In the mood for blueberries?
Published 5:22 pm Wednesday, June 17, 2009
With the 29th Annual Alabama Blueberry Festival coming up on Saturday cooks throughout the area will have an opportunity to fill their refrigerators and freezers with as many blueberries as they want.
If you plan to head out to the festival this weekend be sure to drop by the blueberry tent and pick up a crate or two to take home. You may even want to pick up a blueberry bush or two to plant in your back yard.
If freezing or growing your own blueberries isn’t something you aspire to do, you could just pick up a couple of cartons of the sweet berries to throw into some great summer recipes. There are plenty of blueberry recipes out there and you’ll find plenty of them in the annual Greater Brewton Area Chamber of Commerce’s Blueberry Festival Cookbook.
Last week I shared some of the non-blueberry recipes from the book in this space and, as promised, this week I’m sharing some of the recipes using blueberries.
The first recipe I’ll share this week is a recipe that has become a favorite for a lot of people in this area. Monika Yoder contributed this version for the annual cookbook and her crust is even simpler than others I’ve seen.
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup sugar
2 (8 oz.) pkgs. Cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. lemon extract
1 (21 oz.) can blueberry pie filling
In a medium bowl, combine cracker crumbs, melted butter and 1/3 cup sugar. Press into bottom of a 13x9x2-inch pan. Chill. In medium mixing bowl, beat cream cheese on medium speed until smooth. Beat in one cup sugar, powdered sugar and lemon extract until smooth. Spread evenly over crumb layer. Carefully spoon blueberry filling over cream cheese layer. Cover and chill.
If you have fresh blueberries that you want to use instead of canned pie filling, there is a recipe that is perfect for just such a purpose.
This recipe for blueberry pie filling is one that I found a couple of years ago in another of the chamber’s blueberry cookbooks. It works perfectly to replace the canned pie filling and uses fresh blueberries, which is always a treat. This recipe makes the equivalent of a 15-ounce can. If your recipe calls for a larger amount of pie filling, you may want to consider doubling the recipe. It keeps well in the refrigerator and is great over ice cream or pound cake.
Blueberry Pie Filling
2 cups blueberries
3 tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 to 1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
Combine cornstarch and water. Place berries in medium saucepan and add sugar and cornstarch mixture. Heat slowly until sauce begins to thicken. Cool thoroughly.
I’ve used this recipe many times and I’ll give you a little tip: mash a few of the blueberries when you place them in the pan. This will release more of that wonderful flavor into the sauce.
Finally this week, this next recipe was contributed to the cookbook by Mandy Holland. The recipe name is self-explanatory.
Easy Blueberry Pie
1 deep-dish piecrust
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 (8 oz.) container Cool Whip
1 can blueberry pie filling
Soften and cream together cream cheese and powdered sugar. Fold in Cool Whip. Spoon into piecrust. Refrigerate and chill. Spoon pie filling on top and return to refrigerator to chill. You can substitute the blueberry pie filling with fresh stewed blueberries.
I hope you get an opportunity to enjoy the festival this weekend. If you can’t wait until Saturday to get your cookbook, you can stop by the chamber offices at the Brewton City Hall and pick up your copy any time. They will be available at the festival at the chamber information tent Saturday.
If you have a recipe, tip or question to ask about cooking drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, or give me a call at 867-4876.
Until next week, happy cooking.