Sunday, July 4, 2010

Blogger's Challenge: Blueberries

We're in the middle of blueberry season. For me, that means I hit the farmers' markets several times a week, buy a pint of blueberries and eat them all by the next day. Blueberries are wonderful in baking, and with meats, but I just can't seem to let them sit around long enough for that to happen. This week, after I got a pint from Glade Link Farms at the West Frederick Farmers Market, I decided after my third or fourth handful that I would make the rest into blueberry muffins. This was quite a sacrifice, I must tell you.

I bought a cookbook recently of gluten-free recipes called "Artisanal Gluten-Free Cookbook" and had been experimenting with it the past two weeks. So far everything I had made with it was tasty, but the leavening was totally not working, and the recipes seemed gummy. This might have been due to the brands of flour I was using- I hear that Bob's Red Mill Brown Rice flour is not milled finely enough to rise well in GF recipes. I made a flat, gummy lemon poppyseed bread that everyone loved and chocolate chip scones using the flour mix recommended in the book with a recipe from another book that was also tasty but flat. Since I had already made up a big batch of the flour mix that is the basis for all the recipes in the book, I was loathe to abandon it. I decided to use the blueberry muffin recipe from the book, but double the baking soda it called for and halve the xanthan gum (xanthan gum makes doughs stretchy and is used in lieu of gluten, You can also use it to make instant pudding out of just about any liquid. It's weird stuff, both creepy and impressive. I got mine at the Common Market). The product is the picture you see above. These muffins rose, they browned, they tasted like regular blueberry muffins. I could not have been happier.

This leads me to my next point: all of you bloggers and tweeters and food lovers out there, I am inviting you to participate in a blueberry challenge. Make a dish involving blueberries, and then either post a picture or send me one. Feel free to include the recipe if you like. You have until July 18th to make something out of blueberries and post it up. At the end of the challenge, I'll post a link or pictures to everyone's blueberry dishes. Have fun!


sixgables said...

I'll need to get some GF graham crackers first, but my favorite use of summer berries (aside from just shoveling them into my face on the way home) is the Baking Illustrated Summer Berry Pie. A google should turn up the recipe.

Also- blueberry fans, check out Frog Eye Farm: Hank uses no pesticides and has enough blueberry varieties to keep us picking until mid-August! They're divine.

smoo said...

That sounds delicious! Beth at the West Frederick Farmers market sells GF graham crackers. Thanks for the farm tip!