CSA Week 5: Blueberry-Cornmeal Buckle

Blueberry-Cornmeal Buckle

I tried a blueberry.

It was tart…and not blue on the inside.

I didn’t really care for it.

But apparently, blueberries still make an amazing cake, especially when combined with crunchy cornmeal and nutty wheat flour! My in-laws devoured this cake…and I have to admit that the crumbs I sampled were pretty delicious!

Grab a pint of fresh berries and let’s get baking.

CSA BerriesI got these blueberries from my CSA share. Start by going through your blueberries. Toss out any smushy or holey berries, and pull off any latent stems. Rinse well and set them aside to dry.

Butter Plus SugarMeanwhile, beat the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Yum!

BatterAdd the eggs, one at a time, beating and scraping between each addition. Add in the vanilla and lime zest. Okay, you could use lemon zest if you really want to, but I went for lime on a whim (lime is tart…blueberries are tart…also I had used my last lemon and neglected to replace it) and this cake seriously went over like gangbusters.

Cornmeal MixtureIn a separate bowl, whisk together cornmeal, white wheat flour, baking powder, and salt.

Add sour cream to the buttery batter, along with one-third of the cornmeal-flour mixture. Stir well. Add half the remaining flour mixture to the batter and mix.

Floury BlueberriesToss the remaining flour mixture with the now-dry blueberries. This helps them to stay suspended in the middle of the batter rather than promptly sinking to the bottom during baking.

Buckle BatterUsing a spatula or wooden spoon, gently stir the floury blueberries into the batter.

Spread the cake batter in an 8″ square baking pan, lined with foil and greased with cooking spray.

Buckle and CrumbNow make the crumb! Whisk together cornmeal, whole wheat pastry flour, oats, brown sugar, salt, lime zest, and ginger. Using your fingers, mash in 6 tbsp. room temperature butter. Eventually, the butter will turn the flour and sugar mixture into a light crumble.

Sprinkle the crumbs over the cake.

Buckle on DisplayBake at 350° for 35–45 minutes. I recommend testing several locations with a toothpick, just to be sure! The cornmeal will likely cling to the toothpick a little…and I had a weird experience in which the first toothpick I tested came out completely clean, but as the cake was cooling, it began to sink…leading me to realize it hadn’t baked completely. I quickly stuffed it back into the oven and it all turned out okay. Anyway, if the cake begins to sink when you push the toothpick into it, it’s not done. If the cake sinks as it starts to cool, it’s not done. Just test it very thoroughly, okay? Okay.

Blueberry-Cornmeal Buckle

adapted from the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook and Annie’s Eats
makes 16 slices

Cake Ingredients:
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
¼ tsp. vanilla extract
¼ tsp. lime zest
1 cup white whole wheat flour
½ cup cornmeal
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
⅓ cup low-fat sour cream
1 pint blueberries, rinsed and patted dry

Streusel Ingredients:
¼ cup sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
½ cup whole wheat pastry flour
¼ cup cornmeal
¼ cup rolled oats
¼ tsp. lime zest
¼ tsp. ginger
¼ tsp. salt
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°. Line the bottom of an 8″ square baking pan with parchment or foil. Coat with nonstick spray.
Make the cake batter. In a large mixer bowl, beat the butter with the sugar until pale and fluffy, at least 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl between additions. Add the vanilla and zest and stir.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the white wheat flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. Add a third of the flour mixture and all of the sour cream to the batter, beating until just blended. Add another third of the flour mixture and beat until blended.
Mix the remaining third of the flour mixture with the blueberries. Fold the blueberry-flour mixture gently into the cake batter.
Spread the cake batter in the prepared pan.
Use the original dry-ingredients bowl to combine all the ingredients for the streusel. Work the butter into the dry topping ingredients with your fingers until the mixture becomes crumbly.
Sprinkle the streusel over the cake in the pan.
Bake for 35–45 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (and does not cause any sinkage).
Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the cake to loosen it, then turn it out onto a cooling rack (cool streusel-side up).

Enjoy!

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