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Blueberries!

It's fresh blueberry season; how do you like yours?

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  1. i love this cake. I make it every year when the wild blues are out.
    http://chocolateandzucchini.com/archi...

    12 Replies
    1. re: chantalemarie

      chantalemarie, I made this cake for breakfast this morning and it was really good. I liked the fact that it called for three cups of berries since I wanted the blueberries to be the star of the show. The only problem that I had was that the berries mostly sank to the bottom. My husband liked it that way, though, and called it a "cake pie". Next time I'll try tossing the berries with a little flour to see if they stay more suspended.

      I followed the recipe as written, but added a teas. of kosher salt (equivalent to 1/2 teas. table salt) since no salt was called for in the original recipe. I forgot to add salt to my cornbread the other day and the flavor really suffered, so I didn't want to make the same mistake with the coffeecake. I think it helped the flavor to pop a bit, and will add it again next time. Thanks for the link!

      1. re: bear

        Did you use regular blueberries? They are a lot larger than wild so heavier and more likely to sink. I have not seen much improvement in the sinking problem when I flour them first. IIRC I saw/read recently that frozen ones bleed less in baked goods. Not sure if they sink more, less, or the same.

        1. re: greygarious

          Wow, my experience is the opposite. I've found that frozen blueberries bleed more than fresh, giving that green/gray color that's a bit unfortunate (if no less delicious).

          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

            Put them in still frozen at the very last stir before you put into your baking pan. That will keep them from staining the batter.

            1. re: weezycom

              That is what I have done, but I think the freezing gives enough extra moisture that it leads to bleeding. Doesn't stop me, though. Stained batter doesn't affect the flavor, after all. I think the thawing and blotting LindaWhit mentions might help.

          2. re: greygarious

            I used cultivated, which appear to be what the original recipe called for and were what I had on hand. They did have wild in the market, but they were pretty steep so I sprung for the significantly less-expensive cultivated.
            Thanks for the tip, grey, about the flour not helping much. Either way, it was tasty and I'll make it again when I have lots of blues, either fresh or frozen.

            1. re: bear

              The flavor of the tiny wild blueberries makes it worth a splurge every once in awhile.

              And while it's a hassle, I let the wild blueberries defrost and then attempt to dry them off between layers of paper toweling. That *seems* to help a bit with sinking berries after lightly flouring them (and it definitely helps with the blue-grey dyeing of the batter in the sour cream cake I noted below).

              1. re: LindaWhit

                For buying frozen, the wild blueberries at Trader Joe's are a good deal; they have both conventional and organic, and even the organic are under $3/bag, I think.

                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                  Ahhh, yes - I had forgotten that TJs carries the wild blueberries at a very good price. I still have several ziplock bags in my freezer from purchasing them fresh and freezing them myself. Have to go through them before I buy anymore. :-)

            2. re: greygarious

              I'm afraid your science is off- a larger blueberry would not be more likely to sink, anymore than a beachball would be more likely to sink than a tennis ball; it's the density that counts mildly complicated by stuff like shape and surface tensioin.

              1. re: oldunc

                I should mention that the sinking wasn't an issue this time. The berries were fairly evenly distributed, although I didn't do anything differently.

          3. re: chantalemarie

            I made this cake again for Sunday morning breakfast, and was reminded just how tasty it is. I used cultivated berries from the farmers' market. We didn't want to wait for it to cool and ate it pretty warm. I actually think the flavor was even better after the cake cooled, which is what the blogger recommends. Thanks again for posting it, chantale!

          4. The original comment has been removed
            1. Clafoutis and lemon blueberry cake, also just straight or on cereal. Fresh blueberry muffins are always welcome in my house.

              22 Replies
              1. re: bushwickgirl

                Got a great muffin recipe? I have 3 Egyptian house guests, and some blueberries. It cooled down, so maybe... or a buckle?

                1. re: roxlet

                  Let me look...These are simple muffins:

                  Blueberry-Oatmeal Muffins

                  1 1/3 c all purpose flour
                  3/4 c rolled oats, quick cooking variety is fine
                  2 tsp baking powder
                  1/2 tsp baking soda
                  1/2 tsp table salt
                  1 large beaten egg
                  3/4 c milk
                  1/2 c packed light brown sugar
                  1/4 c vegetable oil
                  1 tsp vanilla
                  1 c fresh blueberries
                  1/2 tsp cinnamon, optional
                  a little grated nutmeg is nice also

                  In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together egg, milk, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla. Add egg mixture all at once to dry ingredients, mixing just until smooth - batter will be lumpy. Fold in blueberries.

                  Spoon batter into greased or lined muffin cups. Bake at 400° for 15-18 minutes or until done. Underbake a bit for better results, in my oven it's 15 minutes and no more.

                  A cinnamon streusel is a nice topping for these muffins. If y ou go that route, skip the cinnamon in the muffins.

                  The buckle is just a tender cake with lots of blueberries and a streusel topping. I would take chantalemarie's chocolate & zucchini recipe and add a streusel; I bet it would be great. As an alternative, here's a easy epicurious adaptation from Linda Greenlaw's book "Recipes From a Very Small Island"; remember her character from The Perfect Storm?

                  http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/mem...

                  Treat your guests to these, have they had blueberries before?

                  1. re: bushwickgirl

                    I actually just wound up putting a blueberry buckle in the oven. The temperature dropped quite a bit after the rainstorm, so I was in the mood to get something in the oven quickly. I never saw blueberries in Cairo, so I thought my guests would enjoy eating something made with them. I used Carole Walter's recipe from Great Coffee Cakes. I made it before, and it is excellent, but I find her directions to be a bit obsessive-compulsive.

                    1. re: roxlet

                      Ok. On that muffin recipe melted butter can be subbed for the oil. I just remembered I did that once when I had butter but no oil.

                      It is much cooler here now, thankfullly. Can you possibly post or email me the Carole Walter recipe when you have a moment? I don't need instructions, just the ingredients list. You can never have too many blueberry anything recipes.

                      I hope your guests enjoy the cake.

                      1. re: bushwickgirl

                        Here it is.
                        Crumb topping:
                        Melt 6 tablespoons of butter. Remove from the heat and add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/3 cup of sugar, 2/4 cup of flour and large pinch of salt. Leave on the side to cool.
                        Cake
                        Beat 1 stick of butter with 3/4 cups of sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest. Add two eggs, one at a time, 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Mix 13/4 cups of flour with 1 teaspoon of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Add to the butter/sugar mixture alternately with 1/4 cup of milk. Carefully stir in 2 cups of blueberries that have been washed and dried. Bake at 350 for 50-55 minutes or until your paring knife comes out with crumbs on it ;-)

                        1. re: roxlet

                          Looks good. I just tried a Good Housekeeping recipe for Blueberry Buckle. Next time, I'll use your recipe!

                        2. re: bushwickgirl

                          Oops! Posted the wrong picture! Ok, trying this again...

                          1. re: roxlet

                            /Users/Home/Pictures/iPhoto Library/Modified/2010/Jul 25, 2010/IMG_1706.JPG

                            OK, I am completely screwing this up. I guess that my buckle doesn't want to post!

                            1. re: roxlet

                              Easy enough and thanks! How'd it come out?

                              1. re: bushwickgirl

                                Tasting it for breakfast with my Egyptian guests this morning. Report to follow...

                        3. re: roxlet

                          Did you find fresh blueberries in Cairo?
                          If so, I wonder where they are from.
                          Certainly I'm curious.

                          1. re: Tripeler

                            I never saw blueberries in Cairo, fresh or otherwise. It is possible that they have them occasionally, but stores have inconsistent offerings, and if blueberries were there, they weren't there when I was!

                          1. re: JoanN

                            Oh, the muffin thread! I believe I bookmarked some decent muffin recipes from posts there. I'll have to go through it again for any more blueberry anything.

                            I once made a simple cold blueberry soup for the summer dessert menu in a restaurant I was working in; one of the customers lliked it so much he told the waitperson to ask me if I'd marry him. Mm, I didn't, and what I can remember about the soup recipe was water, a fruity red wine, maybe a Pinot, creme fraiche, sugar, vanilla, another sweet spice and orange zest.

                            1. re: bushwickgirl

                              That blueberry soup sounds marvelous. I'm just beginning to plan menus for a long weekend in the country and thinking about cold soups. I may play around with this.

                              1. re: JoanN

                                Blueberry soup is common in The Nordic Countries. IKEA sell a powdered, sugery Blabaer Suppe; I make it hot w/ rum in the winter.

                                1. re: Passadumkeg

                                  Having been to IKEA a couple of times is probably the sum total of my knowledge of the food of that region. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

                                2. re: JoanN

                                  I used cinnamon stick and cardamon for the sweet spices. Took awhile to remember that.

                            2. re: bushwickgirl

                              Looking for advice -

                              If I follow the option to sub melted butter for the 1/2 cup oil, how much butter should I use? 1/2 cup then melt it? Or melt the butter first then measure 1/2 cup?

                              1. re: idril

                                Doesn't matter. One stick of butter is a half cup, no matter what.

                            3. re: roxlet

                              I use the basic muffin recipe from the Joy of Cooking, add blueberries and a generous amount of lemon zest.

                              1. re: masha

                                Made blueberry muffins with a baking mix. After placing the mix in the muffins tin, I realized I didnt use the egg. Baked them anyway and the blueberry muffins were fine.

                          2. I made this blueberry buttermilk tart a few days ago and it was good. The crust and filling came together well. Not too sweet and lets the blueberries shine.

                            http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                            1. I love blueberries, specifically the wild Ontario version. Unless you have a car and the time and money to drive north of Toronto then you have to buy from the supermarkets. From what I've seen (Highland, etc.) you'd need about $20 of berries to make a single pie.
                              I've been priced out of the market.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: longolame

                                Wow, $20 Canadian, for how many berries? Right now they're $2 a pint in NYC, plenty for a pie, and I expect they may go lower.

                                1. re: longolame

                                  Are you talking about the wild ones at that price? For a once-a-year treat it would be worth it. My dad used to have his niece send quarts of them down by bus (!) to London from Kirkland Lake.

                                  1. re: buttertart

                                    Luckily, Pardo's Berry Farm blueberries from Blenheim, ON are priced reasonably in London this summer. I picked up 2 heaping pints for 5 bucks (at Remark Fresh Market, located at Oxford W & Hyde Park Rd, for anyone reading this who bakes in London, ON) yesterday.

                                    Blueberries are even more economical (in London) bought at the Joyce Farms stand (Hyde Park & Royal York), or at a Farmer's Market, where they've been costing $4 a quart, and even less if you buy 3 L basket or a flat.

                                    I've seen the wild ON blueberries selling for around $5 a quart.

                                    1. re: prima

                                      You're making me homesick, prima!