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That is creme fraiche on top

There are some foods that I have been on a twenty year quest to conquer;  to find the absolute ideal recipe for, and this is one of them.  Sometimes, you get lucky.  For instance, I finally found the perfect baked macaroni and cheese recipe a few years ago, and could put that to rest, much to our delight.  However, the search continues for the perfect brownie.  Tyler Florence’s Amarreto Brownie recipe comes close, but it has a crunchy, flaky crust on top that I don’t like.  I want a brownie that is deep, intensely chocolate and chewy, but not gooey.  I have tried at least 25 different recipes, plus countless original variations.  If I make Tyler’s brownie batter, and then make the Ghirardelli dark chocolate brownie mix and stir both batters together, that is darn near what I’m looking for.  But that’s cheating.

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As for buckle, the quest started when I was 18.  Growing up in the 70’s, I had a neighbor who made really good blueberry buckle, and graciously gave me the recipe.  While in high school, I used to make it all the time, but during college I lost the recipe card.  Since then I’ve tried every buckle recipe I’ve come across, but none have been right.  Until this.  This recipe was adapted from one in a little pamphlet put out by the Maine Wild Blueberry Company.  I substituted raspberries and added 1/2 cup of ricotta cheese and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract.  Now we’re talking. This is one quest I can put to rest……..now if only I could find the perfect brownie recipe…
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Raspberry Cannoli Buckle

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries

Crumb Topping:
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease and flour a 9-inch square baking dish.  Cream butter with sugar.  Add egg and beat well.  Stir in ricotta cheese and flavorings.  Sift flour with baking powder and salt.  Add to creamed butter mixture alternately with milk.  Do not over beat.  Gently fold in raspberries.

To make topping, place all ingredients in a medium bowl and then smash it together with your fingers, pressing the pieces of butter into the dry ingredients until you have a crumbly mixture.  

Spread batter in prepared pan and sprinkle topping evenly over.  Bake approximately 45 minutes.  Serve warm with creme fraiche, whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

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