blueberries

Blue Salad (with green): Berries and Cheese

I love blueberries and I love blue cheese, so I figured they might go together well.

They did!

In this light, refreshing summer salad.

Nice for a full lunch — add a crust of bread. Or as a first course for dinner.

I bought the blueberries and the cheese. But the greens? Right from my garden! What a joy!

Blue Salad (with green)

  • 1 head leaf lettuce or 6 cups mixed greens

  • 1 cup blueberries

  • 1 cup crumbled blue cheese

  • 3 tablespoons chopped chives or scallion tops

  • 1/3 cup olive oil (or use avocado oil)

  • 3-4 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar

  • 1/4 cup chopped toasted almonds, optional

Tear the lettuce into smaller pieces and place them in a salad bowl. Add the blueberries, cheese and chives and toss the ingredients. Pour in the olive oil and toss the ingredients again. Add 3 tablespoons of the Balsamic vinegar, toss and taste, add more Balsamic vinegar to taste. Serve and garnish with the toasted almonds if desired.

Makes 4-6 servings

Blueberry Yogurt Torte

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You know that famous Plum Torte so many of us bake for Rosh Hashanah? I decided to use it for a light, summery coffee cake.

Sort of. I replaced the plums (not yet available anyway) with fresh seasonal blueberries.

I gave it a bit of enrichment by adding some yogurt (dairy sour cream would be fine too) and a splash of orange (by way of peel) because the citrus pairs so well with blueberries.

Voila! A terrific, easy, more-appropriate-for-summer dessert. July 4th? Sure. Picnic? Sure. Any time at all.

Blueberry Yogurt Torte

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter

  • 1/2 cup plus one teaspoon sugar

  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons grated orange peel

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1/2 cup unflavored yogurt

  • 1 pint blueberries

  • lemon juice (about one tablespoon)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and 1/2 cup sugar on medium speed for 3-4 minutes or until creamy and well blended. Mix the flour, orange peel, salt, baking powder and baking soda and mix briefly to blend ingredients. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat for a minute or two at medium speed until a thick batter has formed. Add the eggs and yogurt and beat at medium speed for 2-3 minutes or until smooth and creamy. Spoon the batter into the prepared springform pan. Arrange the berries on top of the cake, pressing them slightly into the batter. Sprinkle the lemon juice over the top of the cake. Sprinkle with the remaining teaspoon of sugar. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until browned, set and crispy. Let cool.

Makes 8 servings

Blueberry Crisp with Oat-Streusel Crust

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Where I live (Connecticut), Memorial Day Weekend is the “official” start of outdoor grill/BBQ season. Sure, some people use their grills all year, even in the depth of winter. And some start around April. But the weather has been crummy, so — no grilling for me until this weekend.

I need a nice, summery dessert for after, right?

Here it is. Blueberry Crisp. Really simple and easy. Oaty, lightly sweet and with a gently crispy crust. You can make it dairy or parve. Goes well after anything you might have grilled for dinner. Good stuff for Father’s Day too. And July 4th.

Notice that there isn’t too much sugar in either the filling or the crust. Doesn’t need more.

Blueberry Crisp with Oat-Streusel Crust

Filling:

  • 4 cups fresh blueberries

  • 3 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour

Crust:

  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/3 cup quick cooking or rolled oats

  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, vegetable shortening or margarine, cut into chunks

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the blueberries, sugar, lemon juice and flour in a baking dish. Set aside. Place the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a bowl and mix ingredients to distribute them evenly. Add the butter and work it into the dry ingredients with fingertips or a pastry blender until the mixture looks like coarse meal (or pulse in a food processor). Place the oat mixture over the fruit. Bake for 30 minutes or until the crust is crispy and brown.

Makes 4-6 servings.

 

 

Ah! Summer Blueberries!

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It's impossible to lose weight during the summer. Not when there is so much glorious fruit around and it tastes so good just out-of-hand but SO SO delicious in crisps, pies, muffins, galettes and quickbreads.

Like this blueberry bread. Spiked with orange.

A nice snack all by itself. Sliced for sandwiches smeared with cream cheese. Dessert when topped with ice cream.

Blueberry Bread

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh orange peel
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9”x5” loaf pan. Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, orange peel and vanilla powder together into a bowl. Add the coconut oil in chunks and cut it into the dry ingredients with your fingers or a pastry blender. If you use an electric mixer, set it at low-medium speed. In a second bowl, beat the egg and orange juice together until well blended (if you use vanilla extract, add it here). Add to the flour mixture and stir to blend ingredients. Fold in the blueberries. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 55-60 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

Makes one loaf

Blueberry Yogurt Pie

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When life gives you blueberries you make pie. Also crisp, cake, muffins, jam, soup, tea bread.

The possibilities are awesome.

So recently, when I had lots of extra blueberries hanging around I decided to make cream pie. Sort of. There's no cream in it. This dessert actually began with an old recipe of my Mom's. Her version was made with dairy sour cream. I used plain (non-fat) yogurt. Hers had raspberries, mine was to be blueberries, which are sweeter than raspberries so I cut down on the sugar.

It is still mighty sweet! Enough to satisfy anyone with a sweet tooth. But also cool, creamy and refreshing and nice for anytime you want a rich dairy dessert.

Blueberry Yogurt Pie

Crust:

  • 1-1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons chilled shortening
  • milk (about 3 tablespoons) orange juice, or water

Mix the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Work the butter and shortening into the flour mixture until the ingredients resemble crumbs (use your hands, a pastry blender or the pulse feature of a food processor). Add the liquid and gather the pastry into a soft ball of dough. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it stand at least 30 minutes. Roll the dough on a floured pastry board and fit into a 9-inch pie pan. 

Filling:

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange peel
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup blueberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Melt the butter and set it aside to cool. Beat the eggs and sugar in a mixer set at medium speed for 3-4 minutes or until thick, well blended and pale yellow. Add the cooled melted butter and yogurt and mix briefly to blend them into the batter. Add the flour, orange peel and vanilla extract and mix thoroughly. Place the blueberries inside the unbaked pie crust. Pour the batter over the berries. Bake for about 45-50 minutes or until the surface is golden brown and the filling set.

 Makes 8 servings

 

 

 

Easy Peasy Fuss-Free Blueberry Jam

Things are still blooming in my garden. And I'm not usually so lucky when it comes to my produce plantings, so I only planted tomatoes and herbs.

Next year: going to try berries. Strawberries and blueberries.

In the meantime it's store bought for me (including farmer's markets).

So the other day, when Fairway had a sale on blueberries (each dry pint for $1!!!!)I bought 5 (the limit). Even though I already had some fresh blueberries at home.

And then I had to use them.

I made blueberry cake, blueberry muffins and blueberry soup (so refreshing on a summer day!). And a blueberry crisp.

And also blueberry jam.

I like jam, but don't like fussing with sterilizing jars and putting the jars in one of those water-bath things. So I only make an amount that will be used within a couple of weeks and store it in my fridge. For example, for:

Here's the simple recipe:

Fuss-Free Blueberry Jam

  • 4 cups blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange peel
  • 1 cup sugar

Place the blueberries, orange juice, orange peel and sugar in a large saucepan. Bring the ingredients to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir, reduce the heat to medium and cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally and pressing down on the ingredients with a wooden spoon to crush the berries slightly. When the liquid has thickened to jam-like, remove the pan from the heat. Let cool and spoon into a jar. Store in the refrigerator.

Makes about 1-1/2 cups

 

Blueberry Streusel Pie

Recently I bought a load of blueberries because they were on sale (Fairway: $1.00 per pint carton!) and I couldn't resist.

So then of course I had to use them.

Pie came to mind first. It's always pie first for me.

My mother, who was a master pie baker, never baked blueberry pie because she said the insides were either too thick and gloppy or too runny. I experimented with the fruit, sweetener and thickening agent a few times before the filling consistency was right.

Here it is: 

Blueberry Crumb Pie

Crumb crust:

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons butter, margarine, shortening, coconut oil or a mixture

Combine the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter in chunks and work it into the dry ingredients with fingertips or a pastry blender until the mixture looks like coarse meal. If you use a food processor, add the ingredients to the work bowl and mix using 18-24 quick, short pulses (enough for the mixture to resemble coarse meal). Set aside.

 Filling:

  •  6 cups blueberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 unbaked pie crust bottom

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Mix the blueberries, sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt and lemon juice in a large bowl. Pour the filling into the pie crust. Cover the top with the crumbs. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until  golden brown.

Note: you can use almost 3 “1-pint” boxes of blueberries. Although a liquid pint equals 2 cups, a dry pint of blueberries from most markets is about 2-1/2 cups.

Makes 8 servings

Blueberry Yogurt Muffins

A few days ago I posted a recipe for  gluten free blueberry muffins  made with almond flour and oat bran.  But a gluten free diet is not for everyone, so if you’re like me and can’t resist the tons of blueberries available now and buy them by the six-pack as I do, and you also love blueberry muffins in the summer when the berries are so fat and sweet, here’s a really simple recipe for traditional blueberry muffins.  These are plain, vanilla-y flavored. You can add a teaspoon of grated fresh lemon peel or orange peel for a more citrusy taste. You can also add a half cupful of chopped nuts.   Blueberry Yogurt Muffins   4 tablespoons unsalted butter  1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour  1/4 cup sugar  1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder  3/4 teaspoon salt  1/2 teaspoon baking soda  1 cup plain yogurt  1 large egg  1 teaspoon vanilla extract  1 cup blueberries  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease 10 muffin cups. Melt the butter and set it aside. Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda together in a bowl. In a second bowl, combine the yogurt, egg and vanilla extract and blend them thoroughly. Pour the liquid ingredients into the flour mixture and stir just to bend ingredients. Fold in the blueberries. Drop into the muffin cups. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.  Makes 10   

A few days ago I posted a recipe for gluten free blueberry muffins made with almond flour and oat bran.

But a gluten free diet is not for everyone, so if you’re like me and can’t resist the tons of blueberries available now and buy them by the six-pack as I do, and you also love blueberry muffins in the summer when the berries are so fat and sweet, here’s a really simple recipe for traditional blueberry muffins.

These are plain, vanilla-y flavored. You can add a teaspoon of grated fresh lemon peel or orange peel for a more citrusy taste. You can also add a half cupful of chopped nuts.

Blueberry Yogurt Muffins

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup plain yogurt

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup blueberries

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease 10 muffin cups. Melt the butter and set it aside. Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda together in a bowl. In a second bowl, combine the yogurt, egg and vanilla extract and blend them thoroughly. Pour the liquid ingredients into the flour mixture and stir just to bend ingredients. Fold in the blueberries. Drop into the muffin cups. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

Makes 10

 

Blueberry Crumb Cake

The blueberries are so fat and gorgeous now that last week I baked a  Blueberry Crumble Pie  and this weekend I had to bake this Blueberry Crumb Cake.  My Dad once planted a blueberry bush in our backyard and we were all thrilled the first summer we saw those little fruit things thriving, somehow escaping that rabbit, the one who nibbled all my parents’ strawberries. Those blueberries had that grayish-sheen skin and kiwi green inside that tells of great fruit. They were plump and sweet but also tart.  Perfect for cake. Which my mother made. Like this one, only she used a traditional streusel top and I changed that to get a more crumbly crust-type top.   Blueberry Crumb Cake    Crumb Layer:   1/2 cup unsalted butter  3/4 cup all-purpose flour  1/2 cup brown sugar  1/3 cup quick oats  1/2 cup finely chopped nuts  1 teaspoon cinnamon  1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg  Melt the butter and set it aside to cool. Place the flour, brown sugar, oats, nuts, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl and mix until well blended. Pour in the butter and blend it in. Let cool for 4-5 minutes, then crumble the mixture using your fingers. Set aside.      Cake:   1/2 cup unsalted butter  2 cups flour  1/2 cup sugar  1 tablespoon baking powder  1/2 teaspoon baking soda  1 teaspoon salt  2 large eggs  1 cup milk  1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract  2 cups blueberries     Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-1/2-inch springform pan. Melt the butter and set it aside to cool. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer. In another bowl, combine the eggs, milk, vanilla extract and melted butter. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ones and stir only to combine: do not overbeat. Turn the batter into the prepared pan. Top with the berries and press them down into the batter gently. Cover with the crumb layer. Bake for about 50 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Makes one cake serving 8   

The blueberries are so fat and gorgeous now that last week I baked a Blueberry Crumble Pie and this weekend I had to bake this Blueberry Crumb Cake.

My Dad once planted a blueberry bush in our backyard and we were all thrilled the first summer we saw those little fruit things thriving, somehow escaping that rabbit, the one who nibbled all my parents’ strawberries. Those blueberries had that grayish-sheen skin and kiwi green inside that tells of great fruit. They were plump and sweet but also tart.

Perfect for cake. Which my mother made. Like this one, only she used a traditional streusel top and I changed that to get a more crumbly crust-type top.

Blueberry Crumb Cake

Crumb Layer:

1/2 cup unsalted butter

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup quick oats

1/2 cup finely chopped nuts

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Melt the butter and set it aside to cool. Place the flour, brown sugar, oats, nuts, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl and mix until well blended. Pour in the butter and blend it in. Let cool for 4-5 minutes, then crumble the mixture using your fingers. Set aside.

 

Cake:

1/2 cup unsalted butter

2 cups flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1 cup milk

1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups blueberries

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-1/2-inch springform pan. Melt the butter and set it aside to cool. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer. In another bowl, combine the eggs, milk, vanilla extract and melted butter. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ones and stir only to combine: do not overbeat. Turn the batter into the prepared pan. Top with the berries and press them down into the batter gently. Cover with the crumb layer. Bake for about 50 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Makes one cake serving 8

 

Blueberry Crisp

We’ll have a July 4th holiday theme for the biweekly Tea I bake for (for cancer patients and their caregivers at Stamford Hospital). T he women who coordinate these events, sponsored by Hadassah, have asked us (the bakers) to consider red, white and blue based desserts and confections.    I thought about the time one of my daughters volunteered me to do a red, white and blue dessert for her grade school class (I think that one was for Flag Day). What I came up with then was something in the shape of a sheet cake, but made of strips of watermelon and cream cheese; the star field was a bunch of blueberries piped on top with tiny cream cheese stars that I squeezed out of a pastry tube.    It looked like a flag all right. And the kids ate it all. But I really didn’t like the combination of soft, watery watermelon together with thick, dense cream cheese.    So, for the Tea I am going to stick to something much more mundane, but which I know is absolutely delicious, especially because local blueberries are now available and I just bought myself some.    Blueberry Crisp it is.    By the way, I looked up the word “biweekly” before I used it, wondering if it was actually every two weeks, as I thought, OR twice a week. Several dictionaries say it is BOTH meanings. Which might be fine if we are talking about baking a cake or something. But what if your doctor says “take these pills biweekly.” Do you take them every two weeks or twice a week?      Blueberry Crisp          2 pints fresh blueberries   1/3 cup sugar    5 tablespoons all-purpose flour    1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon    2 tablespoons lemon juice    1 cup bran flakes or raisin bran    1/2 cup quick cooking or rolled oats    1/2 cup chopped nuts such as almonds, cashews or pecans    1/4 cup brown sugar    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon    6 tablespoons melted unsalted butter or margarine         Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the blueberries, sugar, flour, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and lemon juice in a 6-cup baking dish. Set aside. Crush the cereal flakes slightly and put them in a bowl. Add the oats, nuts, brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and toss ingredients to distribute them evenly. Pour in the melted butter. Mix until the dry the ingredients are coated with the melted butter. Place the cereal mixture over the fruit. Bake for 30 minutes or until the crust is crispy and brown. Let cool slightly but serve warm (may be rewarmed). Serve plain or with cream, ice cream, whipped cream, or sorbet. Makes 6–8 servings.     

We’ll have a July 4th holiday theme for the biweekly Tea I bake for (for cancer patients and their caregivers at Stamford Hospital). The women who coordinate these events, sponsored by Hadassah, have asked us (the bakers) to consider red, white and blue based desserts and confections.

I thought about the time one of my daughters volunteered me to do a red, white and blue dessert for her grade school class (I think that one was for Flag Day). What I came up with then was something in the shape of a sheet cake, but made of strips of watermelon and cream cheese; the star field was a bunch of blueberries piped on top with tiny cream cheese stars that I squeezed out of a pastry tube.

It looked like a flag all right. And the kids ate it all. But I really didn’t like the combination of soft, watery watermelon together with thick, dense cream cheese.

So, for the Tea I am going to stick to something much more mundane, but which I know is absolutely delicious, especially because local blueberries are now available and I just bought myself some.

Blueberry Crisp it is.

By the way, I looked up the word “biweekly” before I used it, wondering if it was actually every two weeks, as I thought, OR twice a week. Several dictionaries say it is BOTH meanings. Which might be fine if we are talking about baking a cake or something. But what if your doctor says “take these pills biweekly.” Do you take them every two weeks or twice a week?

 

Blueberry Crisp     

 

2 pints fresh blueberries

1/3 cup sugar

5 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 cup bran flakes or raisin bran

1/2 cup quick cooking or rolled oats

1/2 cup chopped nuts such as almonds, cashews or pecans

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

6 tablespoons melted unsalted butter or margarine

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the blueberries, sugar, flour, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and lemon juice in a 6-cup baking dish. Set aside. Crush the cereal flakes slightly and put them in a bowl. Add the oats, nuts, brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and toss ingredients to distribute them evenly. Pour in the melted butter. Mix until the dry the ingredients are coated with the melted butter. Place the cereal mixture over the fruit. Bake for 30 minutes or until the crust is crispy and brown. Let cool slightly but serve warm (may be rewarmed). Serve plain or with cream, ice cream, whipped cream, or sorbet. Makes 6–8 servings.