Have you seen the bumper stickers that read, “I Brake For Yard Sales”? Well, if there were one that read “I Brake For Roadside Stands”, it would be on the bumper of my dear husband’s car. Recently, work took Glenn to the very SW corner of Michigan. He drove the entire width of our great state, 3 hours each way, in a day. Checking in with me mid-day he informed me he stopped at a couple of roadside stands and acquired some beautiful produce. Some peaches, a cantaloupe, green beans, tomatoes, corn and some blueberries. Wonderful! Even though some of things are growing in our backyard garden, great. After all, we still have mainly green tomatoes and these will fill the void. That wasn’t the problem. The problem was his loose term of “some blueberries”. Turns out dear old Glenn purchased 10 pounds of blueberries ~ that’s a lot of blueberries! So the recipe hunt began. And so did the baking.
Don’t get me wrong, I love fresh blueberries straight from my hand to my mouth. Especially those fresh from the farm. That deep blue, almost purple berry bursting with juice and sweetness is a celebration for my taste-buds. But I certainly can’t down 10 pounds straight.
Incorporating these blue-beauties into a variety of different recipes seemed like the answer, and the marathon ensued. The end result was three new favorite recipes, and 12 1-cup portions safely stowed in the freezer for future use. In case your wondering, according to my calculations, there was about 26 cups of berries in the 10 pound box!
This past Saturday we hosted a feast with friends at our home. It was one of those great meals where everyone contributed something to the dinner. Glenn made his “world famous” charcoal grilled BBQ Ribs for our entree. We had a garden fresh salad, braised greens, sweet corn on the cob and a twice baked potato casserole. For the finishing touch, I prepared this Peach & Blueberry Cobbler. Both fruits were part of Glenn’s “acquisitions” from his travels. I have not had great success with cobblers in the past. It seems the biscuit part always [no matter how long I bake it] is complete mush. Not very appetizing! Completely not the case with this recipe. For us, it was perfect. The top crust is more of a sugar cookie than a biscuit and it definitely works, especially with the minimal sugar mixed with the fruit.Crust Ingredients: 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened 1 cup sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 egg 1 cup flour 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/8 teaspoon salt Filling Ingredients: 4 cups sliced peaches, peeled 2 cups blueberries 2 Tablespoons flour 2 Tablespoons sugar 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon Instructions: Preheat oven to 375°. Spray baking dish lightly with cooking spray. [My baking dish was 11×8, but a 9×9 works great too.] In bowl of mixer, combine softened butter and sugar. Mix well until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and the egg. Mix until the egg is fully incorporated. Add the baking powder, salt and 1/2 of the flour, mixing until well blended; scrape down sides of bowl; add remaining flour and mix well. The completed batter will look like a somewhat “thin” cookie dough. Set it aside. In a large bowl, mix the prepared fruit with the 2 Tablespoons each of flour and sugar. Stir well to incorporate. Place the fruit in the prepared baking dish and sprinkle the top with the cinnamon. Spread the dough over the top of the fruit, and bake uncovered for 30-45 minutes until top is golden brown and fruit is bubbling. [Note: Baking dish sizes will alter cook times.] Serving suggestion: French vanilla ice cream.
2. Blueberry Pie
As much as I love to bake, pies have never been my thing. I struggle with the crust, it seems it’s always “too” something; too thick, too thin, too stiff. My answer, and shortcut, is store bought pie crust. A cheat, I know. But really, if there is a decent alternative available, I’m gonna take it. My go to choice is Pillsbury™ Refrigerated Pie Crust. When it comes to decadent desserts, one of favorite blogs is siftingfocus.com. The sites creator is not only a great baker, she’s a wonderful food photographer as well. I followed her recipe for the filling, but used the purchased crust. Plus, I only had one crust, so I made three mini-pies [individual desserts for me, Glenn and our son, Travis]. The pie was delicious, and easy to make. The recipe can be found at: http://www.siftingfocus.com/2013/06/blueberry-pie-and-meeting-the-boyfriend-baking-recipe/
The progression of my version of blueberry pie:
3. Blueberry Zucchini Bread
I had just made my recipe of Zucchini Bread Minis last week, so I searched for something a little different. What I found was a delicious, “new favorite”. I used the recipe at craftinomicon.blogspot.com. Super easy to make and super results. The only thing I would do next time is add chopped walnuts to the batter. The link to the recipe is: http://craftinomicon.blogspot.com/2013/07/blueberry-zucchini-bread.html
My loaf of yumminess: