Blueberries are especially popular at the breakfast table. They can be folded easily into batters for pancakes, coffee cakes, or muffins, and spooned over waffles, yogurt, or cereal. Like many of their cousins in the berry family, blueberries shine beautifully in tarts, pies, ice cream, and other colorful desserts.
Intensely flavored wild blueberries from Maine and Nova Scotia are legendary among cooks, who prize them for their complexity and richness in pies, cobblers, and jams. Some farmers have succeeded in cultivating close cousins of these blueberries; look for small, dark varieties in markets during the mid-summer months to enjoy their balance of tartness and sweetness.
For the freshest fruit, look for firm, dry, and smooth blueberries that retain a powdery white bloom on their surfaces.
They can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week or frozen to enjoy during the off-season. Freeze blueberries in a single layer on a baking sheet and then transfer them to an airtight container.
Ripe blueberries are fragile and should be handled with care. If any stems remain, pinch them off and discard. Rinse the berries with cool water just before using and let drain on paper towels. To encourage even distribution in muffin or cake batters, gently toss the berries while still moist with a small amount of flour reserved from the recipe before folding them in.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Cooking from the Farmers’ Market, by Tasha DeSerio & Jodi Liano (Weldon Owen, 2010).
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