A “buckle” is a fruit dessert that is in the same family as cobblers, crumbles and crisps. Buckles are unique because they start with a cake-like batter, then fruit is folded in. They typically use so much fruit that the cake “buckles” underneath all of it – hence the dessert’s name. This Peach and Raspberry Buckle is loaded with fresh fruit. The sweet-tart raspberries are a nice counterpoint to the honey-sweet peaches, and they give each slice of buckle a beautiful pop of color. It has a bit of streusel to contrast with the tender cake and juicy fruit, resulting in a dessert that is an addictive slice of summer.
To ensure a tender cake, I make the batter for this buckle in the food processor, using the machine’s blades to cut the butter into the other dry ingredients. This step can be done by hand, but it saves you a lot of time to use the food processor. The other reason why I make the batter this way is that it allows me to set a small portion of the sandy buttery mixture aside to be used as a streusel for the finished dessert. The remaining butter mixture has vanilla and almond extracts added to it, as well as egg and milk, before the fruit is folded in.
I recommend either slicing your peaches in 6-8 slices for a medium-large sized peach. The dish has a fairly long baking time – in part because the peaches release so much moisture into the batter – and you want to ensure that the pieces are large enough that they don’t break down completely in the oven! Be careful as you fold the raspberries in so they don’t get crushed by the peaches. If you are using frozen raspberries, use them frozen, not defrosted.
The buckle can be served slightly warm or at room temperature. It is delicious on its own, however it also pairs well with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. While I tend to make this for dessert, it could double as a brunch dish, since the streusel on top is reminiscent of the streusel layer on top of coffee cake. The buckle is best within two days of baking, but I find that my buckles rarely last that long, as they get eaten much sooner.
Peach and Raspberry Buckle
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 t baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter, cold and cut into pieces
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup milk
3 medium-large ripe peaches, sliced in 1/6 or 1/8 pieces
1 cup (8 oz) raspberries, fresh or frozen
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease an 8 or 9-inch square baking pan.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar and whisk together. Add butter and rub in to flour mixture, until mixture is sandy and no pieces larger than a small pea remain.
Remove 1/2 cup of the mixture and place it in a small bowl. Set aside.
Add egg, vanilla extract and milk to the large bowl and stir to combine.
This can all also be done in a food processor, cutting in the butter by pulsing the blade, adding the wet ingredients and whizzing everything together to form the batter. The batter should be transferred to a bowl after it has been mixed.
When batter comes together, fold in the peaches and raspberries.
Pour batter with berries into prepared pan. Sprinkle with crumb mixture that was set aside in the small bowl.
Bake for 50-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Juices from the peaches may be bubbling at the edges of the pan, but the juices should look thickened, not watery. (8-inch pans may take 5-10 minutes longer than 9-inch pans).
Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.