FYI: no spoilers here! I don't believe in spoiling plotlines so I won't. Read on safely...
I am a terrible person. A truly awful, tempted, weak person, acting of my own accord for my own personal gain (as more than one Harry Potter character has pondered, ack, do I belong in Slytherin?!) I read Harry Potter Seven two days before its official release. I soaked in every last word, knowing full well of JKR's desperate please to save any advanced copy access until the 21st. It took me about 8 hours on Wednesday night and 2 hours this morning to work my way through the giant (and quite certainly authentic) PDF file, but the deed is done.
Why, why would I do such a thing? Well, I had already bought the book. It's on its way via overnight fedex for Saturday. I knew the book could be found online, and, err, I just... I couldn't help myself. It was out there: tempting me, luring me with a promise of my own 5 years of reader expectation to be immediately and thoroughly satisfied (in short, I was greedy). I had also rather unintentionally stumbled on some spoilers, and after reading those little supposed-snippets, I had to find out for myself if they were true - they weren't, thank goodness. I hated it, I loved it, heck, it almost made me cry. For better or worse, the story is finished, and I'll save my analysis until after more people are likely to have finished the book.
There. I did a bad thing. For some reason I felt the urge to share this with the world...
Speaking of guilty consciences, I did promise the blueberry buckle, and here it is! This recipe resulted from one of Greg's coworkers sending him home with two cups of delicious, perfectly ripe blueberries that she brought back with her on a plane from Washington. I made a half batch but I'll give you the full recipe.
The blueberries were amazing; the buckle was even better. You can make this in one bowl if you wish, and the vigorous stirring involved means it's literally impossible to go wrong since the batter is not likely to get tough like other muffin or quickbread recipes. Coming from someone who despises working with pastry dough, I truly appreciate that such quick recipe could give such a nice silky texture to a baked good (no worries about butter temperature here). The resulting concoction, not unlike a coffee cake, was amazingly buttery and rich. It was the perfect way to make the perfect blueberries... perfectly unhealthy.
I made some very slight alterations to this recipe (more blueberries, less streusel). When I made the buckle with the full amount of sugary/buttery crust, it was just a bit too much. If you like things rich, just make twice the topping per the original recipe's request. I also threw in two heaping tablespoons of corn starch, an addition that I had read would help all purpose flour achieve a similar texture similar to cake flour (this is the same idea as tossing in a package of instant pudding to make cake stay moist). This simple recipe would be delicious with any other sweet berries, or maybe some chopped apples sauteed first with a little butter and sugar. It would also be great minus the streusel and plus a little drizzled honey. Or with toasted walnuts on top. Or... mmm...
Adapted from The Desert Book by Nancy Baggett
Serves: At least one, I think : )
200g all purpose flour (~1 2/3 cup, but I implore you to weight it out if you've got a scale)
2 tbsp corn starch
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar (generous 3/4 cup if the blueberries are tart)
10 tbsp very soft butter (do not melt)
2 large organic eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
4 cups blueberries
1/2 cup, scant, sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 tbsp butter
- Sift the flour, corn starch, baking powder and salt together into a bowl. Add the butter and sugar. By hand, or in a mixer on low speed, stir until mixture is blended and crumbly (about 2 minutes)
- Add milk, eggs and vanilla to a small measuring cup or bowl. Whisk together with a fork. Pour on top of flour mixture and beat together until the egg mixture is incorporated. Raise your hand / the mixer's speed to medium and beat for an additional 1 1/2 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed
- Gently fold in the blueberries*.
- Pour batter into a greased 9x13 pan.
- Make the streusel: mash together all of the ingredients with a fork until crumbly. Sprinkle on top of the batter.
- Bake 35-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the top is crispy.