I’ve always felt bad for nectarines.  They’re like the red-headed stepchild of the summer fruit world, with peaches and strawberries getting all the good headlines while they languish further down, buried somewhere in the body of the article.  With the same light sweetness of peaches, they also have a hint of lemoniness to them, making them a nice surprise in cobblers, cakes and trifles.

Last summer, I found this recipe on one of my favorite foodie blogs, Smitten Kitchen.  Within a week, I made it two or three times to share it with family and my coworkers. This recipe complements the light sweetness of the nectarines with the nuttiness of browned butter.

So, what’s a buckle, you ask?  Buckles are a lot like crumbles, since they have a similar streusel topping.  What makes them buckles is the coffee-cakey-bit underneath.  This is a fantastic, light cake that’s a perfect finish for a weekend brunch.

Nectarine and Brown Butter Buckle

  • 6 oz butter
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • slightly less than 1 tsp salt
  • pinch allspice
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
  • 2-3 nectarines, pitted and cut into wedges about 1″ thick

Streusel

  • Reserved butter from cake
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • dash cinnamon
  • pinch salt

First things first – brown the butter by putting it in a small saucepan over medium heat.  The butter will melt and you’ll see it turn a deeper golden where it will stay for what seems like forever until it really starts to brown – let the solids turn a nice medium-brown, then turn off the heat so that you don’t burn it.  Then, let the butter cool for a good 20 minutes or so.  While the butter is cooling, you can get everything else together:

Preheat the oven to 350 and prepare an 8″ springform pan by buttering and lining with parchment paper.  In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and allspice.  In a medium bowl, mix the flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt for the streusel.  In a separate medium bowl, combine the sugars, then pour in the cooled butter and mix well before stirring in the eggs and sour cream or creme fraiche.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir to combine.  Pour into the prepared springform pan, then layer the nectarines across the top, pressing lightly into the batter.  Top with the streusel, then bake about 50 minutes before checking its progress.  It’s done when I tester comes out clean.

Advertisements