Contributed by Judy Waldeyer, the market manager of the Saturday Greenwich Farmer’s Market in Horseneck lot, 9:30-1:00pm
Blueberries are here. In terms of U.S. fruit consumption, blueberries rank only second to strawberries in popularity of berries.
Blueberries are not only popular, but also repeatedly ranked in the U.S. diet as having one of the highest antioxidant capacities among all fruits, vegetables, spices and seasonings. Antioxidants are essential to optimizing health by helping to combat the free radicals that can damage cellular structures as well as DNA.
It is recommended enjoying raw blueberries — rather than relying upon blueberries incorporated into baked desserts — because, like other fruits, raw blueberries provide you with the best flavor and the greatest nutritional benefits.
Also, after many years of research on blueberry antioxidants and their potential benefits for the nervous system and for brain health, there is exciting new evidence that blueberries can improve memory.
Blueberries are not as fragile as other summer berries but still require care. Do not wash your fresh blueberries if you plan to freeze them. Place dry blueberries in freezer bags; when frozen, they will pour like marbles, and won’t stick together. If using them in cakes or muffins, there is no need to thaw them first; simply rinse off any ice crystals and gently pat dry to prevent juices from “bleeding” into the batter. Fresh blueberries can last 7-10 days in the refrigerator and up to 2 years properly frozen.
Two of Judy’s favorite recipes:
Double Good Blueberry Pie
¾ cup sugar 4 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
3 T. Cornstarch 1 T. lemon juice
¼ cup water baked 9 inch pie shell
Mix sugar and cornstarch in sauce pan, add water and 2 cups berries. Cook over medium heat, stirring until mixture is thick, clear and boiling. Remove from heat; stir in lemon juice and cool.
Place remaining two cups of blueberries in pie shell. Top with cooked mixture.
Chill. Serve with sauce of half yogurt, half sour cream, if desired.
Blueberry Lemon Scones
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
- 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest, plus 1/4 cup lemon juice
- Dash of vanilla
- 1 cup blueberries, washed and dried
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut the cold butter into small cubes and add to the dry ingredients.
- Starting at low speed, beat the butter and dry ingredients. Increase the speed to medium and mix until the butter breaks into small pieces. Then stir in the milk, lemon zest and juice, and vanilla until moistened.
- Place the dough on a floured surface and fold in the blueberries, being careful not to break them. Form the dough into a long rectangle, about 1 inch thick. Cut the dough into 2 squares. Cut each square in half diagonally, and then cut those pieces in half again. You should have 8 triangles total.
- Transfer the scones to the prepared baking sheet, spacing them 2 inches apart. Bake until golden brown, 17 to 21 minutes. Let cool.
The Greenwich Farmers Market runs on Saturdays in the Horseneck Lot off exit 3 of I-95 in Greenwich from 9:30am until 1:00pm. No Pets allowed as per state law.