How to Freeze Blueberries

Blueberries are in season here in northern Michigan! And in case you missed the name of this blog…I love blueberries. They’re powerhouses of nutrition, as well as super delicious. Yesterday morning, before work, I dragged my baby sister to the blueberry farm to pick berries. In a little less than an hour, we picked 13 pounds. YUM!

I love having blueberries in the freezer throughout the year. In the middle of January, a blueberry treat is like a little reminder that summer isn’t gone forever. Our favorite is this easy blueberry compote–put it on ice cream or pancakes or smear in on toast. It cooks up quickly, and tastes like heaven. If you’re more adventurous, try blueberry scones, mini blueberry pies, chicken with blueberry sauce (it’s good!), or blueberry muffins. You can make each one with fresh or frozen blueberries.

So, freezing blueberries. First, find your berries! They’re in season in the northern climates now. Check out pickyourown.org for farms.

Wash them in a colander and remove any stray stems. Spread them in an even layer on a freezer paper lined cookie sheet (shiny side of the paper up).

Slide the tray(s) into the freezer and leave them for an hour or two. You do this so they don’t freeze in gigantic clumps, as they would if they went right from colander to ziploc bag.

Once frozen, transfer to ziploc bags and return to the freezer.

Then….enjoy blueberries in smoothies and muffins and desserts and sauce all winter long!

Happy blueberry picking!

Easy Blueberry Compote

Making a blueberry compote takes pancakes from here to here, if you know what I mean. Syrup is great. Peanut butter is fine. Powdered sugar is delicious. But none of it will compare to this simple compote.

20140118_083137Easy Blueberry Compote

Serves 2. Multiply as needed.

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 Tbs. sugar or honey
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice

1. Add all ingredients to a small saucepan over medium high heat.

2. Stirring regularly, cook until desired consistency is reached, approximately 10 minutes. Serve warm on top of whatever your heart desires.

This recipe makes a great addition to ice cream, waffles, shortcake, french toast, cheesecake, and crepes.

Saturday Small Talk

Good morning!

Did you try morning yoga with Adriene last week? If not, do it this morning. It’s 20 minutes of your life you won’t regret!

8 habits of insanely fit people.

Emily set a new goal: 101 meals in 1001 days. I’m so impressed with her desire to practice hospitality and to foster community. Maybe you’ll want to join her?

Blueberries are in season, you know. Maybe you want to try your hand at jam. Here are 3 blueberry jam recipes from Love and Olive Oil. She also has some great (free!) printable canning labels.

Happy weekending!

 

Blueberry Muffins

Blueberries are in season right now. Oh happy day! In order to celebrate, a big batch of blueberry muffins was called for.

I can take no credit for this recipe. Go over to Brown Eyed Baker, and follow her directions to a T.  You’ll be golden. And you’ll thank me. These are dense, creamy muffins, bursting with blueberry goodness. They scream summer! If blueberry muffins aren’t your thing, check out some of her other muffin recipes. You won’t regret it. Promise.

I wanna know: What’s your favorite summer berry? Do you like them plain? Bake them into a pastry? Make a pie?

I made a pie!

A blueberry pie, to be exact. It all started a few days ago when Arturo walked in to work, and said that someone from his church had given him some random baking ingredients that he was never going to use. Did I want them? Um. Duh. Of course I wanted them.

In the mix were two cans of blueberry pie filling. Yes, I know that this means that I sort of cheated in my pie making endeavor, because it’s not 100% homemade. HOWEVER, the point of this pie making escapade was that I learn how to make a homemade crust with a lattice top. Since I was doubtful of my abilities in the crust department, I really didn’t want to risk the lives of innocent fresh fruits on this fateful day.

So. I didn’t.

Alrighty, here’s what you need to get started:

  • 3 cups of flour mixed with 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup and 2 Tbs butter. Cold butter.
  • 6 Tbs ice water. Make sure it’s cold. If it’s not, this won’t work.

First, preheat your oven to 425. Second, chop your buttah into tablespoon chunks, and then in half so that it’s more manageable.

Put the chopped butter chunks (all 1 cup and 2 Tbs of them) into a bowl and proceed to cut the butter into the flour. You can do this a myriad of ways. Had I been listening to my father, I would have bought one of these. But I didn’t. A fork or a stiff wisk will get the job done with a little more effort on your part.

What you’re going for is crumbly dough.

Like that. Then, add ice water 1 Tbs at a time. And mix it in until the dough is moist. When you can form it into a ball, you’re done and have successfully just mixed enough dough for 3 pie crusts. Chop your lovely ball of pie dough into three equal chunks, of which, you will need two. The other may be frozen for later use. (EDIT: for a little thicker of a pie crust, and prettier edges on your pie, only slice the dough into two chunks, one for the top and one for the bottom.)

Take one chunk and roll it out. If you don’t have a rolling pin, and wine or beer bottle or really any glass jar will work surprisingly well. You’ll want to sprinkle a small amount of flour on the counter/table where you’re rolling, as well as on the top of the dough so that it doesn’t stick to the table or your roller. Ideally, you’ll roll it out to a size slightly larger than your pie pan.

Grease the pie pan with some butter, and lay your rolled out crust in it. Trim the edges and fill with your filling of choice. I used a 9 inch pan, and so needed two cans of blueberry pie filling.

Now, roll that other chunk that you have to roughly the same size as the one before. Cut into 1/2″ to 3/4″ strips and create your lattice.

Get your fingers wet with some cold water and stick the edges of the crust together. Press with a fork to crimp.

Bake for about 25 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.

Beautimous! Allow to cool before serving. I highly recommend Breyers all natural vanilla ice cream on the side and/or some cool whip. Also tasty.

Enjoy!