Note: Among the cobblers, slumps, grunts, crisps, pandowdies and other old-time Yankee desserts we tried in The Times Test Kitchen for a Fourth of July report by Food writer Charles Perry, wild blueberry buckle was our favorite. It disappeared within minutes.
In effect, a buckle is an upside-down cake with the fruit in the middle. "To make a buckle," Perry wrote, "you mix fruit (usually berries) into the pudding dough and bake it, usually with a streusel topping. The result is like a rich, fruity coffee cake. In some recipes, the fruit is arranged on top of the dough and sinks into it while baking. There's no persuasive explanation for the name 'buckle,' though maybe people thought it looked as if it were buckling when the fruit sank."
The following recipe is from "The Jordan Collection of New England Cookery" (Jordan Hospital Club, Plymouth, Mass., 1976).
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup milk
2 cups blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup flour
1/4 cup butter
Cream sugar and shortening by beating until fluffy, then beat in egg. Sift together flour, salt and baking powder. Add to shortening alternately with milk. Blend in blueberries and pour into buttered and floured 10x6-inch baking dish.
Mix sugar, cinnamon, flour and butter and sprinkle over top of buckle. Bake at 375 degrees until top is browned, about 45 minutes. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Each of 6 servings contains about: 517 calories; 440 mg sodium; 58 mg cholesterol; 18 grams fat; 84 grams carbohydrates; 7 grams protein; 0.76 gram fiber.