An old-fashioned buckle features a cake on the bottom with fruit piled on top and, as the name suggests, it buckles when it bakes. In our summertime version, we combine two favorite stone fruits—cherries and plums—to create a dessert that will be a hit at backyard barbecues and other gatherings. To gild the lily, add a dollop of whipped cream enriched with crème fraîche.
Stone Fruit Buckle with Crème Fraîche Whipped Cream
For the buckle:
- 8 Tbs. (1 stick) (4 oz./125 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing
- 1 1/4 cups (6 1/2 oz./200 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
- 3/4 cup (6 oz./185 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 Tbs. grated lemon zest
- 1 1/2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved
- 1 cup (6 oz./185 g) pitted cherries, halved
- 2 or 3 plums, pitted and cut into 1/4-inch (6-mm) slices
- 2 Tbs. turbinado sugar
For the crème fraîche whipped cream:
- 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) heavy cream
- 1 Tbs. granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) crème fraîche
- 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved
- Pinch of kosher salt
1. Preheat an oven to 375°F (190°C). Butter a 9-inch (23-cm) round cake pan.
2. To make the buckle, in a bowl, stir together the flour, salt, baking powder and nutmeg; set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the brown sugar and beat until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add the lemon zest and vanilla bean seeds and beat until combined. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture in 2 additions, beating until well combined, about 30 seconds.
4. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and spread evenly. Arrange the cherries and plums on the surface, pressing them gently to submerge them slightly into the batter. Sprinkle with the turbinado sugar.
5. Bake until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes, then invert the cake onto the rack and let cool completely.
6. Meanwhile, make the crème fraîche whipped cream: In the clean bowl of the electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat together the cream and granulated sugar on medium speed until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Increase the speed to medium-high, add the crème fraîche 1 Tbs. at a time and beat until medium-stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes. Stop the mixer, add the vanilla bean seeds and salt and beat on medium speed for 10 seconds. Refrigerate until ready to use.
7. Cut the buckle into slices and top with the whipped cream. Serves 8.
Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen