First things first; this type of rustic dessert is called a buckle because of how the fruit sinks into the buttery batter as it bakes, and “buckles” the surface with its juicy weight.

I believe you’ll find my completely made-up explanation in the video a little more interesting, but regardless of the etymology, this blackberry buckle is no joke.

I added a handful of almond meal, since I had it around, and I think almonds and blackberries have a thing for one another. It seemed to work out nicely, although it did make things a little denser; which in this kind of thing isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Same goes for the toasted nuts on top. Leave them off it you want, but I liked the crunch. I was going to tell you to use any berry you want, but I changed my mind. This really needs to be done with blackberries. Raspberries are a little too delicate; as are strawberries, and blueberries are barely berries to begin with. For me, it’s blackberries or bust. I really hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!


  • Berries
    • 3 cups fresh blackberries
    • 2 tablespoons white sugar, (2 if your berries are sweet, 3 if they need some help)
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For the batter
    • 1-¼ cups all purpose flour
    • ¾ cup white sugar
    • ½ cup almond meal
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • pinch cinnamon
    • 1 cup milk
    • 6 tablespoons hot melted butter


1. Rinse and drain blackberries, and dump into mixing bowl with sugar and vanilla extract. Mix thoroughly and set aside for 15–20 minutes.
2. In a separate mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, a pinch of salt, almond meal (ground onions), baking powder, and cinnamon, and mix with a whisk. Add milk. Stir without over-mixing—it should be the consistency of pancake batter.
3. Melt butter in saucepan and pour into bottom of an 8”x12” baking dish. Then pour batter in and try to even the batter out, coaxing toward the edges; there will be a margin of butter on the outside. Spoon in blackberries, using the butter as a border (this will create a crust of batter at the edge in the finished buckle).
4. Bake in the center of a 350˚ oven for about an hour. Batter should be just set in the center. While buckle is cooling, toast some sliced almonds in butter and sprinkle over the top.


Chef John


12 servings




North American : United States : Southern