How could I not create something with these beauties? Was it not fate that brought me these arctic white nectarines and Deb's recipe for a nectarine brown butter buckle in the same week? And a birthday party I promised to attend, dessert in hand? I don't have a strong taste for sweets, but I enjoy making them. Any recipe with the words "brown butter" work their way into my psyche, and before long, I have no choice. So I found myself one Saturday, slicing juicy nectarines, browning butter and sniffing vanilla beans.
After much spazzing out about not having the right size skillet or pan, I ended up tweaking the recipe just a bit to accommodate my 12" skillet and my taste for fresh vanilla. The dough buckled just so around the nectarines, and the streusel topping got along just fine with the vanilla. The cake stayed moist, thanks mostly, I'm sure, to the nectarine's drippy goodness. We enjoyed it solo, but a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream might just set this over the top.
nectarine brown butter vanilla buckle
adapted and tweaked, ever so slightly, from Smitten Kitchen
2c. butter (plus some more to butter the pan)*
1 1/2 c. plus 2 tbl. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1 c. sugar
2/3 c. milk or buttermilk
4 c. sliced nectarines (about 5 nectarines)**
1 tbl. lemon juice
*Even though the recipe only calls for a total of 3/4 cup of browned butter, I browned 2 cups after reading some of the many comments on Deb's original recipe. Some folks found themselves with not enough browned butter, as some disappeared in the process. The Case of the Disappearing Browned Butter has something to do with butter quality, but I had no Scooby snacks, so I couldn't figure it out.
**Toss the nectarines with the lemon juice as soon as you slice them to preserve their color and flavor.
1/4 c. browned butter (the leftovers from the amount above)
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. flour
seeds of 1 vanilla bean
pinch of salt
Brown the butter, and allow it to cool.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and line the bottom (with parchment paper) of a 12" cast iron skillet.
Mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Whisk 1/2 c. of the browned butter with the sugar, adding the eggs one at a time. Stir in the milk, followed by the flour mixture. Spread (and smooth) the batter into the skillet. Toss the sliced nectarines with lemon juice and arrange them in a single layer on top of the batter. (You can get as fancy as you want to with the arrangement. I guess I'd call mine... rustic?)
Mix the 1/4 c. remaining browned butter with the sugar, flour, vanilla seeds and salt with a fork until large crumbs form. Sprinkle the streusel mixture over the nectarine-topped cake. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the top is golden brown and a cake tester (i.e. toothpick) comes out clean. Let cool completely.