Fresh and Sweet

Blackberry buckle
Photograph by Benjamin Williamson

Blackberry buckle is a fine farewell to berry season.

By Annemarie Ahearn

From our September 2017 issue.

Maine cooks are famous for their ingenuity in creating sweets from summer’s colorful parade of wild and cultivated berries. Cobblers, crumbles, crisps, buckles, grunts, slumps — such whimsically named desserts are each some combination of butter, flour, leavener, sugar, and berries. Some are stewed; others baked. Some have a streusel topping; other are cradled in crust. All are overloaded with freshly picked berries until the dough buckles or slumps under the fruit’s weight. Grunts of satisfaction soon follow.

Blackberry Buckle

Serves 6

For the topping:

¼ cup flour

¼ cup sugar

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled

For the buckle:

2 tablespoons butter for greasing ramekins

2 tablespoons flour for coating ramekins

8 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons brandy

2 eggs

1¼ cups sugar

2¼ cups flour

1½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1 pound blackberries

6 ramekins

To make topping, combine flour, sugar, and butter and crumble with your fingers until it resembles coarse meal. Place in refrigerator for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter and flour six ramekins. Gently heat butter and cream in a small saucepan until the butter melts. Remove from heat. Add vanilla extract and brandy. In a small mixing bowl, whisk eggs with sugar until eggs lighten in color. Add butter and cream mixture to eggs and sugar. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, and kosher salt. Slowly pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients, whisking to combine. Batter should be a little thicker than a pancake batter. Add flour or heavy cream to correct, if necessary. Fold in blackberries. Distribute batter among ramekins. Then distribute topping over each ramekin. Place in oven for 45 minutes or until golden brown on top and substantially risen. Remove, let cool, and enjoy.