Blueberries for Supper (and dessert!)

If you ask my boyfriend what the biggest problem in our kitchen is, he would probably tell you that I have too many blueberry cereals. At any given time, there are at least four boxes of different varieties, and even the merest suggestion that we get rid of one that’s gone stale inspires me to feats of bargaining and denial previously and otherwise unknown. When my parents would pack us in the car to drive to Brodis Blueberries in Hope, to return home with a flat of berries for my mom to make into jam and freeze for pies in the winter, my father would insist that I kept talking (or whistling) on the way home, to make sure I wasn’t devouring them and making a purple mess of myself before we got home. I might just have a blueberry problem.

Like a lot of Maine children, my first exposure to work outside of household chores was raking blueberries. I can remember being thrilled, at the age of twelve, to have my first “job.” My neighbor and childhood friend Monique and I were dropped off at the appointed location by our moms, eager to get started — with packed lunches, but not the first clue how hard the work was or how much we would be expected to do just to make minimum wage. We were active kids, used to spending our summers splashing at the beach, but we didn’t even make it to lunchtime before we’d called our mothers to rescue us. It gave me a new respect for the laborers who harvest the blueberries that Maine is famous for, and thankfully, it didn’t diminish my love of the berry itself.

Blueberry Lemon Ricotta Pound Cake

  • 1 1/2 c cake flour
  • 1 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 1/2 c ricotta cheese
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 stick of butter
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp lemon extract
  • 1 1/2 c blueberries

Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix together all ingredients (except blueberries) with a hand mixer; fold in blueberries and pour into a greased loaf pan. (There may be overflow; you can pour this into individual loaf pans or ramekins, etc.) Bake approximately 45 minutes or until done.

Spicy Blueberry Sauce

  • 2 pints blueberries (divided)
  • 1 orange (zested and juiced)
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp chipotle chili powder
  • 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 1/4 c red wine vinegar

In a saucepan, combine 1 pint blueberries with orange juice, zest, mustard, chipotle, sugar and vinegar.. Cook on medium heat until the berries are juicy and bursting. Puree with a blender — an immersion blender works best for this. Add remaining blueberries and cook again until berries are juicy. Serve over your choice of chicken, pork or other meat. (You could also use the same ingredients, puree all the berries in, and cook down for a blueberry barbecue sauce.)

Blueberry Cream Cheese Bread Pudding

  • 1 loaf bread, cubed (I used challah)
  • 6 eggs
  • 4 c milk
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground clove
  • 2 c blueberries
  • 8 oz cream cheese, cubed

In a large baking dish, spread half the bread cubes evenly. Place cubed cream cheese and blueberries over the bread, and top with remaining bread cubes. In a large bowl, combine eggs, milk, sugar and spices. Pour evenly over bread, berries and cream cheese and allow to soak in while oven preheats to 350°F. Bake 30-45 minutes depending on the depth of your pan, and serve with fresh whipped cream or ice cream (not pictured.)

For more recipes from my kitchen to yours, please visit http://forkable.net.

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Fia Fortune

About Fia Fortune

Fia Fortune is a home cook who enjoys gardening, creating recipes for her two blogs, cooking for herself and her boyfriend, and trying to keep up with their blended family of four cats.