August 7, 2013

Blueberry recipes from Maine bakers and pastry chefs

By Meredith Goad mgoad@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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

Servings: 1

2 thick slices of brioche bread (We buy ours from Standard Baking Co.)

Cream cheese

Shaved white chocolate

Maine high bush blueberries

1 cup half and half

3 eggs, beaten

Cinnamon

Powdered ginger

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.

BRIOCHE:

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.

BLUEBERRY COMPOTE:

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.

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