Thursday, July 2, 2009

Goin' on a Berry Hunt

You may have noticed a lot of blueberries popping up around here this week.

That's because we had a family blueberry picking trip out to our friends' farm on Saturday. We brought home 5 pounds of huge, delicious blueberries. I've been using them in as many recipes as possible and I think I'm going to have to go back and get some more because I have more recipes than I do berries.

The first thing I made was some blueberry jam (for toast and bagels every morning and for my Bakewell Tart). It was so easy. It literally took about 5 minutes....and it should have taken 3, but I was playing Puerto Rico while cooking it so I wasted a little time building harbors and such.

Blueberry Refrigerator Jam

2 cups fresh blueberries

1 cup sugar

1 (1.75 oz) pkg. Ball Fruit Pectin*

Mix all ingredients in a small saucepan and cook on medium heat, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil. Boil for two minutes. Pour into jars and refrigerate.

This recipe made one small ziploc bowl full of delicious jam.

*You can use unflavored or lemon Jell-O in place of the fruit pectin if you want.

I also made some warm and yummy blueberry pancakes.

This recipe originally came from Williams and Sonoma, but I found it at Annie's Eats. It was a real hit. The only problem I had was that my blueberries were so big that they literally held the pancake up off of the griddle so that it took them a long time to cook after I flipped them.

Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes

2 eggs

2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted

3 Tbs. sugar

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

2 1/4 cups buttermilk

4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 to 2 Tbs. vegetable oil or nonstick cooking spray

1 cup fresh blueberries

Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Preheat an oven to 200ºF.

In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the eggs on medium speed until frothy. Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla. Stir just until the batter is smooth and no lumps of flour remain; do not overmix.

Heat an electric griddle to medium-high heat until a few drops of water flicked onto the surface skitter across it. Lightly grease the griddle with oil or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Using a batter dispenser set on the large setting, dispense the batter onto the griddle. Alternatively, ladle about 1/3 cup batter onto the griddle for each pancake. Scatter 1 Tbs. blueberries evenly over each pancake. Cook until bubbles form on top and the batter is set, 1 to 2 minutes. Using a spatula, flip the pancakes and cook until golden brown on the other side, 2 to 3 minutes.

Transfer to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven while cooking the remaining pancakes. (*This really works...don't skip this step, it makes all the difference. Stick your bacon in there too.)

Dust the pancakes with confectioners’ sugar and serve warm with butter and maple syrup.

Makes about 16 pancakes; serves 4.

I've got company coming over tonight too, so I'm looking for yet another blueberry dessert recipe. I'll let you know what I try.

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