CHILLED MAINE SUMMER BLUEBERRY “CRISP”
From Brant Dadaleares, pastry chef, Fore Street in Portland
Have ready eight 6-ounce glass Ball jars.
LIGHTLY SALTED VANILLA PANNA COTTA:
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
3 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk
3 sheets leaf gelatin
3 tablespoons cold water
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Place gelatin leaves in a small bowl and coat with the cold water. Set aside.
Place vanilla bean and its seeds, heavy cream, milk and sugar into a small, non-reactive pan and heat on medium heat.
Once cream mixture is hot, squeeze out the water from the gelatin and add the gelatin to the cream. Whisk to combine.
Strain mixture through a fine sieve and gently pour panna cotta equally into the eight Ball jars.
Refrigerate for four hours to set panna cotta.
6 cups fresh low bush blueberries divided into 4 cups and 2 cups
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons water
Place 2 cups blueberries into a small pan with the sugar and water and heat gently until the blueberries pop and exude juices. Remove from heat and puree smooth.
Place the remaining 4 cups of blueberries in a bowl.
Pour the pureed blueberries through a fine sieve directly onto the 4 cups of fresh blueberries.
Stir to combine and chill in the refrigerator while making remaining components.
ALMOND CINNAMON CRISP TOPPING:
3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup finely ground almonds
8 ounces unsalted butter at room temperature
Preheat oven to 350.
In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the flour, cinnamon, both sugars, salt and ground almonds.
Turn the mixer to low speed to combine the dry ingredients for two minutes.
Slowly add the butter in small increments and mix for an additional four minutes, or until butter is fully incorporated.
Sprinkle crisp mixture onto a cookie sheet and chill until firm, approximately one hour.
Once chilled, bake crisp topping for eight to 10 minutes, rotating cookie sheet once, until golden brown. Set aside.
Crisp topping will crisp up upon cooling.
Once cooled, chop topping into small pieces.
SWEET CORN ICE CREAM:
3 ears of corn, shucked
2 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup sugar
10 egg yolks
Place the egg yolks in a bowl and whisk to break up. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap.
Cut the corn kernels off the cob and have them with your dinner, but keep the cobs.
Cut the corn cobs into four pieces and place in a large pot.
To the pot add the sugar, heavy cream and milk and bring mixture up to a boil.
Turn off the heat and cover pot tightly. Let the corn cobs infuse for three hours.
Slowly ladle the corn-cob and dairy mixture into the egg yolks, whisking continually.
Once all the dairy is incorporated into the yolks, pour all of the ingredients back into the pot and cook slowly while stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the ice cream base coats the back of the spoon and is slightly thickened.
Cool the ice cream base (without straining) completely.
Strain ice cream base through a fine sieve, discarding the corn cobs.
Churn ice cream in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Freeze for at least four hours before serving.
Equally distribute the blueberry compote on top of the set-up panna cottas, tapping down the jars lightly to settle compote.
Crumble the crisp topping on top of the blueberry compote and dust lightly with powdered sugar.
Top each “crisp” with a scoop of sweet corn ice cream and serve immediately.
BLUEBERRY-STUFFED FRENCH TOAST
From Lisa Kostopoulos, owner of The Good Table in Cape Elizabeth
2 thick slices of brioche bread (We buy ours from Standard Baking Co.)
Shaved white chocolate
Maine high bush blueberries
1 cup half and half
3 eggs, beaten
Soften cream cheese and spread a thick layer on one piece of bread. Sprinkle with shaved white chocolate.
Stick blueberries into the cream cheese. Pack in as many as you can. Top with the second piece of bread.
Soak “sandwich” in a mixture of 1 cup half and half to 3 eggs beaten with a hint of cinnamon and powdered ginger.
Pan-fry in butter.
Serve with warmed Maine maple syrup with blueberries in it. Top with powdered sugar.
Repeat for more servings.
This can be made ahead for a crowd and re-warmed in a 375-degree oven.
BLUEBERRY SWEET FOCACCIA
From Pamela Fitzpatrick at Little Bigs, South Portland
Little Bigs is a new bakery in South Portland specializing in hand pies and other “hand foods.” Owners Pamela Fitzpatrick and James Murray Plunkett, who moved here from Chicago, expect to open their new business at 340 Main St. on Aug. 14.
Start with the brioche sponge:
12/3 cups bread flour
21/4 cups milk
A pinch of SAF yeast (preferable, available at Whole Foods) or active dry yeast
Mix sponge ingredients together by hand. Ferment overnight at room temperature.
For the dough:
31/3 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon SAF yeast (preferable, available at Whole Foods) or active dry yeast
3 large eggs
1/3 cup sugar
21/4 teaspoons salt
61/2 ounces butter, chopped, room temperature
Mix sponge, bread flour, yeast, eggs and sugar together until combined, about 30 seconds, then add chopped butter and continue mixing on speed one for two minutes. Increase speed to medium-high and mix for eight minutes.
Add salt and finish mixing for two minutes, or until dough pulls away from sides of bowl. Ferment in bulk for one hour.
Divide into 12 pieces and shape into balls.
Rest pieces for five minutes, allowing glutens to relax, then press into discs.
Proof for approximately 45 minutes, then dimple and top with room-temperature blueberry compote and cheese mixture (recipes below).
Sprinkle with turbinado sugar and bake at 325 for approximately 14 minutes, or until golden brown.
4 ounces wild blueberries
2 ounces dried blueberries
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cinnamon stick
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Bring all ingredients to boil, then remove berries and set aside.
Reduce liquid to heavy syrup. Remove from heat, add syrup to berries, and stir.
GOAT CHEESE CREAM:
4 ounces fresh chevre
1 ounce cream cheese
11/2 teaspoon confectioners sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, finely chopped
Mix ingredients together on low speed.
SAMBUCA ROMANA JAM
This recipe was created by three-time James Beard award winner Judith Choate and appears in her collection “The Best Little Book of Preserves & Pickles” (Red Rock Press), reprinted here with permission.
The sophisticated coffee-infused blueberry topping is a seasonal joy — a wreath of pleasure added to lemon sorbet, vanilla ice cream or your morning toast. Refrigerated, it may serve you from late-July blueberry season through Labor Day. If you choose to bottle it in accord with USDA water-bath rules, you can have it on hand as a winter-holiday gift or save it to add a blue note to next year’s Fourth of July strawberry shortcake.
Makes: Four half-pint jars
2½ cups sugar, divided
1 box powdered light fruit pectin
5 cups crushed fresh blueberries, preferably organic
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest, preferably organic
½ cup water
½ cup Sambuca Romana or other coffee liqueur
10 coffee beans per jar
Mix ¾ cup of sugar with the powdered light fruit pectin in a small mixing bowl. Combine the blueberries and lemon zest in a heavy saucepan. Stir in the water and coffee liqueur along with the sugar/pectin mixture and place over high heat. Bring to a hard boil, stirring constantly. Stir in the remaining 1¾ cups of sugar. Stir constantly back to a rolling boil. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Skim off foam with metal spoon.
Place 10 coffee beans in each jar. Immediately pour jam into sterilized jars and cap. A jar can be safely refrigerated for up to six weeks before opening.
If preserving, you’ll need to process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath according to USDA guidelines.