I had an over-abundance of fruit in my freezer. At one point, I had a large bag of frozen blueberries, strawberries and raspberries, all just chilling there, taking up space. Many of the restrictions had been lifted at that point, so we made more frequent trips to the grocery store. Still, I wanted to make use of the ingredients we had on hand, so I was in search of a way to use up the raspberries in particular. I was looking through the Oh Yum with Anna Olson Youtube Channel when I found this recipe for Raspberry Ricotta Buckle. Interestingly enough, I actually had a tub of ricotta about to go bad, so it felt meant to be. Anna is a season baker whose channel is full of great recipes and baking tips- I’ve been watching her for years and have tried a good number of her bakes. Prior to this little lockdown project, I hadn’t really used berries in my baking- mostly because they’re not things that my family tend to eat a lot of. Pair that with the fact that I didn’t know what a “buckle” was, and I was set for a new project. It turns out a “buckle” is just a coffee cake with fruit. It’s also worth mentioning that a coffee cake has no coffee in it, rather it’s called that because it’s eaten with coffee. Baking is weird guys, I know.
This is one of those quick and easy pastries that comes together in no time at all. It starts off by whisking the ricotta, eggs, melted butter, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla in a bowl. Separately, the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt are sifted into the wet bowl and the two are stirred together to form a thick cake batter. That gets transferred into a greased pan while we prepare the berries. Now Anna calls for the frozen berries to be defrosted and coated in flour, but really I’d say it’s best to use them fresh from the freezer. The thawing makes for a lot of liquid that essentially gets tossed out. The remaining liquid mixes in with the flour to make this weird paste-like consistency which I ended up just going with anyway, pouring over the cake better. Next came the streusel topping which takes this from a regular cake to a coffee cake. Streusel seems difficult, but really it’s just a mix of flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt and baking powder that’s stirred together before melted butter is streamed in. The result is a craggy topping that gets sprinkled over the berries. The assembled buckle is baked for about 45 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the cake is cooked.
If you’re looking for something to put together in a hurry, this is a great option. The play between the tart raspberries and the sweet streusel topping really balances out the whole dish. The cake itself is light, which I was worried about considering how thick the batter was and how I assumed it would be weighed down by the toppings. Even after a few days, it stayed nice and soft, with only the streusel losing its texture. That day, however, the streusel was so addictively crunchy with the pop of juiciness of the berries, making it all the more satisfying. The fruit paste turned out great as well, though I’ll follow my earlier note about not defrosting them- hopefully to improve the texture. I halved the recipe because there’s so few of us here, but really, I can see it being a great addition to a family dinner or brunch. It made for a great breakfast for the next few days after I made it- with coffee of course.
Full Recipe | Method by Anna Olson: