On what possible occasion would you prepare a thing like a buckle? When you suddenly find yourself with an awkward, medium quantity of berries, that’s when. Too few for a pie, but more than you can comfortably consume on top of your breakfast cereal. Two or three cups, say. About the quantity you’d have left over after making jam, or if you stopped to raid a bush driving a back country road. Think of a buckle not as an intention, but as a circumstance.
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