Friday, 18 July 2014

Lavender Lemon Blueberry Buckle

Lavender Lemon Blueberry Buckle

It sounds more complicated than it is.  Unless you don’t have any lavender sugar lying around, in which case you will have to acquire some, either by steeping your own which will take several weeks if you have lavender on hand, or even longer if you need to grow it.  On the other hand, you can buy food grade lavender in shops, and even lavender sugar, so you could try that.

But once you have lavender sugar, this is pretty easy.  The pretty cake is baked at 350 F and it takes about a couple of hours from start to eating time. The ingredients are healthy too!

The Dough
lemon and zester
Use a zester or a peeler and cut finely.
Fresh zest, not some old jarred powder!
½ cup softened butter
3/4 cup jaggery (raw Indian cane sugar, or use brown, if you must.)
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
½ cup plain yogurt
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
extra butter for greasing a nine inch cake tin
2 cups blueberries

The Buckle
¼ cup jaggery (or the brown, if you must…)
½ cup whole wheat flour
½ teaspoon fresh lemon zest
½ cup butter
½ cup chopped pistachios or sliced almonds
a few sprinkles of Kosher salt  

I adapted this recipe from my Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook, which is ironically ancient.  You could follow their recipe, provided you use butter for both dough and buckle and make a nice cake, but this one’s more up to date, and healthy too. 

Page 48 of Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook, 1971
Old and stained, but great for basic recipes!

Begin by creaming the butter and jaggery together in an electric mixer, using the paddle.  When the mix is light and fluffy, add the egg, and continue to beat till it’s mixed in and gets light and fluffy.  Use a spatula to scrape often. 

Add the vanilla and lemon zest to the yogurt, and set aside near mixer.  Combine the flour, baking powder and salt with a fork till it’s well mixed. 

Bring to mixer.  Turn off mixer and add a third of the dry mix along with a third of the yogurt mix.  Turn on to low speed and stir, then add the next third of flour and yogurt, and stir, then the final third of the dry and wet mixes.  Stir till combined, only.  You don’t want to overbeat the dough.  Press the dough evenly into the well buttered cake tin (I used a spring form) and layer blueberries over the dough.  I used frozen, which increases the baking time. Set aside.

To make the buckle, add sugars, flour and butter to the mixer.  (No need to clean it first.)  Turn on low, then move speed up gradually till the butter makes a large crumb mix.  Add the last of the lemon zest and mix another few moments.  With your fingers, evenly sprinkle the buckle over the blueberries.  Finally sprinkle on the chopped nuts.  I would have preferred sliced almonds, but had to settle for the pistachios, which were on hand.  Finally, sprinkle just a few grains of coarse salt over the mix, very sparingly. 

Baking time will vary according to your blueberries.  If you’re lucky enough to have fresh, go for about forty-five minutes.  If you’re using frozen, increase the cooking time by fifteen minutes, so the cake will bake for an hour.  Either way, check for doneness with a toothpick.  Set  on a rack for five minutes, then remove from pan and let cool on that rack till it’s cool enough to slice. This goes nicely with coffee but it would also be lovely with a nice cup of herbal tea.  Yes, I think that’s how I’ll enjoy this final piece.

Um, I made this cake this morning, and this is all I have left.  Sigh…

Lavender Lemon Blueberry Buckle, only one slice left
I could cut it in two, and share, I suppose, if I got caught with this...