In Texas there is a prickly little bush found along paths, in parks, and in fields that yields a tart little berry called a dewberry. The dewberry is a lot like a blackberry in look and taste, and they grow here and there in careless abundance. There's something pretty addicting about wild berry picking. Not only is it satisfying to work for your food - and not having to pay for it like at pick your own farms - but you're constantly spotting "just one more little patch" with a goldmine of plump, juicy berries. Dewberries don't come entirely free, though - they come at the cost of a couple dozen pricker scratches up and down the hands and arm. You could theoretically avoid getting scratched if you are very careful but if you just haaaaaaave to get those fat ones nestled deep in the bush, your arm is going to pay.
A few days ago a friend of mine invited us over to her farm to berry pick. My kids were total champs and we came out with about three pints of berries after just an hour. And that's not counting all the berries consumed along the way. I told you, it's addicting. Fresh berries! Free! So what to do with an abundance of berries? I went back and forth for a while but decided I wanted a cake that was just loaded with berries - like, buckling under their weight. :)
This dewberry buckle with almond streusel was a big hit and the perfect way to enjoy two pints of the berries. The cake is incredibly moist and bursting with the bright juiciness of the berries, and the liberally scattered streusel covers it with a buttery, sweet crunch. I found the recipe on food52. In its original form it calls for hazelnuts and any variation of berry so I made just very minor adjustments. It was quick and easy and was a perfect showcase for the berry and a satisfying reward for the days' work. Especially with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
dewberry buckle with almond streusel
adapted from this recipe on food52
3/4 cup roasted almonds, cooled
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 Tbsp butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup buttermilk, room temp
2 pints berries
Pulse the almonds until broken down into smaller pieces. Add the sugar, flour, salt, and spices and pulse a few times until combined.
Add the butter and pulse until incorporated and the texture of clumpy, wet sand. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 and grease and flour a 9 inch square pan.
Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl, whisking well to combine.
In a large bowl, microwave the butter until about half melted, then add in sugar, egg, and extracts and whisk until pale, and fluffy and well combined, about a minute or two. Slowly whisk in buttermilk until combined.
Stir in dry ingredients until almost totally combined , then carefully fold in the berries. Don' worry if some of them break up.
Scoop batter into prepared pan and spread evenly. Scatter the streusel evenly over the top. Bake about 45 minutes, or until the streusel is golden brown and a tester comes out clean.