(Yes, I know. Eat them.)
Forty or fifty years ago, someone who lived on our property planted blueberry bushes. The plants are now so large we stand on a ladder to pick the tops of them. Most years, we pick between twenty and thirty gallons. And every year, I am grateful to Jesus and that person.
Here’s how our family enjoys them.
1. Eat fresh, by the handful.
They’re never better.
2. Serve in a pie.
My mother’s recipe has three to four ounces of cream cheese spread over a pre-baked crust, followed by pie filling, followed by mounds of whipped cream. Mmm.
3. Freeze as they are, in quart containers.
All winter, we will add them to pancakes, muffins, milkshakes, and desserts.
4. Sprinkle over cereal.
Honey Bunches of Oats is my favorite, sometimes with banana slices and a light drizzle of extra honey.
5. Can into pie filling.
This is new for me in 2018. I’ve made fresh pie filling for years, but I’ve never canned any for later. My friend Rosetta gave me a killer recipe, as follows. It’s delicious over waffles or ice cream, or in delights and pies. I’m not a big water-bath canner, so I oven-canned mine.
Rosetta’s Pie Filling
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 cup blueberries
Bring to a boil and then drain through a strainer to remove berry pulp, saving juice.
1/4 cup clear jel
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
Stir together, then add to juice and cook till thickened.
3 cups blueberries
2 Tbsp. black raspberry gelatin
Ladle into pint jars. Water bath 25 min or oven can at 250 degrees for one hour. Yield: 1 quart – I quadrupled the recipe each time I made it.
6. Stir into all other fresh fruits.
There’s just something about blueberries… We like them with watermelon, peach slices, kiwi, other berries, and/or mixtures of all of the above.
7. Bake into cobbler or crisp.
Who says easy as pie? Cobbler wins, hands down – my cobbler batter has only four ingredients. But my husband who is Not the Boss But Still in Charge loves the oatmeal crumbs on top of crisp, so we eat that too, with whipped cream or milk.
My Mom’s Cobbler
Melt one stick of real butter in a 9×9 pan.
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup milk
2 tsp baking powder
Stir together; pour over melted butter; top with 3-4 cups of fruit. Bake at 325 degrees for 45-60 min till very golden-brown.
Extra! Extra!: The first time I met Ryan’s parents, Oregon blackberries were in season. I wanted to impress the prospective in-laws with my culinary skills, so I phoned my sister back in Ohio and had her read me the recipe for this cobbler. But mid-call, with Ryan’s mother in the next room, my sis and I got the giggles, probably over some slip-up or mispronunciation. We laughed until we couldn’t breathe, me trying frantically to hold it in so the Zooks wouldn’t think I was the silly, giddy, brainless kind of person I was being at that moment. When we were done I hung up and baked the cobbler. My dad-in-law still remembers it, and I married his son a few months later; so I guess it did the trick.
8. Throw over anything else we’re eating, including salad.
My brother Josh thinks salad with fruit is not salad, but pooh pooh to him. This week I picked kale from my garden and chopped it finely, then topped it with blueberries, craisins, sunflower seeds, and a poppy seed dressing. My kids groused a little, but I thought it was scrummy.
But number one is still the best. Ever. Especially when sun-warmed.
Do you have a good blueberry recipe for me to try?