Last Saturday, my middle daughter and I headed out to pick blueberries. It couldn't have been a more perfect morning. The blue sky, fresh breeze and cheerful company added to the delight of choosing perfect berries from the first picking. As we wondered how they kept bears away, I was reminded of a favorite children's book, Blueberries for Sal, where bears and humans navigate a Maine hillside in search of the luscious fruit. Our buckets were plastic, so we missed the fun of hearing "plink, plank, plunk" but like "little Sal," quite a few handfuls (at least from my side of the row) ended up not quite making it into the bucket.

Later that day I pulled out a family recipe for blueberry pie. I can't recall exactly where this recipe came from, but it has long been a family favorite. My youngest daughter gave it to a friend for his birthday, and although I can't say how much of an impact it made, I do know that, as they draw near to celebrating their first anniversary, it remains one of his favorite desserts.

Robert Frost has a chatty poem about a patch of blueberries. Here are the first few lines, which catch a bit of the thrill of loaded bushes.

"You ought to have seen what I saw on my way
To the village, through Mortenson's pasture to-day:
Blueberries as big as the end of your thumb,
Real sky-blue, and heavy, and ready to drum
In the cavernous pail of the first one to come!
And all ripe together, not some of them green
And some of them ripe! You ought to have seen!"


The rest of the poem, where one learns of the Loren clan (perhaps fed in large
part by wild berries) can be found here.

While looking for things blueberry, I found first Deborah Gordon's whimsical  poem  entitled Blueberry Hill , and then the painting below which, like brie and
apricot jam, seem magically paired.
Picture
Blueberry Tree by Amy Giacomelli

The blueberries crawl
From a blueberry tree
Where the blueberries call
To a blueberry sea.

 And the blueberry sun
Sticks its head through the sky
As the blueberries hum
And the birds skitter by.

And the blueberry waves
Tap their toes on the floor
As the blueberries laze
By the blueberry shore

And the blueberries crawl
From a blueberry tree
Where the blueberries call
To a blueberry sea.


But since reading about blueberries can never be quite as fun as actually eating them, here are two recipes to try this summer, the blueberry cream cheese pie, as well as a lemon tart that's equally yummy.

Blueberry Cream Cheese Pie

single pie crust, baked and cooled

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c sour cream
1/2 t vanilla
2 - 3 c blueberries
1/2 c water
1/4 c sugar
3 T cornstarch
1 T lemon juice

Blend cream cheese, 1/2 c sugar, sour cream and vanilla until smooth. Spread in the bottom of a baked pie crust. Chill. In small saucepan mash 1 c of blueberries, add 1/2 c water and bring to a boil. Strain and add water to the juice to make 1 cup. Combine remaining sugar (1/4 c) and cornstarch. Stir into blueberry liquid. Return to pan and cook, stirring constantly until thickened. Remove from heat, stir in lemon juice. Cool. Place remaining berries over cream cheese layer. Spoon glaze evenly over all. Chill well (about 3 hours.)

Blueberry-Topped Lemon Tart

(This simplified version is a bit easier to put together in the summer. The original version, which I found in Good Housekeeping years ago has been posted on recipes.com here.)

Graham cracker crust
Lemon pudding
1 1/2 pint blueberries
Whipped cream

Make lemon pudding as directed. Pour into graham cracker crust. Immediately pile
blueberries on top of warm lemon filling. Cool. Serve with dollop of whipped cream.

Oh yes - printing out these recipes reminded me that I had wanted to try out a blueberry lemonade. Here's a recipe that I'm enjoying right now.

And for a little music with your lemonade - Fats Domino singing his version of Blueberry Hill!
7/2/2012 06:25:49 am

Fresh berries - yum. Last week we discovered wild blackberries in our yard. What a gift. My 4-year-old and I enjoyed them on the spot.

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7/2/2012 07:17:07 am

What fun. I love to find wild berries! And we like to make pancake syrup if we can get enough...

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