A buckle, you say. Or maybe it was the whiskey part that caught your eye. Either way, I'm with you. While in Napa Valley this summer, I picked up a berry-themed cookbook from a used bookstore that was filled with traditional rustic desserts: slumps, crisps, grunts, cobblers, and buckles. All meant to be simple, comforting, and full of seasonal fruit.
A buckle is made up of a cake-like batter with fruit strewn over it and topped with streusel. As the batter bakes, it rises, surrounds the fruit, and buckles. Thus the name. Buckles have a coffeecake consistency and can be enjoyed for breakfast or dessert. That little tidbit has been especially beneficial this week, as I feel daylight savings has caused a significant increase in my need to snack. I eat and am immediately hungry again. Buckle in the morning, buckle in the afternoon, buckle in the evening-time. Daylight savings, right?
The batter for this pear and walnut buckle is made from almond flour and ground walnuts, sweetened with honey, layered with sliced pears, and covered with a walnut coconut sugar streusel, making for a grain-free version of this old time stand-by. And let's not forget the whip—coconut whipped cream warmed with ground cinnamon and a hint of whiskey. The small amount of whiskey added to the whip doesn't give me any problems, but depending on your gluten sensitivity, you may want to omit it. This buckle also does just fine with vanilla ice cream by it's side.
Pear & Walnut Buckle With Cinnamon-Whiskey Whip (gluten-free, grain-free + refined sugar-free)
- 1 ½ cup almond flour/meal
- ½ cup finely ground walnuts
- 3 tablespoons arrowroot starch
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup organic grassfed butter 1 stick, room temperature
- ¾ cup honey
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 large pears peeled and in ½ inch slices (I used Anjou)
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice blend
For Streusel Topping
- ¼ cup organic grassfed butter cold
- ½ cup walnuts chopped
- ½ cup almond flour/meal
- ⅓ cup organic coconut palm sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Cinnamon-Whiskey Coconut Whipped Cream
- 1 can organic coconut milk full fat, refrigerated overnight
- 2 tablespoons honey
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon whiskey optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter a 10-inch cake pan, baking pan or cast-iron skillet.
- In a food processor, grind ½ cup whole walnuts until close to finely ground. You may have a little more than half a cup after grinding. Transfer to a medium bowl, add almond flour, arrowroot starch, baking powder, and salt.
- In a large bowl, add butter, and beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add honey to the butter, beat until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, until well blended. Beat in vanilla extract. Add flour mixture in until combined. Set aside.
- To make streusel topping, in a small bowl combine chopped walnuts, almond flour, coconut sugar, and cinnamon. Cut cold butter in pieces and add to mixture blending with a pastry blender or using two knives until butter resembles small pebbles.
- Give batter another stir, then pour into prepared pan. Lay pear slices on top of batter. Sprinkle pumpkin pie spice blend over pears. Cover pears evenly with streusel topping.
- Bake for about 50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool buckle on wire rack.
- To make cinnamon-whiskey whip, scoop waxy solid out of can of coconut milk into a medium bowl, stopping when you hit liquid. With electric mixer on medium-low, beat until coconut milk starts to form soft peaks. Add honey, cinnamon and vanilla extract, beating until combined. Add whiskey, continuing to mix until combined.
- Serve buckle warm or at room temperature with a dollop of whip.