Food memories and family go hand in hand. And reinventing one of Grandma’s signature dishes makes me smile. Michelle is taking something old, and making it new and beautiful again. I’ve never had Blueberry Buckle, but I think it’s time to give it a try. Thanks, Michelle. -Maggie
Last summer my grandmother moved out of the house that my grandparents built together in 1958. My whole family spent a humid and rainy weekend in June cleaning out the house – making piles of things to be sold, donated, or kept. As we were cleaning out the basement we happened upon a closet full of old books, photos and kitchen gadgets. I ended up coming back to Boston that weekend with two of my grandmother’s old cookbooks and a waffle maker. The cookbooks sat on my shelf for a while until recently when I began flipping through them. I was amazed at how outdated some recipes were – full of mayonnaise and gelatin – and equally astonished at how innovative others were.
I flipped to the baking section and was surprised to find a recipe for Blueberry Buckle. Immediately I knew I had to make it – it was one of my grandmother’s signature recipes, after the infamous chicken cutlets. I remember the Blueberry Buckle making an appearance at every holiday and birthday celebration as a special treat. It became a thing in my family – “the buckle!” we would exclaim when it arrived. In the last few years my grandmother has made the buckle a handful of times, although usually adding salt instead of sugar or entirely leaving out the butter.
I made the buckle – tweaking the recipe ever so slightly to update it – and it turned out perfect. It was just as I remember, with a little added punch of flavor. I added lemon juice, zest and sugar to the berries before putting them in to the batter. I decreased the sugar by a touch and used brown sugar and ginger for the topping.
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- juice and zest of 1 lemon
- pint of fresh blueberries
- To make topping mix all dry ingredients together. Cut in butter with a fork or pastry cutter until mixture is crumbly.
- Mix the berries with zest and juice of lemon and sugar to taste (I ended up using about 1/8 of a cup). Set aside.
- For the batter begin by sifting flour, salt and baking powder together.
- Cream butter and sugar together. Add the egg and then slowly add the milk until all incorporated. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until combined.
- Fold berries in to the batter and place in a well greased 8 x 8 dish.
- Distribute topping evenly over the batter. Bake at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes.
All photos styled and taken by Michelle Martin.
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