Archives for posts with tag: blueberries
First blueberries of the season.

we all love fresh berries! in winter, though, frozen ones are a great option

Last night I made a quick and easy adaptation of a classic blueberry pie. I was in an unusual and very fortunate situation: I had a bag of frozen blueberries, some flour, and eggs all on hand, all at the same time! I checked the cupboards for my usual supply of baking/cooking supplies… yes, I had sugar, salt, milk powder and oil, so I thought “why not”.

I placed about 2 cups of blueberries with a half cup of water in a little pot on the stove. I cooked this at low temperature until the berries had thawed. I smushed them around a bit, to extract more of the juices. You don’t need to do this, though, you actually shouldn’t try to extract the juices. You don’t need to add this much water, either. I was removing some of the juices and blueberry-dye for more artistic purposes, that I will tell you about another time.

Once the berries are soft, you can add a bit of sugar. I used brown sugar, about a third of a cup or so. You don’t need to add sugar at all, but I was feeling decadent. Into this I stirred two eggs (you could use three if you really like a jiggly pie and have enough eggs). I threw in a tiny sprinkle of salt, imagining the salt and sugar contrasting with each other to bring out the blueberry flavour even more. I didn’t really cook this any longer, I turned off the heat at this point.

* * * * *

I used a quick little no-cook pie crust recipe:

1.5 Cups flour3/4 tsp salt

Sift/stir around in your pie-plate or other pan.

Add: 1/2 Cup oil (I used grape seed that I had on hand, in the past I’ve used olive oil) + 3 Tbsp milk (I used a dash of milk powder, and a dash of water)

Mix with a fork or your fingers (I use my fingers) ’til it’s blended enough to press into the pan firmly. You don’t need to pre-bake the crust, though a few minutes in your pre-heated oven before adding the filling can’t hurt. (I didn’t last night, and it’s still a fine and delicious Breakfast-Pie at the moment.)

* * * * *

The next step for this pie is to pour the remaining frozen blueberries (about 2 cups) into this pie crust, then pour the gooey blueberries on top. Put into the oven (preheated to about 300 or 350 F) and bake until the middle of the pie starts to firm up. This is about 30 minutes, I do believe.

You could try this with variations, different frozen berries, cinnamon, vanilla, other flavourings to suit what you have on hand and your taste. I would like to try making the crust with a gluten-free flour. I almost added some almond slivers to the top of the pie, but thought better of it in the end. Maybe next time…

Natasha Henderson, Montreal

(Whipped cream is not necessary, but highly recommended.)

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I recently tried using some purchased puff pastry. Mind you, I have never made puff pastry from scratch. Seeing that the dough available at my local bakery is butter-based though, I thought I would give it a try. I have been avoiding vegetable oil shortening in my baked products, it’s on my big “DO NOT EAT THAT IT IS NON-FOOD” list.

Butter-Based Bought Puff Pastry

I thought I’d split this package of dough in half to try two different things: to make Something Savoury, and to make Something Sweet.

For Savoury, I used the veggies that were at hand: brussels sprouts, potatoes, Jerusalem artichokes, mixed up with bits of goat cheese.

In the Sweet half I used some thawed blueberries that I’d mixed up with an egg and a bit of brown sugar and had previously stored in the fridge. I really have no idea why I’d mixed the blueberries, sugar, and egg in the first place… perhaps I was going to try to make a pie or a custard.

Mixed Veggies and Goat Cheese

In any event, the methods for making both Savoury and Sweet treats were the same. I cut little rectangles, plopped some of the filling inside, and then pressed another rectangle of dough on top. Pinched the edges. I poked the tops with a fork (it told me to on the packaging… I think it allows more air to get inside, causing the “puffing” effect). The Savoury puffs, I pressed little almond slivers into them. This was because I adore veggies with almonds, and also because I was curious what would happen with the puff pastry.

Puff Pastry with veggies, goat cheese, and almonds

 I baked the puffs for the prescribed amounts of time and temperature listed on the packaging.

I was happy with the results for the Savoury Puffs. They were actually pretty good. The Sweet Puffs, however, I wasn’t so impressed with them. I think the problem was that my frozen blueberries had been thawed, and therefore were a soupy mess. Oh, and they’d been mixed up with a runny egg, too. Because of this, I couldn’t pack enough filling into the puffs, so the dough/filling ratio was off-kilter. The next time I try this (and, oh, yes, believe me there will be a next time…) I will use frozen blueberries (or fresh!), no egg, and just a dash of that brown sugar. Perhaps instead of the sugar I’ll use some apple for sweetening. Here’s hoping they’ll be good enough to share!

I think it is good to experiment a little with cooking, and to learn from our mistakes. If anyone has any suggestions for “how to use puff pastry” please don’t hesitate to share some tips in the comments!

Ah, the Blueberry Puffs were good, just not quite good enough...

Natasha Henderson, Montreal

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