blueberry

Blueberry and Red Grape Sorbet

Blueberry-Red Grape Sorbet

Sometimes accidents are a good thing. I was planning on making a sorbet from frozen blueberries. I had already made a strawberry sorbet and a coconut sorbet. I wanted something “blue” for a red, white and blue dessert.

I grabbed a few containers of  blueberries out of the freezer and put them on the counter to soften for a few minutes. Well, instead of three containers of blueberries I had grabbed one of blueberries and two of red grapes.

I decided to use them together. It really worked out well, because the grapes added a lot of natural sweetness to the blueberries. I added a couple of tablespoons of sugar to the fruit, but in hindsight, I think the sorbet would be sweet enough without any added sugar. I also added a little fresh mint. It really is a light, refreshing dessert. I only wish I had more. With company over the weekend, and hot weather, it is sure to go fast.

 

Blueberry-Red Grape Sorbet

4 c. red grapes, fresh or frozen

2 c. blueberries, fresh or frozen

sugar to taste- I used a couple of tablespoons

a few sprigs of fresh mint, optional

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. You might have to do this in a couple of batches. Place in a container and freeze until solid. Remove from freezer and allow to soften for about 20 minutes, or even a little less. Mixture should still be frozen, but soft enough to break into chunks. Place in processor and mix again. Mixture will get smoother and softer. You can also do this step in a stand mixer or even with a hand mixer. Return sorbet to freezer, until ready to eat it.

Really Easy Blueberry Crumb Cake

Blueberry Crumb Cake

Blueberry Crumb Cake

When local berries are in season I freeze plenty so I can enjoy them all year round. In a recent cleaning out of the freezer, I pulled out a package of blueberries and decided to make something with them. I love blueberries in pretty much anything. I cook with them all the time. This is one of my favorite blueberry recipes- and that is saying a lot. It is a classic and always a favorite when I make it for friends and family. The cake is moist, tender and delicate but the magic is that crumb topping. The cake isn’t too sweet, so you can enjoy it for dessert, or even for breakfast or brunch. I like it plain, but friends have been known to serve it with ice cream. There is something extra nice about a blueberry cake on a snowy day.

 

 

Blueberry Crumb Cake

For cake batter:
2 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
½ t. salt
½ stick (¼ cup) butter, softened
¾ c. sugar
1 egg
½ c. milk
1 pint blueberries, fresh or frozen
For topping:
½ c. sugar
¼ c. flour
½ t. cinnamon
½ stick (¼ c. butter, chilled and cut into bits)
Combine dry ingredients and set aside. In mixing bowl with electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and milk. Add flour mixture gradually until just mixed in. Fold in blueberries. Grease and flour an 8 or 9-inch square baking pan and add prepared batter. Combine topping ingredients until they resemble coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over batter in pan and bake in a preheated 375-degree oven and bake for 35-45 minutes. Use toothpick to test.
Note: I have used a 9-inch round pan and it worked fine.

Blueberry Vanilla Jam

Blueberry Vanilla Jam

Blueberry Vanilla Jam

I make a lot of jams, jellies and preserves in the summer when berries are abundant. I also freeze berries and other fruits. That way I can enjoy them throughout the year. I really had a taste for some homemade blueberry jam. Since I was out I decided to use some of the blueberries I had frozen from last summer. I used the basic berry jam recipe from the Ball Blue Book, but I added some vanilla and a little lemon juice for extra flavor. How nice to have a reminder of summer days as winter comes to a close.

 

Blueberry Vanilla Jam

9 c. crushed fruit

6 c. sugar

1/4 c. lemon juice

1 T. vanilla

Pick over berries getting any stems. Rinse , drain and crush. Place berries, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla in a large saucepan and heat slowly until sugar has melted. Bring up heat and cook over high heat, stirring often. Stir more as mixture thickens. It will take 20-30 minutes to get to the gel stage. To check for gel stage dip a metal spoon in blueberry mixture and hold it up sideways. Allow mixture to drip off and when two drops come together to form one larger drop- you are at gel stage. You can also use a candy thermometer. When the jam reaches 220 degrees- or 8 degrees over the temp of boiling water- you are at gel stage. Ladle hot jam into clean, hot jelly jars. Fill to within 1/4 inch of the top. Wipe rims and place on lids prepared according to directions on box. Screw lids comfortably tight. Place jars in boiling water bath with water at least 1-2 inches over the tops of the jars. Cover pot and start timing when water returns to the boil. Process 15 minutes. Remove jars to towel, cutting board or cooling rack in a draft-free location. Check seals once jars are cooled. Makes 8-10 jelly jars.

Source: Adapted from Ball Blue Book

Blueberry Pie

Blueberry Pie

Blueberry Pie

I guess I just have blueberries on my mind. I had quite a few in the freezer and decided to use some to make blueberry jam yesterday. Then, at dinner last night, the topic of pies came up. Something about “Pi” Day. My friend’s response was that ANY day was Pie Day!!   I had some more blueberries in the freezer and decided maybe today was Pie Day after all.

 

Blueberry Pie

Pastry for 2 crust pie- recipe- The crust recipe I used is at the bottom of the page

2 ½ T. cornstarch

1 c. sugar

3 c. fresh or frozen blueberries

1 T. lemon juice

1 T. butter

 1 T. sugar, for sprinkling

Roll out half of the crust and place in 8 or 9-inch pie pan. You can roll out the top crust ahead of time, or even cut into strips for a lattice top. Cover remaining crust to keep it from drying out. In medium bowl mix cornstarch and sugar. Toss in berries and then sprinkle in the lemon juice. Allow to stand 15 minutes. If berries were frozen be sure they are not clumped together. Spoon mixture into prepared crust and dot with the butter. Top with the second crust or place strips on in a lattice design. If using a whole crust cut in decorative slits for ventilation. I used a tiny heart-shaped cutter for my pie. Moisten then crimp edges and shape decoratively or use a fork to seal. Place pie in lower half of hot oven. Bake in a preheated 425-degree oven for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 and bake an additional 40-50 minutes or until crust is brown and juices begin to bubble through the slits. Cool a little before serving.

 

Flaky Pie Crust

2 c. flour

1 t. salt

3/4 c. shortening, chilled – you can use coconut oil, butter or lard

1 T. cider vinegar

4-5 T. cold water

Combine flour and salt and cut in shortening. Toss in vinegar and water 1 tablespoon at a time until dough holds together. Use a fork to toss the ingredients together and as soon as the mixture holds together stop adding water. Makes 2. Chill well before using

Blueberry Sweet Rolls

Blueberry Sweet Rolls

Blueberry Sweet Rolls

I always stock up on blueberries when they are in season. I wash them and then let them drain well. Once they have dried off I just pop the blueberries in the freezer for use later. On days like this I am so happy I did that. Chilly and damp it was a perfect day to make these sweet rolls. The fragrance of the rolls baking with the aroma of blueberries made me think of warmer days. A friend stopped over for coffee and we sat down for a nice visit and a tasty treat. The rolls can be made with fresh or frozen berries.

 

Blueberry Sweet Rolls

3-3 1/2 c. bread flour
1 package active dry yeast
1 1/3 c. evaporated milk
6 T. butter
1/4 c. sugar
1 t. salt
1 egg
6 T. butter, melted

1/2 c. sugar
2 t. cinnamon
1 t. grated lemon or orange peel
2 c. fresh or frozen blueberries

In bowl combine 1 1/2 c. of the flour with the yeast, sugar and salt. Heat together the milk and 2T. of the butter until warm and add to the flour mixture, beating 2 minutes. Add egg and beat 2 minutes longer. By hand stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead, adding flour as needed until dough becomes moderately stiff. Place in greased bowl, turning once to coat and cover. Allow to double in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours. Punch dough down, cover, and let rest 10 minutes. Divide dough in half. Roll each half into a 14×8 inch rectangle. Brush dough with the melted butter. Combine the remaining sugar, peel and cinnamon and sprinkle over the dough. Top with the blueberries and press the berries into the dough. Starting at the long side roll up dough jelly roll fashion and seal edge by pinching. Repeat with second roll. Cut each roll into 12 slices and place 12 rolls in greased 9 inch round pans. Cover pans and allow to rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. While rolls are warm, you can top with a powder sugar glaze, if desired. Makes 24.

Warm Blueberry Cake

Warm Blueberry Cake

Warm Blueberry Cake

If you need a quick dessert or even a nice addition for a brunch this cake is a great choice. It really is so easy to make. As the name implies  it is meant to be served warm, but good at room temp, too.

 

Warm Blueberry Cake

2 c. biscuit mix*
1/2 c. sugar
1/3 c. milk
2 T. oil
1 egg
1 1/2 c. blueberries

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a 9×9-inch pan. Beat all ingredients together, except berries, for about 30 seconds. Fold in berries and pour into prepared pan. Bake for about 35 minutes. Cake should be golden brown on top and test clean with a toothpick. Serve warm.

*Like Bisquick or Jiffy mix. I make my own. Recipe follows.

 

Biscuit Mix

8 c. flour
1 c. powdered milk
1 c. powdered buttermilk (or 1 more cup powdered milk)
1/4 c. baking powder
1 T. salt
1 1/2 c. shortening*

Combine dry ingredients and cut in shortening until well mixed. Store in tightly covered container. Makes 10 cups.

* You can use butter instead, but keep mix in fridge and use in a couple of months. You can also use coconut oil- also best to keep this version in the fridge.

 

 

 

Blueberry Syrup and Blueberry Pancakes

Blueberry Pancakes with Blueberry Syrup

Blueberry Pancakes with Blueberry Syrup

I love blueberries and enjoy them in all sorts of dishes. For breakfast I can’t think of a better dish than blueberry pancakes with fresh made blueberry syrup. We made these in class the other night and everyone enjoyed them. The pancakes were light and very fluffy. The secret is not to over mix them. The batter was stirred until just mixed. The syrup is pretty simple. Just three ingredients blueberries, sugar and a little water. We served it warm over the pancakes.

 

Blueberry Pancakes

2 c. biscuit mix*
1 c. milk
2 eggs
1 c. fresh or frozen blueberries

Combine mix, milk and eggs until just blended. Fold in berries. Pour batter by scant 1/4 cups in lightly greased griddle or skillet over moderate heat. Turn when pancakes are dry around the edges. Cook until golden brown. Makes about 13.

* Like Bisquick or Jiffy Mix or home made- recipe follows

Biscuit Mix

8 c. flour
1 c. powdered milk
1 c. powdered buttermilk (or 1 more cup powdered milk)
1/4 c. baking powder
1 T. salt
1 1/2 c. shortening*

Combine dry ingredients and cut in shortening until well mixed. Store in tightly covered container. Makes 10 cups.

* You can substitute coconut oil or butter for the shortening- but mix will have to be kept cool. Refrigerate if using butter and use withing 3 months.

Blueberry Syrup

4 c. blueberries
1 c. water
1½ c. sugar

In saucepan heat berries and water to a boil and boil 2 minutes. Crush berries with a potato masher as they cook. Add sugar and cook for 10- 15 minutes on medium heat until mixture thickens.  Process syrup with an immersion blender or in a blender until smooth.  Cool, then refrigerate. Keeps a couple of weeks. Makes about 3½ cups.

 

Blueberry Ice Cream

Blueberry Ice Cream

Blueberry Ice Cream

I planted some blueberry bushes last year. I won’t claim to have a bumper crop- but I’ve gotten enough to have a handful for breakfast a few times. The local birds have enjoyed them, too. With a warm day ahead I decided to make some blueberry ice cream.  Whipped up a batch this morning. Super creamy and good. Note: If you are lactose intolerant you can use almond, rice or coconut milk in this recipe. Also feel free to add flavorings. I added some vanilla extract to mine. While it is easier to make with an ice cream maker- you don’t have to have one for this recipe. Enjoy!!

 

 

 

Blueberry Ice Cream

3 c. blueberries

1 c. sugar

1/4 c. water

2 T. fresh lemon juice

1 c. heavy whipping cream

1 c. half and half

 

Combine berries with sugar and water in saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Puree mixture and stir in lemon juice. Refrigerate until completely cool. Stir in the whipping cream and half and half and freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Makes 6 cups.

Note: If you don’t have an ice cream maker, freeze in shallow trays and thaw a little before whipping with a hand mixer. Better if you re-freeze and whip again later.

Berry White Cake

Berry White Cake

Berry White Cake

I wanted a dessert that included fresh berries. I ended up making a white cake and then studded it with raspberries and blueberries. I topped it off with a lemon butter cream frosting and since it was the 4th of July I added a few star sprinkles. I loved the cake and it was a big hit with friends. After the cake was all done I decided to call it the Berry White Cake and found myself humming Barry White songs!!

To make the cake start by making a white cake batter. I used homemade -recipe follows- but you could use a box mix if that is what you prefer. After you pour the batter into your pans, or pans, sprinkle with some blueberries and raspberries- or whatever berries you happen to have. Fresh or frozen berries could be used. I used about 2 cups of berries in all, maybe a bit more.

Top the cake batter with berries before baking

Top the cake batter with berries before baking

Freshly baked

Freshly baked

Finished with lemon butter cream and patriotic sprinkles

Finished with lemon butter cream and patriotic sprinkles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once cooled frost the cake. I used a lemon butter cream- recipe follows.

Classic White Cake

2 c. sugar
1 c. butter
4 egg whites or whole eggs
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 c. all-purpose flour
3 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 c. milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 13×9-inch pan. In a medium bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine flour and baking powder, add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Finally stir in the milk until batter is smooth. Pour or spoon batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle berries over the surface of the cake. Bake 35-40 minutes. Cake is done when it springs back to the touch. Makes 1.

Note: I actually made 3 smaller cakes from this recipe- reduced baking time to 20- 25 minutes.

Lemon Butter Cream

½ cup butter
4 1/2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
3 T. milk
1 T. lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
In a bowl beat butter until fluffy. Gradually add 2 cups of the confectioners’ sugar, beating well. Slowly beat in the milk, juice and vanilla. Slowly beat in remaining sugar. Beat in additional milk, if needed, to make of spreading consistency.

 

 

 

Blueberry Shortcake

Blueberry Shortcake

Blueberry Shortcake

I made this over the weekend for dinner with friends. Thinking red white and blue theme and using berries I had at home. I was really pleased with how it turned out. I started by shaping the blueberry studded dough into a star shape. I actually had an old copper star shaped mold- but it could have shaped it by hand, if needed. Once baked I topped it with whipped cream and raspberries. It was a nice end to a lovely meal with friends.

Blueberry Shortcake

2 c. flour
¼ c. sugar
1 T. baking powder
¾ t. salt
½ c. chilled butter
2 c. blueberries
1 t. lemon zest
2 large eggs
1/3 c. heavy cream

Mix dry ingredients together in bowl and cut in butter to resemble coarse crumbs. Toss in blueberries and zest. Beat together eggs and cream and stir into flour mixture. Mix very gently to avoid bruising berries. Place dough on a baking sheet and form into a star shape or a circle or oval shape. Flatten slightly. Brush with a little cream and sprinkle with a little extra sugar. Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on a rack. When ready to serve top with whipped cream and raspberries. Serves 6-8.

Cooling on the rack

Cooling on the rack

Ready to serve

Ready to serve