Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Mmm... half eaten buckle and nineteen-seventies style linoleum. I often forget how distinct the pattern on my kitchen floor is since I see it everyday, but when it is in a picture it surprises me. 

This buckle also surprised me with how delicious it was. I took one huge bite out of it as soon as I could. You can see the olive oil-soaked parchment paper in the bottom of the pan. The tasty, moist  bottom cake buckled up over the juicy berries and butter-oat crumb, almost enveloping the toppings (that is how the buckle earned its name). It is good at breakfast, dessert, and as an anytime treat. It also tastes especially good when topped with whipped cream your boyfriend has made by shaking cream vigorously in a mason jar lightly coated with coffee grounds. Just now, the cake proved to be the perfect bed-time snack after an evening of aquavit, Vietnamese food and conversation with a good friend. 

Currently, with the constant gloomy weather, I need reminders about why I love Seattle. Baking is one reward to being inside and cold, especially when it involves blackberries. Another method to embrace the chill is to consume fresh, flavorful, vermicelli noodles with warm tea for dinner at Green Leaf, and after head straight to The Copper Gate for liquid blankets that were created by the people who endure almost 24 hours of darkness for sometime every year. 

This buckle could be made with whatever fruit, herbs, and spices fit the season or occasion - in the sun or the rain.

Blackberry- Sage Buckle

1 1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3/4 c. olive oil
1 c. buttermilk
3/4 c. granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c. blackberry jam 
2 Tbsp. sage chopped
zest of one small lemon
 1- 1 1/2 c. fresh blackberries

Crumble Topping:
1/4 c. oats
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. almond meal
4 Tbsp butter at room temperature

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch cake pan with parchment paper in the bottom. In a small bowl combine the oats, brown sugar, and almond meal - crumble the butter in until nice, even, clumps have formed. In a medium bowl combine the dry ingredients. In another small bowl mix sugar, olive oil, egg, vanilla, buttermilk, and lemon zest. Fold the wet into the dry ingredients until just combined. Soften the blackberry jam in the microwave, or stove-top, with 1 Tbsp. of the chopped sage for 30 sec. Fold the jam into the batter to make a ribbon. Pour the batter into the cake pan. Dot the top with the blackberries until most of the surface is covered. Sprinkle the crumble topping on evenly, and scatter the rest of the chopped sage.  Bake for 40-50 min. until the top is browned and the middle is just set.
Cool on a rack.

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