Blueberry Breakfast Cake

blueberrybreakfastcakeThis recipe is available several places online.  I made it for the first time last week, but it won’t be the last time!  When blueberries are in season and available for good prices, I buy enough to freeze, so I used frozen blueberries which worked great.  Whether using fresh or frozen, be sure to put the berries in a ziploc bag with 1/4 cup flour and toss.  This keeps the berries from sinking to the bottom in a soggy clump. Then, fold the flour-coated fruit into the batter as the very last step before baking. This coating absorbs some of the liquid released by the fruit as it bakes and keeps the fruit in place until the crumb has set. This works for any fruit called for in a recipe as well as any other ingredients, like nuts, dried fruit, and chocolate chips. You can use this trick when baking muffins, cupcakes, scones, or any quick bread.

Blueberry Breakfast Cake

½ cup butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar, diviided (Save out 1 Tablespoon sugar for topping)

2 tsp. lemon zest or more — zest from 1 large lemon

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. kosher salt

2 cups fresh blueberries

½ cup buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Cream butter with lemon zest and  sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined.

In a ziploc bag,  toss the blueberries with ¼ cup of flour and set aside.

Combine the remaining flour, baking powder and salt and add to batter  a little at a time, alternating with the buttermilk.  Fold in the blueberries gently.

Grease a 9-inch square baking pan with butter or coat with non-stick spray. Spread batter into pan. Sprinkle with another tablespoon of sugar. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes. Check with a toothpick for doneness and if necessary, return to oven until toothpick comes out clean..

Blueberry Muffins

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Fresh blueberries usually disappear before I have a chance to cook with them, because we love them fresh, with yogurt, and in smoothies. But prices have been good lately and I decided to use some of the most recent purchase making these fresh blueberry muffins. These were wonderful fresh from the oven, but this makes a large batch, so I stored them in the refrigerator for breakfasts and snacks. This recipe has more berries than most, so they are moist, full of berry goodness, and a little crumbly – yum!

Blueberry Muffins

12  cup butter, at room temp

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 teaspoons baking powder

1teaspoon salt

2 cups flour

1cup milk

2 1cups fresh blueberries

1 Tablepoon sugar and 1.2 teaspoon nutmeg for topping

Heat oven to 375°. Mix 1 Tablespoon sugar and 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg for topping and set aside.

Grease 18 regular-size muffin cups  In bowl, mix butter and sugar until creamy.Add eggs one at a time, then beat in vanilla, baking powder and salt.

Fold in half of flour, followed by half of milk. Repeat for other half. Fold in blueberries.

Spoon into muffin cups and sprinkle topping  onto each muffin.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown and test done..

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Blueberry Balsamic Black Pepper Jam

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Red, White, and Blueberry!   Happy Fourth of July!

As promised, the jam I made last week is here for you to see.  The recipe could easily be titled 3B Jam!  Although most of my small batch preserving goes into the refrigerator for safe keeping, I acutally put these jars into a traditional hot water bath for 10 minutes, sealing them nicely for storage on my pantry shelf.  A number of ways to set up water bath canning make it easy for anyone to do.  If you have a stock pot with a circular rack that fits the bottom and a fitted lid, that will work.  There are canning sets available from multiple sources, for prices that range from $ to $$$.  Let me give you the short version!  You can go online and order a large blue granite (enameled) pot with handled rack which handles all sizes of jars) to be picked up onsite at Walmart for $19.99.  Or, if you have a stockpot already, go to Sur le Tables and buy only the rack for $11.99.  I liked this option because 1)I don’t need another big pot to store – 2) this rack has 2 sides:  one holds 7 8 or 16 oz. canning jars, flip it and the other side will hold 4 quart jars.  This is perfect for most of the smaller amounts that I usually have when I make jam or jelly.

Recipe adapted from one found at www.coconutandlime.com

Blueberry, Balsamic and Black Pepper Jam

8-10 cups fresh blueberries

4 1/2 cups sugar

1 box Certo liquid pectin, both packets

1 tablespoon black pepper

 

Equipment:

7-8 8 ounce Mason jars, or other glass canning jars.  Avoid using recycled food jars.

Lids and Rings to fit jar size you are using.  Always buy new lids if you are going to seal them in a water bath for shelf storage.

large stockpot for water bath

separate pot for cooking berries

large bowl for mashing berries

potato masher

long-handled wooden spoon

ladle

wide mouth funnel for filling jars

Wide tongs for lifting jars out of water bath. (these can also be bought where other canning supplies are sold)

Pour the berries into a bowl and mash with a potato masher. A blender or food processor will overdo the crushing, so just muster up the elbow grease for this job. It is almost as good therapy as kneading bread!  Measure it out. There should be about 6 cups of mashed berries. Add sugar and blueberries to a large pot.  It is a good idea to have a pot big enough for berries to only fill about 1/3 full, as ingredients will tend to boil over in smaller pot.

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If you are using a water bath, fill the large stockpot to a level that would be 1 or 2 inches above jars when placed on rack. Start heating to a boil.  This takes a long time.

Prep jars/lids for canning. I like to put all into the dishwasher and run a sanitize cycle, then place the jars upright while still hot on a towel. Lids should be put into a bowl covered with very hot water.

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Stirring occasionally with a long-handled wooden spoon, bring the sugar and blueberries to a boil. Boil for about 10-15 minutes. Stir in the pectin. Continue cooking at a low (rolling) boil for 5 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and pepper. Fill the jars, wiping off lids and threads. Place lids on top and screw on rings. When stock pot water is boiling, lower the jars to rack and process in the hot water bath for 10 minutes. Remove the jars carefully, setting them upright on a towel very gently. Leave overnight, during which time you may hear the popping of lids as they seal.  In the morning, press down on the center of each lid. If the lid pops back up, it did not seal, and that jar should be refrigerated for storage.  Tighten screw rings again, wipe off any sticky on the jars, and label if you wish.

Yield: about 7 8-oz jars

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Note: A good source of canning information is the Blue Book guide to preserving. There is also good information on the information sheets packed inside Certo boxes. 

Blueberry Muffins with Streusel Topping

005It is summertime and berry picking season. We have had a few fresh blackberries. Strawberry season is just past, and blueberries are in full swing.  There are a number of Pick Your Own farms in our area.  My daughter-in-law picked 10 pounds of blueberries last weekend and I was the fortunate recipient of some of them. Of course, they were best eaten fresh all by themselves, or mixed with Greek yogurt or ice cream.  I adapted this recipe from one offered at the San Juan Inn in Friday Harbor, Washington. it is included in a lovely little book titled Breakfast in Bed Cookbook which features the best B&B recipes from Northern California to British Columbia collated by Carol Frieberg.

I made these muffins and still had plenty leftover to freeze or can.  The recipe is simple, results are delicious, and, well, now all gone!

Blueberry Muffins with Streusel Topping

3 cups flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 Tablespoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup fresh blueberries, stemmed and rinsed

3 eggs

1 1/2 cup milk

1/3 cup vegetable oil

For Streusel Topping:

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1 teaspoon cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice mix

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray 2 medium size 12 cup muffin pans with cooking spray. Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. In a smaller bowl, beat eggs, milk, and oil together.  Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir gently until just moistened.

Fill muffin tins 2/3 full.  If there is not enough batter for all of the 2nd tin, fill remaining cups half full with water. Mix topping ingredients and sprinkle each muffin with about 1 Tablespoon topping.  Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in middle of muffin comes out clean (a crumb or two is OK, but wet batter does not cling to pick).

This makes about 2 dozen muffins.

Next post will feature the jam I made with the remaining blueberries!  What is your favorite summer fruit?  What goodies do you make with extra ripe fruit?

Dutch Baby

Favorite breakfasts at the Parker house may include different dishes according to which family member is asked. But this easy to make and bake pancake is on everybody’s list! It is also one of my favorites to make for holidays and house guests, so it was previously featured on my blog www.mappingsforthismorning.blogspot.com  when I made it for a Fourth of July breakfast!

A Dutch Baby is a puffed pancake with blueberries, rasperries, and strawberries. We enjoy a variety of pancakes of various origins, but this is voted family favorite. Nearly 25 years ago, our friends Bob and Dorothy Thomas made one for a dessert. Once I tasted it, I hastily scribbled the bones of the recipe on a torn piece of paper, which is still the one I pull out when I get ready to make it. Even though I know the simple ingredients and preparation by heart, I like to connect with the memories by handling this tattered little note. It may be simple, but because it rises and puffs and is always beautiful with any assortment of fresh fruit, it is a great way to make guests feel special, whether served at breakfast, brunch, or a lovely dinner dessert.

1/3 cup butter
4 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup flour

Begin heating oven to 425 degrees. Put butter into an 8 inch round iron skillet and place in oven. While butter is melting, put eggs, milk, and flour into blender jar and mix throughly. Take hot skillet out of oven and pour batter directly into melted butter. Do not stir. Place back into oven for about 20 minutes, or until puffed and browned. I cut it into fourths and top with fresh berries or peaches and sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar. If you wish, add a dollop if whipped cream. Garnish with a sprig of mint.
Optional: Add vanilla or a dash of nutmeg for flavor. We like it plain.