Capture summer’s flavor with blueberries

These little berries add a burst of nutrition as well as taste to everything from drinks to desserts

We’re at the height of blueberry season, time to explore some new foods made with these delicious little berries.

Blueberries are versatile, ideal not only in sweets but a number of savory dishes. They’re also good in beverages, jams, jellies, compotes and the like.

If you don’t feel like cooking or baking with the berries, just add fresh berries to salads or a cup of ice cream or throw a few into a tasty drink for a twist.

After all, blueberries are not only tasty, they’re full of nutrition — antioxidants as well as vitamins C and K.

When shopping for blueberries, select those that are firm, dry, plump and smooth-skinned. Berries should be a deep-purple blue to blue-black. Reddish berries aren’t ripe but can be used in cooking.

And don’t worry about the silvery bloom you often see on the berries. It is a natural protective coating.

The berries should be refrigerated as quickly as possible and kept dry. Don’t wash them until you are ready to use them.

Berries will last for as long as two weeks if stored properly.

Blueberries tend to change color during cooking. Acids, like lemon juice and vinegar, make the blue in blueberries turn red. In an alkaline environment, such as a batter with too much baking soda, the blueberries may turn greenish-blue.

To reduce the amount of color streaking, stir blueberries into cake or muffin batter last. Coat them with the dry ingredients first so they don’t all sink to the bottom.

When making pancakes and waffles, add blueberries as soon as the batter has been poured on the griddle or waffle iron. This will make the pancakes prettier and they’ll be easier to flip.

  Wild blueberries are smaller in size compared to their cultivated cousins, and some say they’re more delicious.

Following are blueberry recipes from


Balsamic Blueberry Mascarpone Crostinis


For toast:

18 1/4-inch thick French baguette slices

1 tablespoon olive oil

For topping:

12 tablespoons mascarpone cheese

1 cup fresh blueberries

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil leaves


Brush bread slices with olive oil. Arrange on baking sheet and bake in a 375-degree oven for eight to 10 minutes, turning once, until crisp and toasted.

In a medium non-stick skillet, heat blueberries, vinegar and sugar for four to five minutes, just until blueberries are tender and a sauce forms. Set aside and let cool.

Top each piece of toast with about two teaspoons mascarpone cheese and sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Top with blueberry mixture and fresh basil.




Granola Parfait Cups


1-1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup hulled raw sunflower seeds

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

4 tablespoons maple syrup

Kosher salt

2 cups Greek yogurt

4 cups blueberries

12 to 18 sprigs fresh mint


In a large bowl, stir oats, pecans, sunflower seeds, honey, olive oil, two tablespoons maple syrup and a pinch of salt until completely combined. Press two heaping tablespoons into each cup of a muffin tin that’s coated with nonstick spray,  pressing dough to go up the sides.

Bake in a 350-degree oven 15 to 18 minutes, until golden and crisp. Let cool completely, then remove granola cups from the muffin tin.

In a medium bowl, whisk the yogurt and remaining maple syrup until combined. Fill each granola cup with about two tablespoons yogurt, then top with the blueberries and a sprig of mint.

Makes 12 to 18 servings.




Lemon Blueberry Pancakes


1-1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon cake flour

3 tablespoons sugar

1 heaping tablespoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1-1/2 cups evaporated milk

1 lemon, zested and juiced

2 tablespoons butter, melted,

1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 large egg

1 cup blueberries

Maple or pancake syrup, warmed, for serving


In a medium bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, mix evaporated milk, lemon zest and juice. Set aside for five minutes, then add egg and vanilla. Mix to combine.

Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and stir gently to combine. Stir in the melted butter. Splash in more evaporated milk if the mixture is too thick. Stir in blueberries.

Melt a little softened butter in a heavy skillet heated over medium-low heat. Drop 1/4 or 1/3 cup batter onto the skillet and fry on both sides for a couple of minutes, until golden.

Serve with softened butter and warm syrup.

Makes four servings.



Blueberry Lemonade


For blueberry syrup:

4 cups fresh blueberries

1/2 cup sugar

1 lemon, juiced

For lemonade:

6 cups sugar

24 lemons, juiced


Put blueberries, sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, then reduce heat and simmer 20 to 25 minutes,  until thick.

Strain blueberries through a fine-mesh strainer, pressing to get all the liquid out, then place the liquid in the fridge and chill until cold.

Mix the sugar with six cups of tap water and stir until the sugar is dissolved to make simple syrup.

Pour lemon juice into a large vat. Add three-quarters of the simple syrup and eight cups water. Add blueberry syrup, stir and taste. Add more simple syrup if needed  or more water if it needs dilution. Top with lots of ice before serving.

Makes 18 servings.




Spiked Blueberry Pie Milkshakes


1-1/2 cups vanilla ice cream

2/3 cup milk

3/4 cup frozen blueberries

1/4 cup vanilla vodka

3 tablespoons graham cracker crumbs, plus more for sprinkling

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whipped cream for serving

Fresh blueberries for garnish


Combine ice cream, milk, frozen blueberries, vodka, graham crumbs and vanilla extract in a blender until pureed. Pour into a glass and cover with whipped cream. Top with extra graham crumbs and a few fresh blueberries.

Makes one shake.




Double Blueberry Muffins


8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2-1/2 cups fresh blueberries

2 cups flour

1/2 cup whole, 2 percent or 1 percent milk

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon


In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or with a hand mixer, cream butter until smooth. Add one cup sugar and mix. Add eggs, vanilla, baking powder and salt and mix.

In a shallow bowl, mash 3/4 cup blueberries with the back of a fork. Add to the batter and mix.

With the mixer running at low speed, add half the flour, then half the milk and mix. Repeat with remaining flour and milk. Fold in the remaining whole blueberries by hand until well mixed.

In a separate small bowl, mix remaining sugar with the cinnamon. Use an ice-cream scoop or large spoon to fill lined muffin cups 3/4 full. Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar and bake in a 375-degree oven 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown and risen. Let cool in the pan at least 30 minutes before turning out.



Blueberry Hand Pies


For filling:

3 cups blueberries

1/2 cup sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

2 teaspoons lemon zest plus juice of 1/2 lemon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For pastry:

3 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed

1 large egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water

For glaze:

2 cups powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


For filling, combine blueberries and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and cook a few minutes, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved and the berries have started to burst.

Stir together cornstarch and lemon juice in a small bowl, then add to the blueberry mixture. Add lemon zest and vanilla and cook two to three minutes, until glossy and thickened. Remove from heat and cool completely. Cover and refrigerate.

Unfold the thawed pastry and roll into 10-inch squares. Cut each square into quarters, making four 5-inch squares. Spoon 1-1/2 tablespoons cooled filling onto one corner of each square. Brush around the squares with egg wash. Fold each pasty over the filling to make a triangle, pressing lightly to remove any air pockets. Crimp the edges with a fork.

Put pies on two parchment-lined baking sheets. Brush the tops of the pies with egg wash and bake in a 400-degree oven about 20 minutes, until golden brown. Transfer to a cooling rack set over a baking sheet.

Mix powdered sugar, vanilla and 1/3 cup cold water in a bowl until smooth. Drizzle over the pies and let set until dry.

Makes 12 servings.



Cast-Iron Blueberry and Nectarine Galette


1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed

Flour, for dusting

2 cups blueberries

3 nectarines, pitted and diced

1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

Juice of 1 lemon

1 large egg, lightly beaten

Vanilla ice cream, for serving


Roll puff pastry to a 1/4-inch-thick square on a lightly floured surface. Transfer it to a nine-inch cast-iron skillet, gently pressing it into the pan and allowing the extra to hang over the edges.

Place blueberries, nectarines, sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice in a bowl. Toss to combine, then add to the skillet.

Mix egg and one tablespoon water in a bowl, then brush the pastry with the egg wash.

Bake in a 425-degree oven 40 to 45 minutes, until pastry is golden and fruit is bubbling. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Makes four to six servings.



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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
(262) 284-3494


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