Pinterest has become a wonderful resource for me, and like so many websites on the internet, it can be an endless process of discovery as one beautiful image and recipe leads to another. Today, my friend Brent Bolton pinned a recipe that led me to a host of peach recipes and eventually to this Buttermilk Peach Buckle (gluten free) recipe, which caught my attention. What is a “buckle?” Here’s Toni‘s answer on her blog post:
A buckle is close to a coffee cake with fruit. The fruit is layered on top of a cake batter then topped with a streusel mixture allowing the cake to envelop the fruit when baking and the streusel to melt forming a crisp, sugary top crust.
This is a new baking term for me. It turns out that a buckle is an old term and has a lot of cousins with odd and also familiar names. According to Linda Stradley’s description,
They have been and are still called by various names such as cobbler, tart, pie, torte, pandowdy, grunt, slump, buckles, crisp, croustade, bird’s nest pudding or crow’s nest pudding. They are all simple variations of cobblers, and they are all based on seasonal fruits and berries, in other words, whatever fresh ingredients are readily at hand. They are all homemade and simple to make and rely more on taste than fancy pastry preparation.
I love this list of old-time desserts! Grunt, slump, pandowdy, bird’s nest pudding…. such intriguing terms, each with back story that I would love to explore. But no time to investigate – time to bake! Since I have six beautiful tree-ripe peaches from the Parker County Peach Festival, I decided to give this recipe a try, adapted for a 12″ camp Dutch oven.
- 1/2 cup butter, softened for batter
- 1/2 cup butter, chilled for topping
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 2 cups sugar, one for batter, 1/2 cup for peaches, and 1/2 cup for topping
- Zest of one lemon
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups flour for batter
- 2/3 cups flour for topping
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup Buttermilk
- 5-6 large fresh peaches
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Prepare a 12″ camp Dutch oven by cutting out a circle of parchment paper to cover the bottom of the oven. Spray with Pam.
- Prepare fresh peaches by making a small “x” in the bottom of each peach and place in a pan of boiling water for about 90 seconds. Remove and place in a bowl of ice-cold water. Peal skin from peaches, cut in half, remove pits, and slice into 1/2 inch thick pieces, and place into a bowl. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup sugar.
- Prepare batter. In a large bowl, cream together 1/2 cup softened butter and shortening until fully combined. Add 1 cup sugar and mix until creamy. Add lemon zest and eggs, mixing until creamy.
- In a separate bowl thoroughly combine 2 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Fold flour mixture into butter mixture until a smooth batter form. Then gently fold in buttermilk. Do not over mix.
- Prepare topping. In a small bowl, whisk together 2/3 cup flour, 1/2 cup sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Using the largest opening on a box grater, quickly grate chilled butter into the flour mixture, stopping to toss the butter into the flour frequently.
- Pour batter into the bottom of the prepared Dutch oven, using a spatula to distribute batter evenly.
- Layer peach slices to cover batter, then sprinkle with topping.
- Bake at 350 degrees Farenheit (17 hot charcoal on top and 8 underneath) for 45 minutes to an hour until the top is crispy. Rotate lid and oven in opposite directions every 15 minutes to avoid hot spots.
The result – simply delightful!
This buckle is nothing like a cobbler, which is typically heavy with pie filling or sugary canned fruit. If a cobbler is a pie without a bottom, a buckle is a coffee cake topped with fruit.
The bottom layer is pillowy soft, tender and moist, with the peaches floating above, and then the light, crispy top, and oh it is good!
I love this buckle! My better-half and I scooped up each delicious bite. It is not sweet at all, perfect for a light dessert or even a special treat for breakfast. Did I say how light and moist it is??
Have you either eaten or baked a buckle?