A story of a nectarine and blueberry fruit buckle. BBBBoring? - LOL! Maybe to some of you but it is an interesting and fascinating experience for a baking enthusiastic like me.
August 2011: It begins in late winter 2011. Joyce from Kitchen Flavours, Lena, from Frozen wings and I were baking Apricot Cake with Cinnamon Nut Topping for our bake-along. The loving-baking me was searching for stone fruits during that Melbourne winter. All I can find a can of apricot halves in fruit juice. I must admit that the can of apricot halves for baking is absolutely ok but the fussy me is never satisfied for not using fresh or frozen stone fruits as main ingredients for my bakes.
Simultaneously when I baked this apricot cake, we have planted a miniature nectarine tree. It was totally bare and I wasn't expecting anything from the pathetic-looking tree until...
August 2012: Things change after one year. It is Spring 2012 and I see nectarine blossom.
January 2013: ... and then nectarine fruits! I am extremely happy! It feels like miracles happening in my garden! - Please forgive me for being a mountain-tortoise (swa-ku in Hokkien meaning foolish / country pumpkin) or a drama queen experiencing this. Being a typical Singaporean who used to live in all concrete-apartment environment, growing, harvesting and baking with our own nectarines is an extreme unusual experience for me.
To avoid similar situations of not able to find any stone fruits during winter, I have decided to freeze some of these nectarines and lucky that I did...
July 2013: It is winter in Melbourne. Joyce from Kitchen Flavours, Lena, from Frozen wings and I are baking fruit buckle for our bake-along. A fruit buckle is an old-fashioned dessert with lots of fruits buckled within a cake batter. This recipe from the book, The Soho Baking Company Cookbook by John Barricelli uses thick streusel topping to act like a buckle and secure both its buttery-eggy cake batter and fruits in places. As mentioned by this recipe, the most ideal fruit to make a fruit buckle should be ripe with lots of natural sweetness but not too soft so that it can hold its shape when baked. Reading this description, I know that our homegrown nectarines which are slightly firmer than most seasonal nectarines fits exactly this requirement.
24 July 2013: Now, proudly presenting my nectarine and blueberry fruit buckle made with our homegrown nectarines... No doubt at all that we are loving this bake.
|This is a story of a nectarine and blueberry fruit buckle...|
|The story continues with the wonderful feeling...|
|Our homegrown nectarines|
|This is how I freeze the nectarines|
|Making the buttery and eggy buckle batter|
|Fold in the frozen nectarine and blueberries|
|Assembling the fruit buckle|
|The large amount of fruits are well-buckled in place!|
|Very delicious with crispy and toffee-like streusel topping|
|What happens next? Our bare tree and we are waiting for Spring 2013 to arrive...|
Here are the recipes (with my notes and modification in blue)
Blueberry Nectarine Buckle from the book, The Soho Baking Company Cookbook by John Barricelli
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp coarse salt
(replaced with vanilla salt, totally optional with this replacement)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
|The fanciful vanilla salt that I used|
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
½ tsp coarse salt (replaced with vanilla salt)
4 large eggs
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups blueberries (I used frozen ones)
2 cups diced (1/2 inch) nectarines
(about 2 nectarines, frozen)
To make the streusel: In a medium bowl, use a fork to stir together the flour, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Add the butter, and using your fingertips, quickly work it into the dry ingredients until pea-size crumbs form; set aside in the refrigerator.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder; set aside.
Set the oven rack in the middle position. Preheat the oven to 350°F (or 160°C fan forced). Butter a 9 by 13-inch baking dish; set aside. Line a baking sheet with a non-stick silicone baking mat; set aside.
Tip: Always bake fruit crisps, cobblers, buckles and bettys on a a nonstick silicone-lined baking sheet. Parchment paper won't work as well as the juices will burn, causing the paper to adhere to the bottom of the baking dish. Lining baking sheet with silicone sheet makes for cleanup easier and also helps to maneuver the dish in and out of the oven easily.
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar, and salt on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 mins. Beat in the eggs one at a time, and then the vanilla. On low speed, beat in the dry ingredients just until absorbed. Fold in the fruit. Transfer to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the streusel over the top.
Set the baking dish on the prepared baking sheet. Bake, rotating the sheet about two-thirds of the way through the cooking time, until a cake tester inserted into the thickest part of the buckle comes out clean and the topping is nicely browned and crisp, 30 to 35 mins. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 10 mins. Dust with confectioners' sugar and cut into squares.
Note: Using half amount of the recipe and frozen fruits, I have baked my fruit buckle in a 15 cm x 25 cm loaf pan at 160°C fan forced for 40 mins, another 20 mins covered with foil, another 5 mins with foil removed.
How to freeze fresh nectarine by Simply Recipes
1 quart of freshly sliced nectarines or peaches
(I have 4 nectarines, skin removed and pitted)
1/2 cup to 1 cup of sugar, depending on how sweet the fruit is
(I used 70g as my nectarines are the moderate-sweet kind)
1 tbsp of Fruit-Fresh Produce Protector or a tbsp of ground up vitamin C, 1-2 tbsp of fresh squeezed lemon juice (I used 2 tbsp lemon juice)
Toss sugar and Fruit-Fresh (or viitamin C or lemon juice) together in with the fruit. Let sit for 15 mins to allow juice to form. Pack into containers (or zip-lock bags). Refrigerate for immediate use, or freeze until required. Lasts up to a year in a cold freezer.
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