I’m a blueberry fan. There are a myriad of berries out there, and all of them they say score one up over some other traditional fruits like banana (too sweet), apple (dirty dozen if you’re not into buying organic), avocado (not unfattening),etc. Berries are safe. For the most part, if you consume them in season, they probably satisfy all criteria of being a Superfood.
For us urbane urbans, picking our own berries is basically as hunter-gatherer as you’ll ever get. Especially because the strawberry plant we plant in our backyards yields approximately one berry a season, which we jealously guard from rabbits or deer or even squirrels only to wince and pucker our lips at the sourness of the first bite. A long sentence to say simply: Leave the berries to the professionals.
Anyway, once you’ve picked your own blueberries on the farm, it’s hard to go back to the store variety. There is no comparison on size, color, firmness or taste. I’ve realized this and that’s why I only buy my berries at the farmer’s, if I can, or consume them in another form a.k.a. a dessert.
As far as desserts go, if you ain’t into chocolate, you gotta be into crumbles. Really, what else is there? I used my recent 2 pints of blueberries for this incredible crumble recipe I found at smitten Kitchen’s blog – http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2008/07/blueberry-crumb-bars/.
I did adapt it a bit to my taste as I didn’t want to use an egg (I hate the eggy smell of some desserts and try to avoid using it unless necessary). I also try to substitute a bit of brown sugar in any sweet recipe because I adore the caramel-ness it lends to the all-white. Finally, I halved her recipe; mine yielded roughly 16 2×2″ squares, more than enough for a small family (or failing that, an individual).
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1.5 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup or 1 stick cold butter
1 tsp cold milk
zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
- Preheat oven to 375. Grease an 8×8″ baking dish.
- In a medium bowl, mix white sugar, flour and baking powder. Cut butter into small squares and add to bowl. Add milk. Work the mixture into a crumbly dough-like consistency.
- Pat half the dough mixture into the greased pan like a graham cracker crust.
- In another bowl, toss together blueberries, brown sugar and cornstarch.
- Pour berry mixture onto the crust and top with remaining flour mixture.
- Bake until the top browns, about 40 mins.
- Cool completely before cutting into “bars”.
- Serve warm with ice cream or eat as is. Like me.