is a little lumpy). Pour the batter into the pan with the melted butter and use a spoon to lightly mix it. There should be visible streaks of melted butter that don’t get completely mixed; this yields the buttery, caramelized edges.
3. Place the blueberries on top of the batter in an even layer. Bake until the top is golden brown all over, 50 to 60 minutes. (If you remove it too early, the buckle will indeed “buckle” in the middle and fall—which would still be tasty, though sunken!) Wait until it’s golden all over the top and set in the center. Place the buckle on a cooling rack for 10 minutes before serving warm with a scoop of ice cream.
NOTE: This recipe uses self-rising flour, a staple in most Southern pantries that contains leavening and salt. If you don’t have any on hand, just add 1½ teaspoons baking powder and an additional ¼ teaspoon salt to the flour.
STORAGE: You can refrigerate the buckle, covered, for up to 3 days.
Excerpted from Life Is What You Bake It by Vallery Lomas. Copyright © 2021 by Clarkson Potter. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.