Wednesday, June 13, 2012

blueberry picking.

{photo by Handmade by Deb}

Last Saturday, I got up early and headed to a tiny little town 30 minutes away for some blueberry picking with friends. As we drove, the storm clouds came in, and we spent most of our time in this wonderfully drizzly weather. I guess it wasn't ideal for blueberry-picking, but it kept the temperature down and wound up being really lovely. The three of us spread out about the field, and I fell in love with the monotony, the repetitiveness of it. I loved how long it took, how my arms were a little sore the next day from holding my three-pound bucket, how I felt like I was doing real work, not work in front of a computer or over the phone.

When I got home, I washed my pretty blueberries and packed them in the freezer, but not before I made a couple of recipes I thought were worth sharing. The first is for a blueberry lemonade, a recipe I was given at a local farm tour a couple of summers ago. It's delicious, but rather sweet, so you may want to cut down on the sugar if you stay clear of that sort of thing. It's the perfect summertime drink, especially if you're like me, and the Southern summers get a little overwhelming with their heat and humidity.

The second recipe is for a delicious breakfast cake; we've eaten it for breakfast the past couple of days, but it's easily sweet enough to serve as a summer dessert too. The blueberries add the perfect amount of tartness, but I bet you could substitute another berry of your choice.

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Blueberry Lemonade Tea

3 cups of water
1/2 cup of sugar
1 (6 oz.) can frozen lemonade concentrate
1 sliced lemon
2 family size tea bags*
4 cups of cold water
1/4 cup frozen blueberries, thawed and pureed

Boil three cups of water. Add tea bags. Cover and steep for 10 minutes. Remove and discard tea bags. Add sugar and blueberries, stirring well. Add lemonade concentrate. Stir until blended and add cold water and sliced lemon. Chill and serve over ice. Makes 9 cups.

*I used three regular Lipton tea bags

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Buttermilk-Blueberry Breakfast Cake (from here)

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (I used just a little less, and it turned out just fine.)
zest from 1 large lemon
7/8 cup* + 1 tablespoon sugar** (7/8 cup = 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons; the add't tablespoon is for sprinkling)
1 egg, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 300 to 350ºF, depending on your oven.

Cream butter with lemon zest and 7/8 cup of the sugar until light and fluffy.

Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Meanwhile, toss the blueberries with ¼ cup of flour, then whisk together the remaining flour, baking powder and salt. Add the flour mixture to the batter a little at a time, alternating with the buttermilk. Gently fold in the blueberries.

Grease a 9-inch square baking pan with butter or coat with non-stick spray. Spread batter into pan. (It will be thick!) Sprinkle batter with remaining tablespoon of sugar. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes.

5 comments:

Rachel Reeves said...

I love these recipes and I love that you went blueberry picking.

<3

mary kate said...

That cake sounds so good! Thanks for sharing. I love picking fruit at our local u-pick place its so much fun and like you said, I like the repetition of it.

Sydney said...

mmm yummy! Definitely going to be trying out that blueberry cake!

Samantha said...

Fresh blueberries are the best! I was born and raised in Tallahassee, but moved away for college. What town did you go to? I'm so sad that I've never gone.

Samantha said...

Fresh blueberries are
the best! I was born
and raised in Tallahassee,
but moved away for
college. What town did
you go to? I'm so sad
I've never gone.