A “buckle” is a member of a proud family of impromptu American country sweets that includes slumps, pandowdies and other fun-to-say treats you may have heard of but never tried. Like other desserts of its ilk, it’s not made with anything you wouldn’t be able to find in a typical rural pantry. Which means a home cook could whip one together whenever a few cups of berries happened to walk in the door.
6 ounces (12 tablespoons) soft butter
5.25 ounces (3/4 cup) light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 ounces (1 cup) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2-3 cups fresh berries
1 recipe streusel (the lighter version without nuts at the bottom of the page)
Fruit sauce of your choice (lemon is traditional) or ice cream, or, if you want to take it uptown a little, some crème anglaise spiked with a little bourbon.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease an 8-inch square baking dish. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attached, cream the butter and sugar on medium high. Meanwhile, sift the dry ingredients together into a medium bowl. Combine the eggs and the vanilla. With the machine on low, add a third of the dry ingredients and stir until not quite blended. Scrape the bowl. Add half the egg mixture, then another third of the dry ingredients, scrape and so on until everything’s used up. If there are a couple of small steaks of unincorporated flour, that’s great. A little under-mixing is a sign you haven’t over-mixed…which is good. Now gently fold in the berries.
Scrape the batter into the pan and sprinkle the streusel over the top. Bake the buckle for about 45 minutes. Cool on a wire rack and serve.