Tag Archives: blueberries

Blueberry Sorbet

20 Jul

So a couple weekends ago Karl and I bought the ice cream maker attachment for our Kitchenaid Mixer.  The first recipe we tried was for vanilla ice cream.  That recipe taught us that we have to follow the instructions!  First, you have to freeze the bowl for at least 15 hours.  Second, whatever mixture you want to turn into ice cream has to sit in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours.  For all you engineers out there, you are basically doing a real-life heat transfer problem.  The closer the ice cream mixture is in temperature to the bowl, the faster it will cool down and turn into that good mixture.  Patience is definitely key to making ice cream!  Since that batch did not turn out as well as I would like, it did not make the blog cut.

Our next ice cream experiment was blueberry sorbet.  Have you noticed that July has been the month of blueberries?  I just couldn’t help but find recipes to use them since they have been so plump and tasty this month!  Just a word of warning – next month will probably be peaches and September will be apples :-).   Anyway, back to the sorbet!  We had a lot of confidence going into our second attempt with all that we learned making the vanilla ice cream.  I made the blueberry and simple syrup mixtures one night before bed and the next night after work we put it all together!  The consistency of the sorbet came out much better than our first ice cream attempt, so we knew we did something right!

20 minutes into the mixing  and we had some soft sorbet.  2 MORE hours in the freezer and we had perfect sorbet!  It definitely satisfies your sweet tooth.  In fact, I was surprised at how much sugar went into the 2 quarts of sorbet.  I was always under the impression that sorbet was healthier than ice cream, but I’m not really sure if that is true.  I mean, I know that ice cream has  a lot of cream, but the first batch I made only contained 1/4 cup of sugar.  The sorbet on the other hand is basically fruit (lots of natural sugar), water, and sugar.  So if any of you had the same misconception as me be sure and watch your portion size!

The recipe is surprisingly simple so if you have an ice cream maker you should definitely give it a shot!  And if you don’t have an ice cream maker, I’m pretty sure there are articles online explaining how to make your own ice cream without the ice cream maker.  So you should try it out too! 🙂

Blueberry Sorbet (taken from the Kitchenaid Ice Cream Maker Attachment Cook Book)

Blueberry mixture:

  • 5 cups blueberries
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp. lime juice
  • Combine blueberries, water, and lime juice in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade
  • Process the mixture until it is completely smooth
  • Strain liquid into an air-tight container.  Press slightly down to extract as much liquid as possible, but do not let solids pass through strainer
  • Refrigerate overnight or at least 8 hours.

Simple Syrup:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • Combine sugar and water in a saucepan
  • Bring to a boil over medium-high heat
  • Cook and stir constantly for 10 minutes or until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  • Immediately immerse pan in an ice bath, stirring constantly until the mixture comes down to room temperature.
  • Place in an airtight container and refrigerate overnight

Blueberry Sorbet:

  • Combine blueberry juice and simple syrup just before mixing
  • Mix according to your ice cream maker’s instructions for 15-20 minutes – be patient!!

    Is it ready yet?

  • Freeze and allow to harden for 2 hours then ENJOY!

Weekend Wrap Up

12 Jul

Is it too late to do a wrap up of my weekend?  I don’t think so!  It didn’t seem like it was a very busy weekend, but it seemed to fly by.  Don’t they all?

So, Saturday morning Karl and I went to pick more blueberries.  This time we went to a place called Butler’s Orchard in Germantown.  The blueberry picking was amazing this weekend!  They were so plump, and every branch was full of ripe berries.  Picking is so much fun when there are so many good berries to choose from!  We filled our bowl with 6.66 lbs (kind of a freaky number, right?) and finally said we had to stop.  Then we came home and Karl did some car stuff while I cleaned.  In the afternoon we went to Bed, Bath, and Beyond and got the ice cream maker attachment for our Kitchenaid Mixer!!!!  I am so excited about it.  We were definitely disappointed to find out that you have to freeze the mixer bowl for at least 15 hours before using it though!

Sunday we got up early to do our grocery shopping.   First to Wal Mart and then to Sam’s.  We were at Sam’s when they opened at 10AM.  Did you know that people line up to get in there before 10?  I’ve never been there that early before so I definitely did not!  I was pretty excited because it was time to renew our membership.  No, I was not excited about spending $40.  I was excited because we got an offer in the mail that said if we renewed by a certain day we could get a $20 gift card.  Then, on the way in, I saw a sign that listed a bunch of companies and said “if you work for one of these companies, you can get a $10 gift card for renewing your membership.”  The company that Karl and I work for just happened to be listed on there!  I figured that you could only get one deal or the other, but it doesn’t hurt to ask for both, right?  Well it turns out you can get both!  So I spent $40 on a membership but got back $30 in gift cards.  I’d say that’s quite a deal!

We got back home and immediately got to work making our first batch of ice cream!  It was a lot more work than we thought it would be.  We definitely learned to follow directions too…  Like when they say to refrigerate your ice cream batter overnight, they don’t mean stick it in the fridge for 2 hours and call it good.  You will end up with runny ice cream.  We eventually got a pretty good product for our first try though!  I am thinking about making some blueberry sorbet or frozen yogurt in the next few days so hopefully I will have that post to share with you soon.  On Sunday I also made some vegetarian stuffed peppers and had my first attempt at macarons.  I have read so much about them online and couldn’t understand how a cookie could be so difficult to make.  Apparently I didn’t something wrong though because the cookies turned out flat as pancakes!  I will have to do a little more researching and try them again soon.

One of the best parts of my Sunday was getting surprised by my wonderful husband with some cute pink daisies!  He always asks when we go to the store and pass by the flowers if I want some, but there’s nothing like getting them by surprise!  He is such a sweet heart – I am a lucky woman!

I hope you all had a great weekend and the week is off to a great start!  Only 3 more days until the next weekend!

Blueberry Buckle

3 Jul

Remember how I told you that there was a blueberry buckle in the future for me and Karl?  Well I wasn’t lying.  And I didn’t waste any time getting to work.  Its amazing – even with all of the cookbooks I own, I most of the time still end up turning to the internet to find recipes.  I think that looking online makes it so much easier to pick because there are so many rated recipes so you know that whatever recipe you pick will turn out tasty!  I took this recipe from Simply Recipes but made a few modifications.

As soon as it came out of the oven we were ready to cut into it.  We somehow found the self control to wait while it cooled for 10 minutes, but then we had to try a piece.  It was delicious.  It was almost too much blueberry for me though (I’m a cake girl) but Karl said it was perfect.  So depending on how blueberry-y you want it you might want to cut the blueberries in half.  Here’s the recipe:

Blueberry Buckle

Cake Ingredients

  • 2 cups and 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour, separated
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 cup plain or vanilla greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 cups blueberries

Topping Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.  Grease an 8″ springform pan (I don’t actually own a springform pan.  I used an 8″ cake pan instead and it worked out just fine).  Set aside.
  2. Sift together the 2 cups of flour, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Beat in the egg and vanilla.
  4. In a small bowl whisk together the yogurt and milk.
  5. Add the flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with the milk/yogurt mixture.
  6. Sift the remaining 2 tbsp of flour and toss with the blueberries.
  7. Fold berries into the batter.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  9. Combine the ingredients for the topping in a separate bowl.  Mix with a fork to make a crumbly mixture then sprinkle this over the batter.
  10. This is the biggest spot where the recipe and I did not agree.  The recipe says bake for 1 hour, but I baked for 35 minutes and the cake was still completely done.  When a knife or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (minus the blueberry juice you will no doubt run into).
  11. Let the buckle cool in the pan on a wire cooling rack for 10 minutes.  Run a knife around the edges of the pan and remove the cake from the pan.  This is probably where you should continue to let it cool, but we could not help ourselves!  It sliced very easily after only 10 minutes of cooling.
  12. ENJOY!!  I would definitely serve it with whipped cream or ice cream.

Fresh-Picked Blueberries!

3 Jul

Summer is quickly becoming one of my favorite times of year because of all of the fresh fruit that we can go and pick ourselves.  In case you didn’t know, I am a fruit-aholic.  I have a major sweet tooth and generally fruit fits into the sweets category too.  If I could live on just fruit I probably would.  From watermelon to pineapple I like almost everything.  Fresh-picked fruits are my favorite though.  The freshness just makes them a million times better.

We are pretty lucky here in Maryland that we have 3 different orchards within 30 minutes of our house.  It makes it nice because we can go and pick just about anything we want all summer long.  Last year was really our first time picking fresh fruits.  With school and internships we were just too busy during previous summers.  We were excited last year to find a strawberry field less than 10 minutes from our apartment.  We picked close to 20 lbs of  strawberries last summer and froze a bunch of them.

Picking strawberries last summer

Unfortunately we missed strawberry season this year.  It was just too hot for us plus the strawberries we could get at the grocery store were actually really good.

Since we didn’t get to pick blueberries last summer I knew we would not miss them this year.  This was actually my first time ever picking them.   When I was a kid my family went to pick apples every fall and sometimes peaches.   Last year Karl and I picked strawberries, blackberries, and peaches.  This year I want to do them all – blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, peaches, plums, and apples.   And probably some tomatoes too.

I was pleasantly surprised that the blueberry plants were almost as tall as me!  I was expecting it to be like picking strawberries where you spend the whole afternoon bent over and your lower back hurts for the next two days.  I think we are right at the beginning of blueberry season out here and there were still tons of green berries out there. We still picked 1.5 pounds and only spent $3.65 (a lot better than $3 a pint!), and we’ll probably go back to get more blueberries and some raspberries next weekend.  Now I just have to figure out what to make with these beauties…  I know for sure a blueberry banana bread with my favorite struesel topping will be made tomorrow to take to work on Tuesday.  Some of my co-workers have been asking about banana bread, and I aim to please.  I think a blueberry buckle might be in the future for Karl and me.  Just have to get the recipe from my mom.

But before I get to work on that I’m going to help myself to this delicious salad I just made.  Hope you are enjoying your three day weekend!

Do you and your family have any orchard traditions?