This weekend, after a week of unbearable heat, my daughter decided she wanted to cook some things on her own, as in with no help at all from me. We can’t go outside for longer than a few minutes. Even a simple walk to the mailbox results in a face covered in sweat and soaked t-shirts-it’s that hot.
I gave my daughter a few ideas for fun things to make, based on her interests and likes and things I thought my be novel for her. We chose Chocolate Cupcakes with a Vanilla Buttercream Frosting (which she died green), Homemade Bagels, based on the recent post at Food52.com and Blueberry Buckle. The results were as follows-
Cupcakes were a great choice because they were super easy and she could taste the batter as she prepared the recipe, a right of any child in the kitchen. Dying the frosting was fun for her and when it came time to actually frost, she went ahead and used a pastry bag with a tip and made her own creative designs. she was proud of these cakes and they were delicious.
The bagels were more difficult and eventually became my recipe. Although super easy, there were many steps and waiting periods and she just lost interest after a while. Plus, I kind of suspected something didn’t look right as the dough was in its overnight rise period and I wanted to intervene so she didn’t feel let down. Turned out the yeast she used was not the proper kind and they became dense, chewy, knots of dough…which incidentally she still loved!
On to the Buckle. This was my favorite recipe because it made use of the pounds of blueberries we had recently bought (I froze some in batches which is a good tip btw if you can get fruit in season or on sale and want to preserve it). I asked her to use whole wheat flour instead of white to give it that extra texture and make it a little healthier and we skipped the Streusel topping and instead simply sprinkled cinnamon and turbinado sugar. I know it defeats the point of a Buckle in some ways, as I found it earned its name because as it bakes the weight of the fruit buckles the dough and you get pools of sugar and butter throughout the cake. Well, to be honest, I was low on butter or we may have done this to make it authentic, but I also didn’t mind not having pools of sugar and butter and maybe seeing if it could just be a delicious cake on its own. I also felt like no blueberry baked good was complete without lemon zest and almonds so I sprinkled a mixture of zest and ground almonds over the top along with the cinnamon and sugar.
Easy to assemble and fun for a child, the Buckle wins in my book.
Blueberry-Peach Almond Buckle
For The Topping
- 1/3 cup Turbinado sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/4 cup ground almonds or hazelnuts
For the Batter
- 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup butter or margarine
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 1/2 cups blueberries + 1/2 cup sliced or chopped peaches, pitted
Preheat your oven to 350°F.
Spray a pie plate or round cake pan with Baking spray (the kind with flour in it).
Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium sized mixing bowl. In a large bowl cream together the sugar, butter, egg and vanilla. Alternately add the milk and the flour mixture to the creamed mixture, ending with flour. Stir only enough to blend. Fold in the blueberries and peaches. Pour the batter into the pan. Sprinkle the top with the ground cinnamon, sugar, nuts and lemon zest. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until the top springs back. Let sit in the pan for 20 minutes and then remove on to a serving plate.
Rosemary Maggiore is our Last Minute Lady. A single mom of two kids plus a full time job (she runs this website!) keep her busy and usually pushing things to the last minute. Somehow she manages to keep her cool and her sanity while she enjoys good food, wine, friends and most importantly, family.
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