Ever since we started our Maine State Study Kelli and Kevin have fallen in love with Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey . They ask for it several times a day. Well, of course that led to the request that we go to Blueberry Hill while in Maine and have tin pails that go Kerplink, Kerplank, Kerplunk.
Unfortunately where we stay in Maine is not farm country but rather logging and hunting country. There are many, many of the black bears that are featured in the story but no blueberries.
So we made do with a trip out to the east end of Long Island to pick blueberries. It was a hazy day and a long ride but the children loved it. Kelli and Kevin both kerplinked everytime they dropped a blueberry into the little cartons. Alas I could not find small metal buckets anywhere. No one seemed to mind.
We were stuck for a bit on a country road in Jamesport while waiting for a tree to be cut.
Finally we arrive at the blueberry patch
Early peaches, a huge bunch of lavendar, two enormous tomatoes and two bags of the homemade donuts this farm is famous for. One cinnamon, one plain. Heaven!
From the Yellow Farmhouse Cookbook by Christopher Kimball
Blueberry Boy Bait
2 cups flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
10 tablespoons cold butter
2 tsps baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 eggs, separated
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, washed, drained, blotted with paper towels. If you use frozen blueberries make sure they have been thawed and drained.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13×9 pan with butter and then flour it lightly. Sift together flour and sugar into a large mixing bowl. Cut the butter into pieces, then work into the flour mixture with a pastry blender (I used my food processor for this step). The flour should take on the texture of coarse meal, with a few pea sized pieces of butter still visible, and turn slightly yellow. Reserve 1/2 cup of this mixture for the topping (I forgot to do this).
- Add the baking powder, salt, the egg yolks (reserve whites), and the milk to the flour mixture still in the large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer for about 3 minutes. This can also be done by hand with a wooden spoon.
- In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites until they hold 2 inch peaks. Fold gently into the batter. Spread batter in prepared pan and sprinkle with dry blueberries. Then sprinkle reserved crumb mixture on top.
- Bake for 40-50 minuted until the center of the cake bounces back when pressed.. Let cool for 30 minutes and serve as a coffee cake or a dessert with whipped cream.
Master Recipe for Muffins
These are not the sweet cakey variety of muffin but rather a hearty country style meant to be slathered with butter or jam. Or both!
8 tbsp butter, melted
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp sugar
- Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 12 cup muffin tin with butter and lightly flour (or if you are lazy like me use the paper muffin cups).
- whisk together the melted butter, vanilla and eggs in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl whisk together the next 5 ingredients. Gently stir the flour mixture into the egg mixture until the batter looks half mixed. Add the buttermilk and sugar and mix gently with a large rubber spatula. Do not overmix, there should still be streaks of flour and it should still be lumpy.
- Using a medium ice cream scoop or 1/2 cup measure, divide the mixture
evenly among the 12 muffin cups. Bake about 25 minutes or until the
tops are golden brown. Cool for five minutes and then remove from tin