Musical pairing – Blueberry Hill by Fats Domino
August. It’s now August. And at the end of this week, I’ll be boarding a plane that will fly me to Pennsylvania to meet a group of people I’ve only ‘met’ on Twitter to attend a one-day blogging workshop. And I’ll be flying without The Professor – the first time I’ve done that since 9-11. And to add insult to injury, I will be renting a car, then driving about 23 miles in a State that I’ve never been in, to a house I’ve never seen, meeting people I’ve only met on Twitter – did I mention that? I’m sure they’re nice in person because they’re nice on Twitter, but still . . . never. actually. met. them. And I’m directionally-challenged. Because everyone who knows me, knows that any way I happen to be facing is North. You can begin praying now but especially on Friday and then really pray in earnest on Saturday. And if you don’t hear from me by Tuesday of next week, can someone please call The Professor and let him know I’ve gone missing? Thank you.
The Professor had a baby-sitter named Betty when he was a little guy; she lived in his neighborhood and was a good friend of his parents. He wasn’t called The Professor back then, but he helped Betty in her garden and he cooked in the kitchen with her. This Blueberry Buckle was one of his favorite cakes she made – fresh summer blueberries and a crunchy streusel topping – who wouldn’t love this buckle? But do you know why it’s called a ‘buckle’ and not a ‘coffeecake, streusel, cobbler, brown betty’ or other type of cake?
Well, this type of coffeecake (also known as a ‘crumble’) is a single-layer cake with berries, usually blueberries, mixed directly into the batter (as opposed to being a separate layer, like a crisp or cobbler). But it’s the top of the buckle that gives it its name, a sort of crumb-cake layer that gives the dish its ‘buckled’ or ‘crumpled’ appearance. Oddly enough, the use of ‘buckle’ as the name for a type of pastry is quite recent, dating only to the 1950s so named by Elsie Masterton in her cookbook ‘Blueberry Hill’. Who knew?
Slightly Adapted from Betty Gunkle
1/4 Cup Butter, softened
3/4 Cup Sugar
3/4 Cup Milk
Zest of 1 Lemon
2 Cups All-purpose flour
2-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 Cups Fresh Blueberries
1/4 Cup Butter, softened
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/3 Cup Flour
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
pinch of Nutmeg
Preheat oven to 375 degrees; butter and flour 9-inch square or round pan. Whip butter and sugar together until light and fluffy; add egg and milk, mix well. Add lemon zest, flour, baking powder and salt; mix well. Fold blueberries in by hand. Mix topping ingredients together until crumbly. Spread cake batter in prepared pan, sprinkle topping over batter and bake 45-50 minutes or until toothpick in center comes out clean.
SMITH BITES NOTE: A springform pan is nice if you want to place cake on stand.