Category Archives: blueberries

Blueberry Muffins

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Muffins are a favorite breakfast treat at my house. Fresh from the oven they make for a warm and delicious meal on a lazy weekend morning yet they can easily be reheated for a quick breakfast on the go during the week. The options of what you put in your muffins are endless but my go-to ingredient time after time is blueberries.

This recipe from Boston’s Flour Bakery has become my go-to recipe for blueberry muffins. The muffins always turn out big and fluffy, filled with flavor and berry goodness. I always prefer using fresh to frozen but frozen berries will do in a pinch. If you can find wild blueberries, choose them as they are smaller and sweeter than their cultivated cousins. Yum!

BLUEBERRY MUFFINS

3 ¼ cups  all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

4 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon kosher salt

2 eggs

1 egg yolk

1 ½ cups sugar

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

½ cup milk, at room temperature

1 cup crème fraîche, at room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray or line with paper liners. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and egg yolk until thoroughly mixed.
  • Slowly whisk in the sugar, butter, milk, crème fraîche, and vanilla until well-combined.
  • Pour the butter-sugar mixture into the flour mixture and, using a rubber spatula, fold gently just until the ingredients are combined.
  • Gently fold in the blueberries until evenly distributed. The batter may seem lumpy, but don’t try to smooth it out.
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared cups, dividing it evenly and filling the cups until they are almost overflowing.
  • Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the muffins are golden brown on top and spring back when pressed in the middle with a fingertip.
  • Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes, then remove the muffins from the pan.

Yields 12 large muffins or 24 mini muffins

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Blueberry Scones

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I love scones but they tend to be an overlooked breakfast item in my house. I will always select one when I am at a bakery yet at home, when it comes to making a breakfast treat, I am more apt to decide to make muffins. I’m not sure why because scones are so easy and often faster to make than muffins. They are tender and flakey and in many respects combine the best of a biscuit and a muffin. Simply put, they are so good. That said, I really need to make them more often.

And what better way to start making scones than with this so easy and tasty recipe adapted from the Smitten Kitchen. These scones are tender and filled with juicy blueberries. A generous dose of lemon zest brightens the berries and makes these the perfect way to start off your day. So pop them in the oven and before your coffee is brewed, they will be done. Enjoy!

BLUEBERRY SCONES

2 cups all purpose flour
Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small bits
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
2/3 cup whole milk
1 large egg, beaten
1 tablespoon coarse sugar, for finishing

  • Heat oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, lemon zest, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  • Add the cold butter and using a pastry blender, work it into the flour mixture until the biggest pieces are the size of small peas.
  • Stir in the blueberries and the milk, mixing only until large clumps form.
  • Use your hands to reach inside the bowl and knead the mixture into one mass. Do this quickly, kneading the dough as little as possible in order to make it come together.
  • Transfer dough to a well-floured counter and pat into a roughly 1-inch tall disc.
  • Cut into 8 to 10 wedges.
  • Transfer the wedges to the prepared baking sheet, spacing them apart.
  • Brush the tops of each with egg, then sprinkle with coarse sugar.
  • Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, until scones are golden brown on top. Serve warm.

Serves 8-10

 

Blueberry Tea Cake

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I’m a huge fan of summer berries and going back to my Maine roots, blueberries are by far my favorite of all the berries. And because I am a native Mainer, when it comes to blueberries, in my opinion wild ones are far superior to cultivated ones. Smaller in size and darker in color, wild blueberries are sweeter and yield more of a “summer taste”. Unfortunately, fresh wild blueberries aren’t easy to find in many parts of the world so fresh cultivated ones will do in a pinch–because after all, fresh blueberries are better than no blueberries at all.

When you’ve had your fill of blueberry pies, pancakes and muffins and you’ve canned more jam than you can possibly eat and/or gift (can you tell what I do will all my fresh berries?), it is time to look for alternative uses for these sweet little berries.  And when that time comes, look no further than this easy and flavorful tea cake from Williams Sonoma. The cake comes together quickly and with just a hint of spicy cardamom and a generous amount of fresh blueberries, it is the perfect snack or lunchbox treat. Of course, fresh wild blueberries are best but lacking them, feel free to substitute cultivated ones or even frozen berries. If you do use the frozen version, be sure to lightly dust them in flour before adding them to the batter. This will prevent them from “bleeding”.

 

BLUEBERRY TEA CAKE

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar

2 tablespoons dark rum

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1 cup plain yogurt

2 cups fresh wild blueberries

Confectioners’ sugar for dusting (optional)

  • Preheat an oven to 350°F. Coat an 8 inch square baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cardamom. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and brown sugar until thick and fluffy.
  • Using a wooden spoon, stir in the melted butter, rum and lemon zest.
  • Add the flour mixture in two additions, alternating with the yogurt, and stir until just smooth.
  • Using a rubber spatula, fold in the blueberries.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and smooth the top with the spatula.
  • Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes.
  • Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool completely in the pan.
  • Using a fine-mesh sieve, dust the cake with confectioners’ sugar.

Yields: 1- 8 inch square cake

 

Blueberry-Rhubarb Chutney

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Chutney is one of my favorite condiments. Chutneys are simple sauces that combine sweet with savory, a place where a healthy dose of spices combines with fruits and vegetables to create a flavorful sauce that is the perfect accompaniment to just about any meat or poultry. This chutney was inspired by one I found on the Epicurious website. At first glance the combination of ingredients may seem a bit strange. Blueberries and rhubarb are a sweet and sour pairing that makes sense but onion, cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger? Absolutely. It is this curious combination of spices and flavors that makes chutney so wonderful. And chutney is so forgiving; you can add or substitute spices as inspiration hits. If your taste buds crave it there isn’t a wrong combination. Because it taste best served at room temperature it travels well and can sit on a dinner or buffet table for hours.

I served this chutney at room temperature alongside grilled ribeye steaks but it would be just as good with grilled chicken.

BLUEBERRY-RHUBARB CHUTNEY

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

2 cinnamon sticks

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh minced ginger

2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest

1 cardamom pod

4 1/2 cups rhubarb, chopped

3/4 cup dried blueberries

3 green onions, chopped

  • Combine the sugar, red wine vinegar, cinnamon sticks, ginger, orange peel and cardamom pod in a large sauce pan set over medium heat.
  • Cook until the sugar dissolves and just begins to boil.
  • Add the rhubarb, dried blueberries, and green onions and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the temperature and continue to cook until the rhubarb is tender but not falling apart, about 4 minutes.
  • Discard the cinnamon sticks and cardamom pod.
  • Cover and refrigerate until the chutney is cold, at least 1 hour.
  • Return to room temperature before serving.

Yields: 2 cups

Crispy Chicken w/ Avocado-Berry Salsa

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Its strawberry season here in Belgium and I’m loving it. Thanks to globalization it is now possible to find fresh strawberries year around but nothing tastes better than a fresh local berry. Belgian strawberries are slightly smaller than their imported counterparts and when ripe, are a deeper red color. They are also sweeter. I buy them every chance I can get and they are so good it is hard to make it home with them. But when I do, I try to incorporate them into as many dishes as I can.

This fruit salsa is refreshing and flavorful and is the perfect topping for cripsy panko coated chicken breasts. Of course the strawberries play a leading role in the salsa but I’ve also added avocado, blueberries and pineapple to the mix. Be sure that your avocado is ripe and use whatever fresh fruits you have available. The jalapeno and the cilantro add a bit of heat and spice to the sweetness of the fruits. Regular breadcrumbs may be substituted for the panko but using the later will result in crispier chicken.

CRISPY CHICKEN w/ AVOCADO-BERRY SALSA

1 ripe avocado, diced

1 cup strawberries, diced

3/4 cup fresh blueberries

1/2 cup fresh pineapple, diced

Juice of 1 lime

1 jalapeno, seeded and minced

1/4 cup cilantro, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons olive oll, divided

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin

1/4 cup flour seasoned with salt and pepper

2 eggs, beaten with 1 tablespoon of water

1 cup panko crumbs

  • To make the salsa, combined the avocado, fruits, lime juice, jalapeno and cilantro in a small bowl.
  • Sprinkle with the salt, toss well and allow to sit while you make the chicken.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat.
  • Place the seasoned flour in a shallow dish, the egg mixture in another dish and the panko crumbs in a third dish.
  • Dredge the chicken first in the flour mixture followed by the egg mixture and finally the panko crumbs, ensuring that all sides of the chicken are covered with all of the mixtures.
  • Place two of the chicken breasts in the hot skillet and saute until crispy and browned, about 4 minutes.
  • Flip the chicken over and cook for an addition 3 to 4 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. The length of cooking time will depend upon the thickness of the breasts.
  • Add the remaining oil to the skillet and once it is hot, cook the remaining chicken breasts.
  • Serve immediately topped with the avocado-berry salsa.

Serves 4

Pork Tenderloin w/ Blueberry Bacon Ketchup

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I’m a huge fan of using fruit in savory dishes so when I saw this recipe on the Noble Pig website, I knew I had to try it. And when I saw that the blueberry sauce included a hefty dose of bacon, I knew my family would love it as well. After all, everything tastes better with bacon. And it really does.

I’ve increased the amount of bacon and jalapeno pepper in my version of the sauce which results in a richer and thicker blueberry topping, hence the ketchup moniker. With the brown sugar and vinegar the sauce is reminiscent of a chutney; mine is pureed smooth but you can also leave yours in a chunkier form if you prefer. My pork tenderloin is dusted with spices that both enhance the meat and complement the fresh blueberries. If you aren’t a fan of pork, the sauce would also be a tasty topping for boneless chicken breasts that have also been dusted with the spice mixture. However you prepare it, you are sure to love it. So fire up your grill and you are good to go!

PORK TENDERLOIN w/ BLUEBERRY BACON KETCHUP

For the ketchup:

6 slices thick cut bacon, diced

1/2 cup minced red onion

2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced

2 cups fresh blueberries

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon stone ground mustard

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

For the pork:

1 1-1/4 pound pork tenderloin

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

1 tablespoon olive oil

  • To make the blueberry sauce: fry bacon in a medium skillet over low until slightly crispy; remove bacon to a paper towel leaving the bacon grease in the pan.
  • Saute onion and jalapeno in the bacon grease over medium heat until soft, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the blueberries, sugar, vinegar, mustard, garlic powder, salt, lemon juice and cooked bacon.
  • Simmer until blueberries have split and sauce thickens slightly, about 3 minutes.
  • Transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor; pulse until pureed. Alternatively, pour the sauce into a small bowl and use an immersion blender to puree the mixture until smooth.
  • Return sauce to pan so you can warm it slightly when the pork is done.
  • For the pork: coat a grill with non-stick cooking spray and preheat to medium-high.
  • Combine the salt, pepper, garlic powder, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl.
  • Brush the pork with the olive oil and season the pork on all sides with the spice mixture.
  • Place the pork on the grill and cook turning every 4 to 5 minutes, until cooked through, about 20 minutes.
  • Brush a small amount of the sauce over the meat during the final few minutes of cooking.
  • Remove the pork from the grill and allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing into 1/2 inch pieces.
  • Serve with the blueberry bacon sauce.

Serves 4

Blueberry-Rhubarb Chutney

photo 1-239

Chutney is one of my favorite condiments. Chutneys are simple sauces that combine sweet with savory, a place where a healthy dose of spices combines with fruits and vegetables to create a flavorful sauce that is the perfect accompaniment to just about any meat or poultry. This chutney was inspired by one I found on the Epicurious website. At first glance the combination of ingredients may seem a bit strange. Blueberries and rhubarb are a sweet and sour pairing that makes sense but onion, cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger? Absolutely. It is this curious combination of spices and flavors that makes chutney so wonderful. And chutney is so forgiving; you can add or substitute spices as inspiration hits. If your taste buds crave it there isn’t a wrong combination. Because it taste best served at room temperature it travels well and can sit on a dinner or buffet table for hours.

I served this chutney at room temperature alongside grilled ribeye steaks but it would be just as good with grilled chicken.

BLUEBERRY-RHUBARB CHUTNEY

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

2 cinnamon sticks

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh minced ginger

2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest

1 cardamom pod

4 1/2 cups rhubarb, chopped

3/4 cup dried blueberries

3 green onions, chopped

  • Combine the sugar, red wine vinegar, cinnamon sticks, ginger, orange peel and cardamom pod in a large sauce pan set over medium heat.
  • Cook until the sugar dissolves and just begins to boil.
  • Add the rhubarb, dried blueberries, and green onions and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the temperature and continue to cook until the rhubarb is tender but not falling apart, about 4 minutes.
  • Discard the cinnamon sticks and cardamom pod.
  • Cover and refrigerate until the chutney is cold, at least 1 hour.
  • Return to room temperature before serving.

Yields: 2 cups

 

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