Occasionally, I have been pleasantly plagued by the question of what my all-time favourite berry is. Anyone with me on that? Well, after dipping into a handful of freshly-picked blueberries last week and experiencing their familiar pop of sweetness I realized that they are, and always have been, my favourite berry.
Sadly, we haven’t had the easy and unhindered access to them that we’ve enjoyed in years past. The blueberry bushes in our backyard are still growing up, and don’t provide the steady supply that those at Kent Drive did, much less the bounty of Marshall’s Farm.
Mercifully, I was tipped off by a few customers that blueberries were to be found, on the bush, close by. I found pickyourown.org online, which looks like an excellent resource for fruit and vegetable farm listings, as well as info on corn mazes, Christmas trees, and regional harvest calendars. (Marshall’s Farm is listed on there too!) Several blueberry farms were listed for Shelby County, including the one that Mom, Emma, another friend and I ended up at–the Lyon farm in Wilsonville.
In spite of the lateness of the season, we came away with several gallons of deliciousness, some of which is now bagged and stacked neatly in my freezer, and some of which I made into a few mouth-watering recipes. Below, and in the next post, are recipes for blueberry french toast, lemon-blueberry ice, jam, a refreshing cordial, and a salad idea.
Blueberry French Toast
I copied this recipe out of a magazine when I was little, and it’s pure comfort food. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the name of the magazine, nor do I remember the exact recipe, so you’ll just have to play along.
Tear the bread into chunks and spread in 9×13 pan. (More bread? Less? You decide). Pour berries over bread. Cut the cheese into chunks and dot over bread. Whisk milk, eggs, vanilla and cinnamon; pour over all. Refrigerate over night. Bake in 350-375 oven for about 40 minutes (?) or until set. Serve with maple syrup, or make your own syrup by simmering blueberries, sugar/honey and cornstarch in a saucepan until slightly thickened.
I got the idea for this from a watermelon sherbet recipe in the August ’11 issue of Better Homes and Gardens. This dessert should accompany a bold-flavoured meal.
Combine the gelatin and about 1/2 cup water in a saucepan. Let it sit while you blend the blueberries, lemon juice, and about 1 c water in a blender. Add sweetener to gelatin mixture and heat over low until gelatin is dissolved. Stir gelatin mixture into blueberry puree. Taste, and adjust ingredients as needed. Pour into square baking pan, cover and freeze until firm. Scoop into a chilled mixing bowl, beat to fluff, and return to baking dish to freeze another few hours. At serving time, scoop into bowls and grate a small pile of lemon zest over each serving.