20 June 2009

Serviceberry Buckle

There is no cute title for this post. It needs nothing to suck you in. This snack cake is so delicious that words cannot do it justice. My roommate asked me to remove it from the kitchen (high praise from a fitness professional). My dad, who has a fever post-operation and is a little out of it, gobbled it up and loved it. I couldn't keep out of it fresh out of the oven. Whether you go to the effort to find serviceberries or just make it with blueberries, try this buckle recipe. You won't be disappointed.

What are serviceberries you ask? Well, I have no idea. I read about them on a blog or two last week, and I was determined to find them at the farmers' markets at first opportunity. I snatched up the last two pints from the only purveyor I found selling them. A grizzly man looked slightly perturbed that I grabbed them before he could get a pint, but I didn't give them up. The berries are also known as Juneberries and Saskatoon around here. The farmer I bought them from told me that the birds usually eat them before a decent harvest can be made by humans. My sister happened to buy some from her market recently and was informed that they are more closely related to stone fruits despite their flavor reminding me of blueberries. There is a tiny, edible seed inside of each berry, but I found it barely noticeable. The fruit is sweet and beautiful; its juices turned the cake a lovely shade of reddish purple.

I nearly followed this recipe from King Arthur Flour to the letter. My only substitutions (listed in red) were due to ingredients I had on hand. It seems to be a fool-proof recipe, and I definitely recommend trying it the next time you have berries on hand and want something like a coffee cake to snack on.

Blue(Service)berry Buckle
The King Artur Flour Baker's Companion

One 9-inch square coffee cake, about 16 servings

3/4 cup (5.5 oz) sugar
4 T (2 oz) butter
1 large egg
1/2 cup (4 oz) milk (I subbed buttermilk)
2 cups (8.5 oz) unbleached, AP flour
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/4 t ground cardamom (optional) (I omitted)
1 t vanilla extract (optional)
2 cups (11 oz) blueberries (fresh, or if frozen, unthawed) (I used serviceberries)

3/4 cup (5.5 oz) sugar
3/4 cup (3 oz) unbleached AP flour
1 t cinnamon
2-3 t lemon zest, or 1/8 t lemon oil (I subbed lime zest)
1/2 t salt
5 1/3 T (2 3/8 oz) soft butter

Grease and flour a 9-inch round pan and preheat the oven to 375 F.

Batter: Cream together the sugar and butter, then add the egg and mix at medium speed for 1 minute. Whisk together the dry ingredients. Stir in the milk alternately with the dry ingredients and vanilla, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Gently fold in the berries. Spread the batter in the prepared pan.

Streusel: In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, cinnamon, lemon and salt. Add the butter, mixing to make medium-sized crumbs. Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the batter.

Bake the buckle for 45-50 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven, and cook it (in the pan) on a rack. Serve the buckle with coffee in the morning, or with whipped cream for dessert.


Laura said...

Mmmm buckles... I love buckles. Looks great, wish I was there.

I wonder if I could grow a serviceberry plant?

HoneyB said...

Looks yummy. This is the first I have ever heard of serviceberries!

Mary said...

Just made it, and it is delicious!! I reduced the amount of topping, and also sub'd coconut oil for the butter and used gluten free baking flour. It's so good! I was glad to find your recipe in my search for ways to use serviceberry.