Friday, August 8, 2008

Celebrating the Blues

It's blueberry season, and that's doubly exciting in Maine because we not only have cartons of standard blueberries, but we harvest those marvelous little jewels, wild blueberries. Wilds are the smaller, sweeter version of the big berries you see in supermarkets across America, and if you don't live up here, you can probably only get the wilds in frozen or canned varieties, which I'll just tell you right now, are going to be a disappointment. Fresh wild blueberries are so good you'll just want to eat a bowlful with a spoon (not to mention add them to your cereal).

Below are my favored recipes for both standards and wilds.

Blueberry Pie (my 4th of July dessert of choice)
Source: Southern Living

1 homemade pastry for double crust pie, chilled for at least 30 minutes
5 cups standard blueberries
1 T lemon juice
1 c sugar
1/3 c flour
1/8 t salt
1/2 t cinnamon
2 T butter
1 egg, lightly beaten with a bit of water
1 t sugar

Stem blueberries and mix with next 5 ingredients. Pour into pastry crust. Dot with butter. Cover with top crust (I prefer a lattice top b/c it crisps better). Cut vents in top crust. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes or until golden. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Blueberry Jam
Source: Southern Living

1 1/2 quarts stemmed standard blueberries, partly crushed
1/4 c fresh lemon juice
1 stick cinnamon
7 c sugar
2 (3-oz) packs of pectin

Combine first 4 ingredients in a pot; bring to boil until sugar dissolves, stirring often. Boil 2 minutes, stirring often; remove from heat. Discard cinnamon. Add pectin; stir 5 minutes.
Pour into sterilized jars and seal. Process in boiling water 5 minutes.

Loads-of-Blueberries Coffee Cake
Source: Food Network

4 T butter
3 c wild blueberries
2 c flour
2 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
3/4 c milk
2/3 c granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 T sugar mixed with 1/2 t nutmeg

Melt butter and cool. Mix together flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk together milk, sugar, eggs, and butter. Stir into flour mixture. Fold in the blueberries. Spread batter in greased 8- or 9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with the sugar-nutmeg topping. Bake 45-50 minutes or until done.

Blueberry Streusel Muffins
Source: Southern Living

1 3/4 c flour
2 3/4 t baking powder
3/4 t salt
1/2 c sugar
2 t lemon zest (or more...much, much more!)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3/4 c milk
1/3 c vegetable oil
1 1/2 c wild blueberries
1 T flour
1 T sugar
1/4 c sugar
2 1/2 T flour
1/2 t cinnamon
1 1/2 T butter

Combine first 5 ingredients. Combine egg, milk, and oil and stir well. Add to dry ingredients, stirring to moisten. Toss together blueberries, 1 T flour, and 1 T sugar and fold into batter. Spoon into a dozen greased or lined muffin tins. Combine 1/4 c sugar, 2 1/2 T flour, 1/2 t cinnamon, and butter; cut with a pastry blender until crumbly and top muffins. Bake at 400 degrees for 18 minutes or until golden.

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

We purchased some wild blueberries today at a farm store and the blueberry coffee cake is in the oven. We'll let you know how it turns out!

What a great state Maine is!