So…what did we do with all those fresh and fabulous blueberries, straight from the bush?
Besides enjoying their simple beauty straight from the picking box, we had fun mixing up some old favorite recipes, along with some new ones. My young blueberry picking companions put together this tried and true recipe from my mom – blueberry tea cake – a moist cake studded with blueberries and topped with crunchy yumminess. The flavor and textures are similar to my Grandma’s recipe for my favorite blueberry muffins in the world, a very popular recipe here on a farmgirl‘s dabbles.
In the absence of my kitchen helpers on their step stools, I tried out a few new recipes on my own…
From the moment I read Aimee’s post on Simple Bites, about how to make your own blueberry syrup, I knew I wanted to try it. And it was pure yum! We topped our family’s favorite buttermilk pancakes with it and wholeheartedly licked our plates clean. I also made a most incredible blueberry cream cheese ice cream and a blueberry mint jam. All three of these new-to-me recipes were complete successes. So much delicious fun!
When you have fresh and fabulous blueberries,
what do you like to make?!
Mom’s Blueberry Tea Cake
for the cake:
2 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened (not melted)
3/4 c. sugar
1 large egg
1/2 c. milk
2 c. blueberries, fresh or frozen
for the crumb topping:
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/4 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature
Preheat oven to 375°. Grease and flour a 9″ square pan and set aside.
Prepare the cake by first sifting together the flour, baking powder, and salt – set this aside. In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the the egg and milk and beat until smooth. Add the sifted dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Gently fold in the blueberries. Spread into the prepared pan.
For the crumb topping, mix together the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt. Then cut in the butter with a pastry blender or fork, until coarse crumbs form. Sprinkle the batter with the topping and bake for 35 to 4o minutes, until nicely golden brown.
Yield: 9 to 12 servings
Source: Mom’s recipe box
I was finally able to follow the signs to the blueberry bushes! This delicious task has been on my Summer Bucket List for more years than I care to admit. But the trip to Rush River Produce, near Maiden Rock, Wisconsin, was well worth the wait. Heck, the hour-long drive there is a treat all in itself.
(Note: Be sure to call Rush River Produce before you visit, as they have limited and varying picking days/hours.)
With a mug of vanilla flavored creamer, topped off with just a bit of coffee, and three chattering girls in the seat behind me, we took off bright and early last Thursday, making our way south along Wisconsin’s Great River Road. Winding along this National Scenic Byway, with the mighty Mississipi River below and stunning limestone bluffs above, we were often pointing out the windows in awe. We were plopped into instant vacation mode.
The girls talked and laughed the whole while, proudly showing me how much they had picked since they last displayed their buckets, surely not more than just 3 minutes prior.
I could have picked for hours. But I restrained myself, knowing how I always over-pick with strawberries, and we left with just 1 box. Next year, though, I promise to not hold back as much, as I found the blueberries keep very, very well.
Then, like any good group of women out for the day, we got back in the car to find some lunch and shopping. We drove a few miles south to the village of Stockholm (pop. 97!), to enjoy a lovely meal at a quaint umbrella’d table at Bogus Creek Cafe & Bakery.
Surrounded by fountains and flowers,
The Crazy Cat Candy Shoppe, of course, for some jelly beans and ultra creamy homemade fudge.
And after we walked all that off by checking out the village’s antiques, Swedish goods, and The Palate – an unbelievable kitchen store feat for a town of only 97 people – we stopped for just one more bite at The Stockholm Pie Company. Yes, when you’re traveling with me, you must be prepared to sample each and every noteworthy edible experience.
You must know that this was the best chocolate cream pie I’ve ever had. The crust was light, flaky, and perfectly salty. And that bottom layer of chocolate pudding was thick, creamy, and richly chocolate. No Jell-O pudding boxes used here, folks. This was the real stuff!
And I couldn’t help but think…if Mom had ever really opened up that pie shop down on the corner (a regular semi-serious suggestion of Dad’s as we were growing up, as Mom is a top-notch pie maker) - to have a little shop akin to The Stockholm Pie Company’s, with its welcoming storefront and exquisite pies – it, too, would have been a huge small-town success story.
I’m linking up with the following this week:
Cheryl at TidyMom for I’m Lovin’ It (Camera iPhone Apps)
Allison at Alli ‘n Son for Sweet Tooth Friday (Turtle Rice Krispies Treats)
Robyn at Add a Pinch for Mingle Monday
Rachel at A Southern Fairytale for Mouthwatering Mondays (Dippin’ Dogs)