Blueberries Are Good

| 12 Comments

Fresh blueberries have been on sale in my grocery store for the past few weeks, which makes me happy because I love love love love LOVE blueberries. I think they're among the cuter fruits the planet produces: OK, they're not big, prickly and imposing like a pineapple or a drag queen, but their tiny round vulnerable neatness appeals to me, as does the delicate little crown on the bottom (I wonder what purpose it serves), and I also love that blueberries really truly are blue! How many other naturally blue foods exist in the world? And they taste good. I like them fresh, but I especially like them cooked, so that they burst open and the insides turn purple from the juice in the skin and the sugar in them caramelizes a bit.

I didn't know I loved blueberries when I was little; I thought they were only OK, and this is entirely my mother's fault. The only way she fed us blueberries when I was growing up was in blueberry muffins--made, of course, from a mix that included canned blueberries. (I asked her about this recently; she said they were too expensive to buy fresh in Arizona, and it never occurred to her to buy them frozen.) I have compensated for this mistake by making blueberry muffins a grand total of once in my adult life: a few weeks ago I got to thinking about how I'd never made blueberry muffins and decided to try it, but I couldn't leave well enough alone and had to spiff up the recipe with cream cheese and chocolate chips, and the results were edible but not worth repeating.

But I love blueberry crumble--I LOVE it. I especially love it for breakfast, smothered with Stonyfield Farms Full Cream French Vanilla yogurt. YUM! I also love blueberry sorbet. Both recipes are below.

Blueberry Crumble

3-4 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
2 tbs lemon juice
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup butter, softened or partially melted
3/4 cup flour
1 cup quick-cooking oatmeal
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt

Put blueberries in the bottom of a 9x9 ungreased glass baking dish. Sprinkle with lemon juice. In mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar, then add remaining ingredients. Sprinkle on top of blueberries.

Bake at 375 degrees until topping is brown and blueberries are hot, about 30-40 minutes.

Blueberry Sorbet

8 cups fresh blueberries, washed and dried
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ cup water

Puree blueberries in blender. Transfer to large pot.
Add other ingredients. Bring to a boil then remove from heat.
Strain into a bowl and allow to cool. Then pour into an airtight container and freeze.

Makes six cups.

12 Comments

Oh My God!!! That sounds so good! I love blueberries too. They are my favorite. I love eating them frozen with a little cream poured over. I love the way the juice turns the cream a beautiful blue/purple! YUMMMMM I want to try that sorbet recipe with Splenda or Stevia. I can't wait!

I lurve blueberries a lot too. I recently thought of changing my blog name. Passion of the Blueberry could work as well as Passion of the Jack couldn't it?

Melanie--let me know how the version with substitute sweetener works out. Dale, I prefer "passion of the blueberry" to "passion of the jack".... actually maybe I should make sure what kind of jack you're referring to there. A car jack? Jack cheese? I don't know Jack.

I will Holly! I just got home from the grocery store. I bought the blueberries, but the store was so packed full of grouchy shoppers, I got distracted and forgot the splenda :(

I will try again tomorrow! I need a lemon (or two) as well. I suppose a fresh lemon would taste better than that concentrated juice? mmm I can't wait to try this!

I'm not sure either. I'll just go with Blueberry and call it a night.

I lived in Indiana for a couple of years in the mid-1990s and for all that I missed about living in a city, the place I lived had a wonderful farm store with a large variety of honey. I hadn't realized before then that beekeepers might encourage their bees to pollinate particular plants and make honey that would have the characteristics of that plant. So my palate got extended beyond the usual clover or orange honey I grew up with, as I tasted the spicy honey made from the pollen of Michigan Star Thistle or the aromatic and sublime blueberry honey. One of the best meads I ever brewed was with blueberry honey.

All of you blueberry lovers need to scoot over to the Traveler's Lunchbox. She has posted a recipe for Blueberry and Lavender Butter that sounds fabulous.

You can make blueberry ice cream by freezing berries (or using the pre-frozen), putting them in a really good blender with some heavy whipping cream and a little sweetener of your choice, and whirring the mix until it becomes ice cream.

That sounds awesome, and I just bought some Stonyfield Farms French Vanilla yogurt last night. It must be fate!

I'm a fan of fruit beers, like raspberry or cherry, Spike, and now you've got me thinking about how lovely a blueberry beer might be.

Christy, let me know what you think of the recipes, and Juti, thanks for the link! I love lavender in food, so I'm pretty interested in that blueberry and lavender butter--it does indeed sound heavenly!

Okay, I confess, I prefer a blackberry to a blueberry, but I do adore that little blueberry "crown" you mention - it makes me wonder about "royal blue." Hmm...

Yes, fruit beers can be quite delicious. Sometimes not, however; for instance, I think that Sam Adams brews a raspberry wheat beer that is just gross. It tastes like they added raspberry syrup to the beer, rather than fruit. Belgian brewers, alchemist geniuses that they are, brew famous beers using raspberry, cherry, or peach. The beer they use for these is known as lambic, fermented with wild yeast strains yeilding a sour beer that is not to everyone's taste on it's own (you can try it sometime; refermented in the bottle, it's known as gueuze) but quite well suited to fruit. Back in the day, I once brewed a stout with cherries in it. For anyone playing at home, the trick is to let the beer complete one fermentation and then rack it onto the fruit itself for a second fermentation. It's safest -- but not strictly necessary -- to sanitize the fruit first with Camden tablets, following the instructions carefully to minimize the sulfites in the beer, and to freeze the fruit so that the ice crystals will break the cell walls letting the juice out into the fermenting beer. Matching blueberries with beer...mmmmmmm... a wheat beer would be a good place to start experimenting, though I imagine the color would be a bit strange. Porters and sweet stouts could also be quite interesting.

You are right, Spike, that if anyone could do it, it would be the Belgians.... I'll ask my friend Matt in Brussels if he's ever encountered such a thing.

Thanks for the brewing lesson!

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This page contains a single entry by Holly published on July 25, 2006 10:44 AM.

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