Monday, July 11, 2011

Twelve Pounds of Blueberries

This week we're in South Carolina with my sister-in-law Amy's family. It's hot and humid here! It kinda feels like I'm in southeast Asia when we step outside, but luckily we're a five minute walk from the beach, so there's a breeze that keeps it from feeling quite so hot. And apparently the weather allows the spiders here to grow huge! I saw one today that was easily three inches across and four inches top to bottom. But they're perfectly happy to stay outside in their giant webs, which makes me happy too.

Last week, though, was the first week of blueberry picking season, and Adam, Cynthia (Adam's mom) and I went picking. We ended up with twelve pounds of berries! When I was growing up, my family went berry picking every summer, and twelve pounds would have disappeared in a couple of days, but there's only three of us, so that's quite a few berries to get rid of.

We ate some of the berries; we gave away some of the berries to friends; we made blueberry muffins for a church potluck (my first midwestern church potluck-- I secretly love jello salads!), and I made a giant blueberry cobbler for fourth of July. Both of the recipes were super yummy.

First, Blueberry Muffins:

(We did mini muffins)

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 c. sugar (if your blueberries are on the tart side) or 2/3 c. sugar (if your blueberries are on the sweeter side)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. chilled butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 c. milk
  • 1 tsp. orange zest
  • 2 c. fresh or frozen blueberries (If you are using frozen blueberries, do not thaw them. You don't want them to get juicy and turn the batter a purplish-blue color!)
  1. Preheat oven to 400. Lightly grease muffin tins.
  2. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. Using a pastry blender, two knives (which has never worked for me), or your hands (this always works for me!) cut the butter into the dry ingredients until coarse crumbs form. 
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and milk together. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the milk/egg mixture into the well all at once. Stir just enough to moisten the dry ingredients, and then gently fold in the blueberries and orange zest. The batter will be more like sticky dough, not runny like muffin batter often is. 
  4. Fill the muffin cups 2/3 full. If you're making regular-sized muffins, bake 15-20 minutes until the top is golden brown and a toothpick stuck into the middle of a muffin comes out clean. If you're making mini-muffins, 10-12 minutes should do it. Keep an eye on them after about 7 minutes have passed, because they bake very quickly. 
  5. Remove the muffins from the muffin pan and cool them on a wire rack. Or, remove the muffins from the muffin pan, and eat them right away. YUM! You don't even need any butter. 

Recipe #2: Blueberry Cobbler:

These ingredients and instructions are for a giant, 9x13 pan of cobbler. Just cut the recipe in half and use a smaller square pan, or even a loaf pan for half the amount of cobbler.

  • 8 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 6 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • ---------------------------
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 c. cold butter
  • 3/4 c. milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 375. Grease a 9x13 baking dish.
  2. Mix all the blueberry ingredients together in a large bowl; set aside. 
  3. Mix dry ingredients for dough mixture together (flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and powder). Using your hands or a pastry cutter, mix cold butter into flour mixture until it looks like coarse crumbs. 
  4. Mix the milk into the rest of the ingredients just until everything is moistened. It should look more like biscuit dough than runny batter.
  5. Pour berry mix into the bottom of your 9x13 pan. Use a spoon and drop the biscuit dough by spoonfuls on top of the berries until berries are mostly covered and dough is gone. Sprinkle the top of the dough with a little extra sugar (just so it looks pretty!).
  6. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the berries are bubbling and the biscuits are golden brown. I think I may have had to bake mine for a little longer, so don't be afraid to do that if you need to. 
  7. Let your cobbler cool for awhile, and then serve it with whipped cream. 
The cobbler was SO good, but I'm also very partial to pies and cobblers, much more so than cake, cookies, and brownies. You really could sub in any cobbler fruit for the blueberries. I bet peaches would be really yummy, or maybe a mix of nectarines and raspberries! 

Do you have a favorite summer dessert? Have you been berry picking yet this summer?


1 comment:

  1. so fun! i have yet to find a single berry of any kind here in spain!!! so enjoy those for me.