Oregon Bounty Berry Buckle

By • July 15, 2013 • 39 Comments

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Author Notes: Almost everyone has tried crisps and cobblers, but fewer are familiar with the buckle. This is an unfortunate situation that should really be remedied. A buckle is essentially a fruit-laden cake topped with streusel, and it's as yummy as it sounds. This version is inspired by ingredients from the Portland farmer's market. Occasionally on Saturdays my husband and I head to the market for a biscuit sandwich from Pine State and a gibassier from Pearl Bakery. We then meander around the stands and pick out the fresh fruits and vegetables that appeal to us. The bounty from our last visit included some roasted hazelnuts and a half-flat of mixed berries. I decided to incorporate both ingredients into a fruit buckle. I used the buckle recipes from the Joy of Cooking as my starting point. I added hazelnuts to the streusel and swapped buttermilk for regular milk. I thought the hazelnuts would add a delicious layer of flavor and the buttermilk would impart richness to the cake. It took a little tinkering, but the end result was exactly what I'd hoped for. I made several versions with different combinations of berries, and really liked the combination of blackberries & blueberries. It is impossible to chose which is best, so I'd urge you to use the berries that look tastiest at the market.hardlikearmour

Food52 Review: As a fourth-generation Oregonian, the title of this recipe alone made me want to test it, if only to see if it does indeed capture the essence of Oregon's epicurean abundance. This buckle completely lives up to its name. The buttery mellow taste of the hazelnuts in the streusel complemented the delightful juiciness of the berries and the moistness of the cake. The cake provided a hint of structure but was not an intrusion on the buttery, nutty, fruity goodness that was the essence of this recipe. I used blueberries because I had them on hand, but I am already looking forward to trying this delicious buckle with any number of berries and combinations thereof.lmikkel

Serves 8

Hazelnut Streusel

  • 3/4 cups roasted hazelnuts
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  1. Pulse hazelnuts in food processor until no large pieces remain. This should take about 8 to 10 long pulses.
  2. Add the brown sugar, flour, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Pulse several times to combine.
  3. Add the butter, and pulse until everything is incorporated and the mixture looks damp and clumpy, about 8 to 10 pulses. Set aside until ready to sprinkle on the buckle.

Berry Buckle Batter

  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, cold
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cups buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 level to slightly less than level pints of berries (translation: it's okay to snack on a few!) Use any kind you like: blueberries, blackberries, boysenberries, huckleberries, marionberries, raspberries, etc.
  1. Preheat oven to 350º F with a rack in the lower middle position. Butter and flour a 2-inch deep, 9-inch square, 10-inch round, or 11- by 7-inch rectangular pan. Set aside.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk until well mixed, about 15 seconds.
  3. Place butter in a glass bowl or 4-cup glass measure. Microwave for 25 to 35 seconds, until about half melted. Add the sugar, egg, and vanilla to the bowl, then whisk until combined; the mixture should look slightly fluffy. Gradually beat in the buttermilk (if the buttermilk is too cold, the mixture will look a bit curdled, but don't worry. It'll still make a delicious buckle).
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir just until the batter is smooth. Gently fold in the berries (some of them will break and discolor the batter, but it will come out fine in the end).
  5. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, spreading it evenly. Sprinkle with the streusel topping in an even layer. Bake for 40 to 55 minutes (depending on your pan and oven). The top will be golden brown, and a toothpick inserted near the center won't have any batter clinging to it (though it may have berry juice or streusel on it).
  6. Let cool on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature. No one will complain if you add a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream, but it's also good enough to eat plain.
Jump to Comments (39)

Tags: berries, blackberries, buckle, cake, cornbread, cornmeal, dessert, Fruit dessert, hazelnuts, streusel, Summer

Comments (39) Questions (0)

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Mvc

2 months ago Margie

WOW - I made this tonight and couldn't believe how wonderful it is. Got rave reviews from everyone. I used all blueberries...yummmm...and the topping is spectacular - the roasted hazelnuts made it. THANK you!!

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2 months ago Me(l)anie

This looks incredible. I picked a whole bunch of blueberries this weekend and they were just begging to be turned into a buckle. I subbed yogurt (greek whole milk) for buttermilk, because I was impatient and had it on hand. I also added a few twists of freshly ground black pepper to the hazelnut streusel. YUM. Thank you.

Jocelyn_2006

2 months ago jocelyng

Deelish!

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2 months ago Julie

Thank you for a wonderful recipe -- just made it and it is great.

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3 months ago nicole

This is a great recipe. I never heard of buckle before but now I'm a convert!
I baked it for close to an hour in a convection over.
I used pecan in the topping because that's what I had available and used a combo of blueberries and raspberries.
Also I did not have milk or buttermilk in the house so I used the same quantity of 5% cream. I little extra richness! yum, 2 thumbs up from my family & friends. I will make this again

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about 1 year ago Abbie C

Absolutely delicious! My first buckle (never heard of a buckle before), and I will definitely make this again and often! I used raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries from my farmer's market. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

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about 1 year ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

I'm glad to hear it! Buckles are definitely under-represented in the American fruit desserts category.

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about 1 year ago EmilyC

This is amazing! My son and I made it this morning, and it was a HUGE hit! I love the generous amount of fruit, and the buttery, nutty streusel (I used blanched almonds since I'm out of hazelnuts). It's going to take a lot of will power to not snack on it all day! We'll definitely be making this often.

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about 1 year ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks, Emily! I think almonds and pecans would be great, just not very Oregonian. Glad you and your son enjoyed it.

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about 1 year ago Lorenza

I was born in Corvallis, all of my parents' families from the northwest. Moved to Indiana when I was nine yrs. old. Summer vacation was 3 weeks long, a trip back west to visit family in Oregon, Washington and Idaho. We always feasted on the splendors of the NW; salmon, shellfish that we had harvested by clam digging and mussell harvesting and setting out crab pots in the waters of the San Juan Islands. Dessert was always berry pie, Boysenberry pie. These are the memories that have led me to find a source in Indiana for blackberries from the NW. The Marionberry is a hybrid developed by hort/ag specialists in the NW. I actually believe they were hybridized at OSU (Go Beavers!!!). It is a berry that is huge, succulent, less seedy than a wild blackberry, and has a flavor beyond compare.. I have found a vendor that sells these berries frozen in 40 oz. bags and I order pounds of them every year. Now to my question; how would the recipe be modified for the use of frozen berries? Buon APPETITO, Lorenza.

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about 1 year ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

I'm an Oregon transplant, and first traveled here when I was 24, and on my honeymoon. For some reason I knew I wanted to move to Portland, though I'd never been, but I had to convince my husband. Oregon is August is pretty much perfection, and we moved out less than a year later. I've only made the buckle with fresh berries, but I suspect frozen will work with an increased cooking time. I'd probably also cover the pan with foil for the first 15 to 20 minutes of baking to prevent the topping from over-browning.

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about 1 year ago Caren

Made this tonight with pecan nuts as I had no hazelnuts. First buckle attempt and it is delish!
Mine baked much longer - closer to an hour. Make sure your dish is deep enough!
Will make again

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about 1 year ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Buckle is definitely a hidden gem in the American fruit desserts category, and I'm happy you tried my version. I've only made it in my 10-inch round aluminum pan, and it's taken 45 min give or take 5 each time. I will edit the recipe for a bigger range of baking time based on your notes.

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about 1 year ago Rebecca cole

Made it tonight for the first time. LOVED IT. It is so nice to have a recipe work out so well on the first try.

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about 1 year ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Great to hear, Rebecca! I'm thrilled it worked well for you.

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about 1 year ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Congrats on the CP!! I love this recipe. I can't do the hazelnuts, which I know would really change it. But maybe pine nuts?

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about 1 year ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks, TWV! I think pine nuts would work, or maybe use oats instead or just up the flour. It won't be quite the same, but you also won't go into anaphylactic shock!!

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about 1 year ago lapadia

Congrats on the CP!

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about 1 year ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thank you, lapadia!

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about 1 year ago loubaby

i would like to test this recipe, where is the link?

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about 1 year ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

The testing phase is closed, but don't let that stop you from making it :-)

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about 1 year ago gingerroot

This sounds fabulous, hla! Btw, that is the most amazing farmer's market...I didn't want to leave.

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about 1 year ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thank you, gr! We have some great farmers markets, the PSU one is the biggest and best IMO, but there are also good neighborhood ones. The one nearest me has great local honey and a mix of produce, and the bonus of being within walking distance.

Hilary_sp1

about 1 year ago Hilarybee

Hazelnut topping. Sold!

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about 1 year ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks! The hazelnuts make it extra yummy.

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about 1 year ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Love.

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about 1 year ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

?

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about 1 year ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

This sounds fantastic, I have never had a buckle before. Must try! Saved.

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about 1 year ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

I'm pretty sure you're going to love buckle. Do let me know if you make it.

Sausage2

about 1 year ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

I love buckle too. Mmmm. Joel's mom makes a delicious huckleberry buckle, but I haven't snagged her recipe yet. I definitely want to try this though! I love all the different components, so combined a snack cake, it sounds perfect!

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about 1 year ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

I hope you can snag your MiL's recipe! Seems like a family thing that should be passed down.

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about 1 year ago dymnyno

You have created a real testament to the produce of Oregon...Oregon blackberries and hazelnuts which are the state nut.

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about 1 year ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

I'm pretty sure Oregon is the nations largest producer of hazelnuts. There sure are a lot of orchards in the Willamette Valley. And the berries here are kinda insane.

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about 1 year ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

This sounds GREAT - I love the berry measurement with snacking included!!

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about 1 year ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

You have to snack on a few! I tried making it with just one fairly heaping pint of berries, but the general consensus was more berries!