Saturday, July 21, 2012

Bounteous Blueberries

In contrast to the small and stingy raspberries, the blueberries this year are particularly good. They are big, spicy as I like them, bounteous, and, of course, true blue. That’s worth pointing out, because some years they are not quite the right shade. Weather, it seems, affects everything.

I have already eaten lots of blueberries—with Karla’s peaches and a little brown sugar; in the standby, addictive fruit buckle; in pancakes; and in pies. It’s great to see so many of them lined up at the farm stand, some safely snuggled in their little snoods, some brazenly risking a spill on the way home, day after glorious day.  Enough to freeze for inventory; don’t forget!

As with sour cherries, I usually make a blueberry lattice pie, but had a craving for crumbs. Having grown up in an area, and in a household, heavily influenced by all things Pennsylvania German, I am a major fan of crumbs. There is, first and foremost, the quintessential crumb bun of my youth, the standard to which all things crumbed are held, and a ridiculously difficult thing (considering a crumb bun is simplicity itself) to replicate in all its soft, sunken-crumb perfection. I’ve been trying for years. I will make these for the blog some time. Then there are various streusel coffeecakes, such as the popular sour cream coffee cake you see lots of places, and the wide range of possible crumb pies, apple and blueberry being among the finest.

Last week, when my son was here, we had a dinner at my friend Anne’s house. Wonderful Mediterranean meal of grilled shrimp, little grilled lamb chops, hummus, tzatziki, tomatoes, pita, corn to start (how could we not? It’s July, and the corn was early and good), etc. Anne made a plain white sheet cake (it had been my son’s birthday the previous week, and there were candles), and I made a blueberry crumb pie. Anne’s father took and produced the final pie photo.  

Blueberry Crumb Pie

4 cups blueberries (1 qt)
¾ c sugar
½ tea cinnamon
¼ tea nutmeg
2 T melted butter
3 T flour
1 tea lemon juice (squeeze a ¼ of a lemon

Roll out the crust, fit it into the pie plate, and chill. Combine all filling ingredients gently and place into the shell. Make the crumbs as below and distribute over pie.

Bake at 375F for 35-40 min, or until crumbs are brown and juices are bubbling through. Check midway through and protect the crumbs and crust with foil if needed so that they do not burn. Cool completely before cutting.

Crumb Topping

1 ½ c a-p flour
1/3 c white sugar
¾ c lt brown sugar
¼ tea cinnamon
Big pinch salt
6 oz unsalted butter, cool room temperature
6 oz unsalted butter, melted

Blend dry ingredients and combine with cool better, crumbling with your hands. Add melted butter and blend, squeezing to form clumps. Finish the pie as directed above.

Photo by Frank Parker

1 comment:

racheld said...

My Goodness, Farmer Jane!! You're having quite a Summer.

Caro keeps blueberries by the gallon (from the market, for we have only tomatoes and herbs, both in pots out back), and has at least a cup every evening. And no one in the family eats raspberries, for some reason, but the beautifullest image of both berries is a generous scatter around and amongst some lovely goldeny smiles of melon on a red plate.

And, of course, spilling down a hill of whipped cream on a slice of lemon pound cake.