Blueberry Boy Bait

I’m seeing more blueberries in markets now (which makes me very happy!).  As much as I love cold weather, I truly appreciate different varieties of fruits and vegetables Spring/Summer offer to enhance our palate and diet 🙂  Today’s recipe comes from America’s Best Lost Recipes cookbook which I bought few years ago.  This is basically blueberry coffee crumb cake, but the origin starts from 1954 where a 15 year old girl won the Pillsbury Grand National Baking Contest with this recipe.  The cake was  apparently named “for the effect it had on teenage boys – one bite and they were hooked”.

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Serves 12:

Cake :

  • 2 cups plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 16 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (if frozen, do not defrost first as it tends to muddle in the batter)

Topping :

  • 1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (do not defrost)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 13 by 9-inch baking pan.
  • For the cake : Whisk two cups flour, baking powder, and salt together in medium bowl. With electric mixer, beat butter and sugars on medium-high speed until fluffy, about two minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just incorporated and scraping down bowl. Reduce speed to medium and beat in one-third of flour mixture until incorporated; beat in half of milk. Beat in half of remaining flour mixture, then remaining milk, and finally remaining flour mixture. Toss blueberries with remaining one teaspoon flour. Using rubber spatula, gently fold in blueberries. Spread batter into prepared pan.
  • For the topping : Scatter blueberries over top of batter. Stir sugar and cinnamon together in small bowl and sprinkle over batter.
  • Bake until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool in pan 20 minutes, then turn out and place on serving platter (topping side up). Serve warm or at room temperature. (Cake can be stored in airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.)

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My opinion:  I do have to say this is a pretty darn good coffee cake.  It’s not overly sweet, and it’s moist and fluffy at the same time.  I don’t know if it’s a good thing, but I don’t feel guilty eating this, but I’m sure I’ve already paid the price for my delusion…  This is a simply cake and as long as you have blueberries you can whip it up (it tastes good when it’s still warm, but tastes even better the day after!).

Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Cake

My children’s are officially done with their school for this term!!  They both did great on their report cards, and they are at this age where they can just get together with their friends and celebrate the end of the school year.  In celebration of this end of school year I baked this breakfast cake.   I didn’t know how it would turn out, because I didn’t want “cakey” cake for breakfast – does that make sense?   Well, you can be the judge.  I also thought this would be another simple dish to make for the Father’s Day breakfast/brunch! 

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Serves: 6-8

½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tsp. lemon zest or more — zest from 1 large lemon
7/8 cup* + 1 tablespoon sugar**
1 egg, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 cups fresh blueberries
½ cup buttermilk

* 7/8 cup = 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons
** This 1 tablespoon is for sprinkling on top

1. Preheat the oven to 350ÂşF. Cream butter with lemon zest and 7/8 cup of the sugar until light and fluffy.
2. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Meanwhile, toss the blueberries with ÂĽ cup of flour, then whisk together the remaining flour, baking powder and salt.
3. Add the flour mixture to the batter a little at a time, alternating with the buttermilk. Fold in the blueberries.
4. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan (or something similar) with butter or coat with non-stick spray. Spread batter into pan. Sprinkle batter with remaining tablespoon of sugar. Bake for 35 minutes. Check with a toothpick for doneness. If necessary, return pan to oven for a couple of more minutes. (Note: Baking for as long as 10 minutes more might be necessary.) Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.
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My opinion:

Now I know why this is breakfast “cake”;  mine turned out to be the cross between coffeecake and pancake consistency and taste.  Really yummy!!  It’s perfect with coffee (or tea); it’s not too sweet, but soft bursting flavors of blueberries, soft dense cake and crinkly sugar toppings all blend very well together! 

Blueberry-Vanilla Cream Cheese Pies

As the weather becomes cooler, you can almost taste the Fall in the air.  I know we have a little more Summer to go, but I can feel my energy coming back.  I get excited just thinking about the crisp Fall air, the smell of leaves and motivation to try out all the different recipes I have bookmarked during the Summer. 
Today, I turned to my favorite magazine once again.  I got this recipe for Blueberry-Vanilla Cream Cheese Pies from Fine Cooking magazine.  This will be a great afternoon snack for my girls!!

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This will yield 12 servings:

Two 17.3-oz. packages frozen puff pastry
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
7 Tbs. granulated sugar
Seeds scraped from 1/2 vanilla bean (or 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract)
2 large egg yolks
1 cup blueberries
2 tsp. cornstarch
2 tsp. crème de cassis
1/8 tsp. kosher salt
Confectioners’ sugar for finishing

Thaw 3 sheets of puff pastry overnight in the refrigerator.
Position racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F.
In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, 3 Tbs. of the sugar, the vanilla bean seeds (or extract), and 1 of the egg yolks. Mix with a wooden spoon until well combined and smooth.
Combine the blueberries, 2 Tbs. of the sugar, the cornstarch, crème de cassis, and salt in another medium bowl and mix gently.

On a lightly floured surface, roll each pastry sheet into a 10-inch square. Using a 4-inch round cutter (or a small plate as a guide), cut out 4 rounds from each sheet. Arrange them on 2 parchment-lined rimmed baking sheets.

In a small bowl, beat the remaining egg yolk with 1 tsp. water. Brush the outer edge of each pastry round with the egg wash.

Dollop 1/2 Tbs. of the cream cheese mixture in the center of each round. Top with 1 Tbs. of the blueberry mixture. Fold in half to form a half-moon shape and pinch the edges together to seal them.

Lightly brush each pie with egg wash and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. of the remaining sugar. With the tip of a paring knife, cut a steam vent in the center of each pie.

Bake until golden-brown, about 25 minutes, swapping and rotating the baking sheets’ positions about halfway through. Cool slightly on the baking sheets and then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Before serving, sprinkle the pies with confectioners’ sugar.
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My opinion:  These are best when eaten within few hours of baking.  This is pretty simple to make, not overly sweet and a wonderful treat.  Since my puff pastry came 2 in a package, I slightly increased the ingredients to accommodate 4 more pies. 

Instead of making round shapes, I cut each pastry sheet into 4 equal squares (after rolling out to 10 inch sheet).  I also added a little of plums to the blueberry mixture, and little bit of mascaporne to the cheese mixture.  If you don’t have Creme de Cassis, don’t worry, any fruit liqueur will be fine. 


Double–Bottom Blueberry, Lemon and Pecan Pie

This recipe came from Pillsbury’s recipe page (Pillsbury is an American food company).  I rarely buy Pillsbury, but my sister in law posted this recipe and it looked interesting.  I will not write down the recipes here, since you can just click on the link and see the original. 
I just made few changes :  Instead of using Pillsbury pie crust, I used the organic pie crust.  I used the regular pie crust for the bottom layer, and for the top layer I used the puff pastry crust.  Here in America, you can buy the ready made pie crust and puff pastry crust in the refrigerated section of most supermarkets.  I do have to say a lot of these pie crusts are pretty good. 
Also, instead of using lemon pie filling, I used homemade lemon curd. 
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I do have to say this was an interesting pie.  A very good pie, but interesting, because you’re crunching into pecan pie and eating the lemon blueberry pie at the same time.  Would I make this again?  Probably, however, I’m more likely to just make the top layer by itself (lemon blueberry pie).