WHAT'S COOKING?: Blueberries can star in many recipes
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WHAT’S COOKING?

WHAT'S COOKING?: Blueberries can star in many recipes

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Strawberries and blackberries have yielded so many wonderful desserts so far this summer. What with tasty trifles, fabulous fruit-topped cheesecakes and tarts and fruit cobblers. Summer is enough to make our appetites go into overdrive. Though I enjoy every fruit of the season, to me blueberries taste sweetest. 

Now that blueberries are sparkling on our local bushes, it is the perfect time to buy some or go to a pick-your-own patch and bake a rich compote or perhaps Albertine Taylor's version of blueberry muffins. It is so simple, yet the muffins have a velvety texture. And the recipes for Blueberry Salad, "square" pie and scrumptious blueberry crunch are quite pleasing to most palates.

Next week I will share my blueberry pound cake recipe and a red, white, and blue dessert for upcoming Fourth of July celebrations.

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Blueberry compote

4 cups well ripened blueberries, washed, drained well

1/2 cup mixed dried fruit bits

4 tablespoons light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/3 cup grape juice

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place the blueberries in a square casserole dish that has been “greased” with butter or margarine. In a bowl, combine the mixed dried fruit bits, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Spoon this mixture evenly over the blueberries. Sprinkle the grape juice across the top of the dry mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until the blueberries are tender. Serve this compote warm on top of pound cake, with ice cream, or with your favorite cake and ice cream. This recipe makes four servings.

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Blueberry muffins

Recipe from Albertine "Teeny" Taylor of Cameron

1-1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

2 large eggs

1/2 cup whole milk

2-1/4 cups White Lily self-rising flour

1-1/2 cups fresh blueberries

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, combine sugar, butter or margarine, eggs and milk. Beat well with an electric mixer until the ingredients are well combined. Slowly stir the flour into the sugar mixture and beat with an electric mixer until all of the ingredients are well blended (1 to 2 minutes). Fold in the blueberries. Spoon the batter into 18 well-greased muffin cups. Bake the muffins at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes (until the tops peak and are very lightly brown).

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Blueberry salad

(This is a variation of a previous blueberry salad recipe I ran.)

2 (3-ounce) packages grape Jell-O

1 cup boiling water

8-1/2 ounces crushed pineapple (do not drain)

2 cups chopped blueberries

In a large bowl, prepare Jell-O using only one cup of boiling hot water, stirring until dissolved and set aside to cool. Stir the pineapple and juice in the can into this mixture. Pour this into an oblong glass or plastic container and refrigerate it until it is firm. Top with the following topping

Topping

8-ounce block of cream cheese

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 pint sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Have cream cheese at room temperature. Cream it well and add the sour cream, sugar and vanilla. Mix (by hand or with a hand mixer) these ingredients until they are smooth. Place the topping on top of the salad. If you'd like, you may top this with a sprinkling of chopped pecans. 

Square blueberry 'pie'

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1-1/2 cups sugar

5 cups fresh blueberries

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

9-inch refrigerated piecrust

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt and sugar. Add the blueberries and toss them gently. Spoon this mixture into a lightly greased 8-inch square-baking dish. Sprinkle lemon juice over the blueberry mixture and dot it with thin pats of butter.

Cut the piecrust to fit the top of the dish and place the crust over the filling. With a sharp knife, make several slits in the pastry to allow the steam to escape. Bake this square pie at 450 degrees for about 20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Serve warm.

Blueberry crunch

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated white sugar

1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

4 cups fresh blueberries, washed, drained

1 box yellow cake mix

1-1/2 sticks butter or margarine

Grease a 9- x 13-inch baking pan and preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the two types of sugar. Sprinkle the sugar into the bottom of the baking pan. Pour the chopped nuts over the sugar. Add the blueberries, spreading them evenly over the sugar and nuts. Cover them evenly with dry cake mix and press the mix down on top of the other ingredients. Melt the margarine and pour it over the cake mix as evenly as possible. Bake this dessert at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. The top should be lightly browned. Top with ice cream or Cool Whip.

Contact writer at tgmhatchell@yahoo.com.

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