Friday, May 24, 2013

Huckleberry Buckle with Lemon Sauce

Catagory: Desserts
Difficulty: Easy

I remember picking huckleberries in the early morning light near my grandmother's vacation cabin. It was in Northern California redwood country--where the air is as soft as the branch-strewn loam under your feet.  Behind the cabin were bushes plump with huckleberries, growing all silver and blue in the morning sun.  A tiny berry, they are perfect for childish fingers to gather. My sister and I would fill empty coffee cans with them, enjoying the occasional tangy handful until  juice ran in purple streaks down our faces. Then we would run to the cabin (bringing what we hadn't eaten), and beg our mother to make a rare dessert called "Huckleberry Buckle".

A "Buckle" is kind of like a "Crisp" as well as being first cousin to a "Cobbler". They're similar; all being some kind of yummy, sticky cake baked with fruit , spices and sugar. The "buckle" refers to how the top of this struesel-clad cake looks like after it bakes. Bumpy and uneven...  buckled, like an old wood floor.

This is my great-grandmother, Sarah Robinson's, recipe.  Her family came over the Oregon trail in covered wagons. But you don't need a covered wagon to make Huckleberry Buckle. You just need huckleberries or ollaliberries or blackberries or mixed berries. Serve it warm from the oven...with whupped cream or vanilla ice cream.


1/2 C shortening
1/2 C sugar
1 egg
2 t baking powder 
1 C flour
4 1/2 t baking powder
1/3 C milk
1 pint huckleberries (or other slightly sour berries)
1/2 C sugar
1/4 C butter
1/3 C flour
1 t cinnamon

Lemon Sauce:
1/2 C sugar
1 C hot water
1 T cornstarch
pinch salt
1 egg yolk (separated from white)
3 T lemon juice
2 T butter


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8"X 8" pan. Cream shortening, and sugar then add 1 egg and combine. Sift 1 C flour and 2 t baking powder together and add to the creamed sugar mixture with 1/3 C milk. Put in pan. Sprinkle 1 pt. (2 cups) berries over the top. Crumble together and put over this: 1/2 C sugar, 1/4 C butter, 1/3 C flour, 1 t. cinnamon. Bake 40 minutes at 350 degrees.

For Sauce: In a saucepan combine 1/2 C sugar, 1 C hot water, 1 T constarch and a pinch of salt. Bring to boil, for 15 minutes. Put over boiling water in the top of a double boiler. Add 1 egg yolk, 3 T lemon juice and 2 T butter. Stir well till thick and serve over the top of large helpings of warm Buckle. Total comfort food heaven!

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