Monday, July 13, 2009

It's the Berries!

I lo-ho-hove blueberries. They are my second-favorite berry, after raspberries. But since I'm not a jillionaire, and I can't always eat raspberries within eleven seconds of purchasing them, I eat blueberries a lot more. They are fairly easy to pick: not too much bending, not covered with thorns and definitely not as bee-licious as many other berries. Blueberries also freeze brilliantly: spread them out on a cookie sheet in a single layer and after they're frozen, transer them to a ziploc bag.

This is my mother's recipe for Blueberry Kuchen (it's that choking-on-a-chicken-bone, foreign language "ch"). My German-born neighbor recently told me that it is more correctly called a Torte, and that a Kuchen is actually a cake, like a coffee cake. You need a spring-form pan for this (although I guess you could make it in a regular pie pan if you don't have one.)

Blueberry Kuchen/Torte
CRUST - combine 1C flour and 2 Tbs sugar. Cut in 1/2C (one stick) butter or margarine (butter!). Mix in 1 Tbs cider vinegar. If necessary, add a few drops of ice water. Spread in bottom of pan and up 1" around the sides.
FILLING - 3C fresh blueberries, 1/2C sugar, 2 Tbs flour, dash of cinnamon. Mix all together and spread evenly over crust.
BAKE at 400┬║for 50-60 minutes. When cooled, sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar.
Peaches are in season at the same time, so I often make a peach-blueberry pie. Just peel and slice peaches and come up with a total of 3C fruit.

BLUEBERRY facts from this month's Real Simple magazine:

  • A single bush can produce up to 6,000 blueberries a year
  • Native Americans used the fruit, leaves and roots of the plant to treat coughs, flavor soup and dye cloth
  • They're big in Japan: more than 500 metric tons of blueberries are shipped there from the U.S. each year.
July is National Blueberry Month. Find a place to pick near you,


John said...

Blueberries ARE my favorite fruit. They are also plentiful in the Hood River Valley where I live. On sunday we had blueberry pancakes for breakfast, then snacked on the raw berries throughout the day.

La Cootina said...

mmmm blueberry pancakes! I throw a handful on cereal, because I'm way too lazy to make pancakes.