Strawberry season is a much-anticipated event in the Northeast, strawberries being one of the first and most impressive fresh fruits we finally we get to pick after long, cold winters. While they are great on their own, strawberries are fantastic in desserts, so I tapped Omega’s former head baker, Erin Day, for her favorite strawberry recipe. A buckle, which is similar to a crumble, is a cake with berries in the batter and a streusel topping. It can also be made with blueberries, raspberries, peaches, or a combination of fruits.
Makes 12 pieces
1 cup sugar
14 tablespoons butter at room temperature
4 eggs at room temperature
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ lbs strawberries, stemmed and sliced into ¼-inch pieces
1 lb butter, cold, diced medium
5 cups flour
3 ¼ cups sugar
Preheat oven to 325° F. Prepare a 9 x 11-inch baking pan by brushing liberally with vegetable oil.
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Incorporate the eggs one at time, and add the vanilla with the final egg. Combine the flour and salt in a separate bowl, and then add the dry mixture to the wet mixture in three stages. The batter will be sticky, but do your best to spread it evenly in the baking pan. (If you lightly flour your hands you can work the mixture with your fingers and it will not stick to them.) Cover the batter with the strawberries and bake until the edges start to set but the center still jiggles, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the streusel by mixing flour and sugar with in food processor. With the processor running, add the chunks of butter one at a time until the mixture is roughly pea-sized and has a sandy appearance.
When the initial baking period is done, remove the buckle from the oven, spread the streusel evenly over the top (you will likely not use all the streusel topping; leftovers can be stored in the freezer for future use). Return the buckle to the oven until it completely sets, about another 15 minutes. If bubbles form on the buckle, poke them with a skewer to release the trapped steam.
Let cool before serving with a dollop of freshly whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream.