Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Bring on the Blueberries

Rachel here: When we decided to go gung-ho blueberries for this post, I immediately thought of trying to make lemonade. I've been pretty into lemons and limes as of late and with a hot weekend ahead of us, nothing seemed better than having a large cold pitcher of sweet and tart blueberry lemonade on hand. After spending most of yesterday outside, often with an ice-cold glass of this drink in hand, I can say I was totally right. Next time I'm thinking I'll try using raspberries and limes...

Blueberry Lemonade
makes 14 cups

2 c. simple syrup (1 c. sugar, 1 c. water and a little lemon zest cooked until water is clear)
2 c. blueberries, pureed
2 c. lemon juice (10-12 lemons)
8 c. water

Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher, stirring well. Let chill for a few hours. Serve over ice (if people are finicky, then strain as you serve to remove blueberry bits...I, personally, love the evidence of the fresh fruit). If you have drinkers who would like their lemonade a bit sweeter, moisten and then dip the rims of their glasses in demerara sugar. Also, John would like you all to know that this stuff tastes great with some whiskey in it. I have to say that I'm inclined to believe him.

Janet here: I went with blueberry wonderfulness as a compote. I decided to make the compote and then show you two things to do with it: warm over ice cream — fabulous! — and as a center in muffins — also very tasty.

Serving it with ice cream is obvious: Make the compote, scoop the ice cream, dig in. End of delicious story.

For the muffins, my idea was that they would be a little like jelly donuts except muffins. I have to tell you my theory didn't exactly work — the compote spread randomly throughout the muffin — but they were tasty nonetheless.

for the compote
2 1/2 cups blueberries (or obviously any berry you want)
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup water

Put 1 1/2 cups berries in a saucepan with the sugar and water. Cook until the berries burst, stirring occasionally. Add 1 cup of berries and cook, stirring regularly, until the spoon is coated with the sauce.

Pour over whatever you want, such as ice cream,


Blueberry Compote Muffins

the compote obviously
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 1/4 cups milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
the compote
1 1/4 cups sugar

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper liners.

Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Stir with your hand until combined. Add the eggs, milk and melted butter, stirring until just combined. May be lumpy. Add the sugar and combine.

Put a large dollop (tablespoon) of batter into each muffin cup. Add about 1 tablespoon of compote. Add another dollop of muffin batter. Bake 25 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean and the tops are golden brown.

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