It could not have been a coincidence. In one week, I twice read about a mysterious creation called a "buckle." No, not a belt buckle, or the type the pilgrims supposedly wore on their shoes--this buckle apparently involved baking and fresh seasonal fruit. I'd been in the mood to get back into the kitchen and try whipping up something with the last of summer's fruit ever since I tried Amy's nectarine pie. The buckle double-whammy (first reading about it on Alissa's blog, and then on The Wednesday Chef) was clearly a sign.
I chose a recipe for an Almond-Plum Buckle from epicurious.com that got four-fork ratings across the board, and got down to business. I omitted the almond extract and added a little extra vanilla instead, and I used just four plums rather than the recommended eight (the creator of the recipe must have been working with some pretty tiny little plums), but other than that, followed the recipe to the letter. It was easy as pie! (Or perhaps I should say "easy as buckle.") Just a standard layer of cake batter on the bottom, some plum slices on top, and pop it in the oven. The fruit literally "buckles" under the cake batter, creating a nicely patterned top. Unfortunately I got a little antsy at the end when the top wasn't browning and decided to pop it under the broiler. Bad call. I hid the overly browned (not quite burnt) area under a dusting of powdered sugar, and fortunately the taste didn't suffer at all.
I had some today with my coffee. Fabulous! The plums were soft and delicious and the crunch of the ground almonds added just the right touch of texture to the cake. I'll be making this one again.