I came up with this buckle recipe earlier this summer as a way to celebrate the gorgeous, juicy plums showing up at the market—and in the process, reimagined it from crumb to streusel to reflect exactly the type of cake I like to make and eat. It fashions a new list of ingredients, different steps, and even a new ride (a cast-iron skillet). But it’s still a buckle through and through—simple enough to bake whenever the mood strikes, impressive enough to outshine much fancier and fussier cakes. —EmilyC
a 10-inch cake
1 1/3 cups
all-purpose flour (160 grams)
dark rye flour (60 grams)
light brown sugar (148 grams)
extra-virgin olive oil
sour cream (180 grams)
finely grated lemon zest + 2 tablespoons juice from 1 large lemon
plums (any type: Italian prune, Mirabelle, pluots, etc.), pitted and sliced into 1/2-inch wedges (no need to peel)
For crumble topping
all-purpose flour (23 grams)
dark rye flour (23 grams)
light brown sugar (37 grams)
sliced almonds (21 grams)
plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
Heat oven to 350° F. Grease with olive oil a 10-inch enameled or well-seasoned cast-iron skillet. (If your skillet isn’t well-seasoned, line the bottom with a round of parchment paper.)
To make crumble topping: in a small bowl, whisk together flours, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and almonds. Add olive oil, a little at a time, stirring to thoroughly and evenly moisten the crumbs. Aim for a mix of larger and smaller clumps. Put the bowl in the freezer while preparing the rest of the cake.
In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: all-purpose flour, rye flour, light brown sugar, baking powder, and salt.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients: olive oil, eggs, sour cream, lemon zest, and lemon juice.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold with a spatula until just combined.
Scrape the batter into the prepared skillet. Arrange plum wedges snugly and evenly over the batter, skin-sides up. Gently press them down into the batter; you should see their tops. Remove the crumble topping from the freezer, and scatter it evenly over the top. It won’t completely cover the batter (by design; you want to see those juicy plums peeking through).
Bake until golden brown and firm to the touch, about 40 to 45 minutes or until a paring knife inserted into the middle comes out clean. Start checking at about 35 minutes for doneness.
Let cool in the skillet for about 30 minutes, and serve warm or at room temperature, straight from the pan.