Bake a Buckwheat Buckle with Foraged Berries
By Guest Blogger Sara Bir,
Click HERE to listen to her Podcast
Perhaps one of the most blissful summertime moments is running across a thicket of ripe berries when you are out on a hike or walk in the wilds. If I’m running on the trails that thread through the woods behind my house and a flyaway bramble catches my arm, I stop and scope out the scene for black raspberries to plunder. They are my absolute favorite, and I shove as many sweet, hydrating berries into my mouth as possible before pressing on with my journey. I always wonder if the berries would taste sour or dry in another setting, but does it matter? It’s all about the moment.
If opportunity has gifted you with an abundance of berries, whether cultivated or wild, try baking a multigrain buckle. Here’s a recipe from my cookbook and foraging guide The Fruit Forager’s Companion: Ferments, Desserts, Mains and More from Your Backyard and Beyond. It calls for huckleberries, which are in season late in the summer, but blueberries, blackberries, mulberries, or raspberries are equally delicious in it.
Buckwheat Huckleberry Buckle
We reserve buckwheat for pancakes and blinis, which is a shame. Buckwheat flour has a strong but sophisticated flavor—a little nutty, a little fruity. It goes well with berries in this buckle—a rustic fruit dessert so named because the berries make the cake buckle in its center. Think of it as a giant muffin. I love this at breakfast, or as a midday snack.
For the streusel
½ cup (50 g) rolled oats
¼ cup (45 g) buckwheat flour
½ cup (110 g) packed light brown sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and at room temperature
For the cake
1¼ cups (160 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
½ cup (90 g) buckwheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon table salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
⅔ cup (160 ml) buttermilk
3 cups (435 g) huckleberries
Preheat the oven to 350˚F (175˚C) and set the rack in the middle. Grease a 9 x 9-inch (23 x 23 cm) pan.
Make the streusel: Combine the oats, buckwheat, brown sugar, salt, nutmeg, and butter in a medium bowl. With your fingertips, work the mixture until it’s crumbly. Set aside.
Make the cake: In a medium bowl, whisk together the ingredients from flour through the salt.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and granulated sugar on medium-high speed until lightened, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each, and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the buttermilk. Fold in half of the huckleberries.
Spread the batter in the prepared pan. Scatter the remaining berries over the top, then the streusel. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool on a rack for at least 10 minutes before serving. Covered with plastic wrap, the buckle will keep for up to 2 days.
Also Try With: Blueberries, mulberries, blackberries, raspberries.
About this Author:
Sara Bir is a chef and a writer living in Ohio. A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, she creates recipes that draw on her professional skill set, yet are realistic for home cooks. In her spare time, she enjoys walking around and looking at plants. Sara is the author of The Fruit Forager’s Companion, Tasting Ohio, and The Pocket Pawpaw Cookbook.
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