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Pamela Salzman’s Whole Grain Pear-Cranberry Buckle

Pamela Salzman is all about creating dishes that taste delicious… but with a healthy twist. This Pear-Cranberry Buckle recipe is exactly that. Truth be told–I had no idea what a buckle was until Pamela walked into my kitchen. It’s actually more of a cake-like texture rather than a typical fruit cobbler or pie. As you can see, even Brooks and Scarlett were huge fans! cooking around the holidays is food intolerances or preferences of your guests.

This recipe can also be easily adapted to be dairy-free or gluten-free. This definitely comes in handy if you are hosting guests with food intolerances or preferences.

See below for Pamela’s original buckle recipe + her dairy-free/gluten-free substitutions: 

Whole Grain Pear-Cranberry Buckle

For Topping: 

  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tbsp. granulated cane sugar (don’t use all coconut sugar–it doesn’t work well)
  • 1 tbsp. coconut sugar, muscovado or brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

For Buckle:

  • Coconut oil or butter for greasing pan
  • 3 ripe, but firm pears, divided
  • 1 1/2 cup whole spelt flour or whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp. aluminium-free baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 6 tbsp. butter or unrefined coconut oil, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar or muscovado sugar
  • 1//4 cup granulated cane sugar (or use all coconut sugar)
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (sub kefir or half yogurt, half milk), at room temperature
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries, divided

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8×8 square or 9 inch round pan with coconut oil or butter. You can also line the pan with unbleached parchment paper to ensure the buckle comes out perfectly.

2. To make topping, combine pecans, sugars, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.

3. Prepare the pears: core and chop 1 pear and set aside. Core, quarter, and slice the other two pears in 1/4-inch slices, but keep the slices together. Set aside.

4. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

5. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the sugars, and butter until fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Add in the vanilla and then beat in the eggs one at a time. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

6. Add the flour mixture 1/3 at a time, pouring in 1/2 of the buttermilk in between each time, ending with the flour mixture.

7. Stir until just combined, scraping down the sides if necessary. Remove bowl from mixer and fold in the chopped pear and 1/2 cup of cranberries.

8. Pour batter into dish and spread evenly. Distribute remaining cranberries on top and push them down into the batter slightly to sink in. Arrange pear slices on top of batter. Sprinkle with topping and bake for 50-60 minutes until batter is set. Time will depend on the size of baking dish and types of berries used.

For subsitutions:

  • Gluten-free: sub ¾ c. GF oat flour + ¾ c. King Arthur GF flour + ½ t. xanthan gum
  • Dairy-free: sub ⅓ cup coconut milk + enough water to make ½ cup total + ½ Tbs. white vinegar

For more Thanksgiving recipes from Pamela Salzman, check out these links:

Apple Pie Granita // Pan Seared Cauliflower With Pomegranate Molasses // Fall Harvest Salad With Quinoa Brittle

photo credit: Erica Hampton Photography

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