Showing posts with label blueberries. Show all posts
Showing posts with label blueberries. Show all posts

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Blueberry Pie with Polenta Shortcake Crust #FridayPieDay

A buttery polenta shortcake crust filled with fresh blueberries makes a beautiful dessert for family but it’s pretty enough for special guests.

When I was in university studying journalism with some public relations and graphic design thrown in, we still used picas (1 pica=12 point) as a measure of column width. We talked about leading (the space between the lines of type) and kerning (the space between the letters) and column inches. I’m guessing that those designing newspapers still do. What I didn’t realize is that the origin of the word pica is connected with another of my favorite words: Pie!

"magpie," mid-13c. (late 12c. as a surname), from Old French pie (13c.), from Latin pica "magpie" (see magpie). In 16c., a wily pie was a "cunning person." Source: EtymOnline

Yeah, I’m kind of a word wonk. One of my favorite parts of reading cookbooks, magazines and blogs from other countries is learning all the different ways we refer to the same sorts of dishes, like pies and tarts. Even the variety of things that are called pie, both savory and sweet, baked and fried, handheld or baked in a pie plate, is enormous.

Last January I was blessed with the gift of the digital UK edition of delicious. magazine for my birthday. Each month I scroll through the gorgeous photographs and mark the recipes I’d like to try, either as written or adapted to our own tastes. As soon as I saw the recipe they called Blueberry Polenta Shortcake, I said to myself, “Shortcake?! That’s pie! It has two crusts!”

Adapted from delicious. magazine, UK digital edition, August 2015

For the crust:
1 2/3 cups or 210g flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup or 150g chilled unsalted butter
1/2 cup or 100g polenta or fine cornmeal
2/3 cup or 150g fine sugar
Finely grated zest 1 large orange
1 large egg
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice

For the filling:
2 1/2 cups or 340g fresh blueberries, plus a couple extra for decoration
5 teaspoons sugar
Good pinch salt
1 heaped tablespoon polenta or fine cornmeal

To sprinkle on before baking
1 tablespoon demerara sugar

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C. Use some non-stick spray or a little oil to grease the inside of your 9 in or 23cm spring form pan. Cut a piece of parchment just bigger than the base so you can cover up past where the sides and bottom of the pan join.

Cut the butter into cubes and add it to your food processor with the flour, baking powder and salt. Pulse until you have sandy looking crumbs.

Add in the polenta, sugar and orange zest and pulse again briefly.

Add in the egg mixed with the orange juice and pulse again until a dough starts to form.

Tip it out onto a floured surface. It's going to look fairly crumbly but should hang together as you knead it.

Knead it a turn or two.

Cut a little more than 1/3 of the dough or 250g off and wrap it with cling film. Put it in the refrigerator to chill.

Press the rest of the dough into the bottom and at least an inch or 2cm the sides of your prepared baking pan. Just keep working on it till it's nice and even.

Remove all little stems, if any, from your blueberries and pour them into the bottom crust.

Mix the good pinch of salt with the sugar and heaped spoon of polenta then sprinkle them over the blueberries.

Draw a circle the size of your baking pan on a large piece of baking parchment. Roll the chilled dough out between that one and another piece of parchment until it’s a little bigger than the circle. Try to peel the parchment off. If it’s too sticky, pop the rolled dough back into the refrigerator for about 10 minutes.

Cut the dough out around the circle and peel one side of the parchment off.

Turn the pastry over and gently ease the pastry circle onto the blueberries and bottom crust, pressing down gently to remove air from underneath. Push the crust in at the sides, peeling the top parchment sheet off as you go.

Decorate with a few more blueberries, if desired, and sprinkle on the demerara sugar. As you can see, I also made some little balls with the pastry scraps but they just baked into the crust so you really don't need to bother.

Bake in your preheated oven for about 45-50 minutes or until the top crust is golden.

Allow to cool in the pan for about 15 minutes and then run a thin knife around the inside of the pan to loosen the crust.

Open the spring form pan and carefully remove the pie to a wire rack. Leave to cool completely before cutting.

The golden bottom


This blueberry pie with polenta shortcake crust is my contribution to this month's Friday Pie Day, the brilliant creation of Heather from All Roads Lead to the Kitchen. (Formerly girlichef.)

I am pleased to join her on the last Friday of each month for pie and crust recipes, techniques, tools of the trade, and other inspiration.

This month Heather is sharing a round up of beautiful pies that would perfect for your Thanksgiving celebration! Do go over and have a look.

For more information and recipes, please check out her #FridayPieDay page!

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Sunday, May 24, 2015

Red, White and Blue Sangria #SundaySupper

Crisp dry white wine, mixed with a little lemon vodka and Grand Marnier, then topped up with lemon-lime soda and lots of pretty fruit, makes a refreshing libation for summertime. 

This week Sunday Supper is remembering all those who made the ultimate sacrifice in our armed forces, just ahead of Memorial Day tomorrow, by showing off our red, white and/or blue recipes. Even as you feast and enjoy the extra day’s holiday – if you are living in the US, that is – we hope you will be inspired to honor military personnel from every country who died to preserve our freedoms, including those who put themselves in harm’s way to bring aid to the needy and try to ensure safety and peace in troubled regions worldwide. (Did you know that there are more than 30 countries whose flags are red, white and blue?) Unlike Veteran's Day, which honors the service of all soldiers, Memorial Day is especially to recognize those who gave their lives.

Many thanks to this week’s host, the great DB from Crazy Foodie Stunts. Make sure you scroll on down to the bottom of my post to see all the colorful recipes we are sharing today.

Let me introduce this sangria ingredient list with a disclaimer. When I told my husband that I was making sangria and, did he want some, he said, “Nah, thanks. I’ll just have a cold beer.” Well, I’m all for taking one for the team, particularly my Sunday Supper group, but drinking an entire one-wine-bottle batch of sangria seemed ill-advised, so the amounts you see here photographed are for half of the recipe I share below. And, yes, I did drink the whole darn half pitcher over the course of a hot afternoon! It was refreshing and delicious.

1 bottle dry white wine (My favorite white is Sauvignon Blanc, both for sangria and drinking in general.)
1/3 cup or 80ml Grand Marnier
1/4 cup or 60ml lemon vodka
3 cups or 710ml lemon-lime soda (Two of the 12 oz or 355ml cans.)
6 oz or 170g raspberries
4.4oz or 125g blueberries
1 dragon fruit

Starting at least a day ahead, wash some of the blueberries and raspberries and put three blueberries and one raspberry in several of the holes of a muffin pan. For a more decorative look, I used the Nordic Ware one known online as the Bundt Brownie pan. <affiliate link Add a little water, until you see the blueberries just barely start to float.

Put the pan in the freezer and leave until the water freezes enough to hold the fruit in place.

Top up with more water and freeze until solid.

When the fruity ice is frozen, release by running some water over the back of the pan and store in a airtight container in the freezer. If you want to skip all these steps and get straight to the sangria, just use normal ice cubes.

When you are ready to serve, peel and slice your dragon fruit and cut it into pieces about the size of your raspberries and blueberries. Wash the berries and drain well.

In a pitcher, combine your wine, vodka and Grand Marnier.

Add your fruity ice (or just some normal ice) and then top up with the lemon-lime soda.

Add in more raspberries, blueberries and some of the cut dragon fruit. Put some berries and dragon fruit and ice in each glass and fill up with sangria.


And make sure to check out all the other great red, white and/or blue recipes we have for you today.

Food Using One Color

Red Food

White Food
Blue Food

Food Using Two Colors

Red and White Food

Blue and White Food

Red, White and Blue Food
Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter every Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7 p.m. ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat.

To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Sangria outside on our new-to-us outdoor sofa set.  Doesn't it look refreshing!

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Lemon Blueberry Van Halen Bundt #BundtBakers

If you are a fan of Van Halen, you’ve probably discerned that my contribution for this month’s Bundt Bakers is a pound cake, so I'll elaborate further to say it's flavored with lemon and stuffed with blueberries. There’s also cream cheese and blueberry jam right up in there.

It’s not “an old time, long lost recipe” but one I adapted off of my friend Jenni’s blog, Pastry Chef Online, who in turn adapted it from an original recipe by a certain Miss Patsy. And while I don’t know Miss Patsy, I’m going to hazard a guess from her name that she is “home grown and down home, “ so the renaming of her pound cake is maybe appropriate, if you don’t think too hard about the rest of the Van Halen lyrics. As Jenni has proven myriad times, this recipe is easily adaptable and a great jumping off place for buttery rich pound cakes of various flavors.
This month our theme for Bundt Bakers is Hidden Surprises so, even after adding all the lemon, I couldn’t leave Miss Patsy’s recipe well enough alone; I had to try and put something inside. I chose blueberries and cream cheese, which sounded like a great idea, until the filling sunk. And that is when I added a glaze to the instructions because I had to hide it again. If you don’t mind the look of a blueberry upside down Bundt, leave off the glaze because it was delicious. Rather ugly actually, but definitely delicious. On the other hand, a lemony cream cheese glaze is never a bad thing. Your call.

2 1/4 cups or 285g flour
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/4 cups or 450g sugar
1 1/8 cup or 255g unsalted butter, softened
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup or 60ml whole milk
1/4 cup or 60ml cream
1/4 cup or 60ml fresh lemon juice

For the filling:
2 1/2 oz or 70g cream cheese, cold
1 3/4 oz or 50g fresh blueberries, plus a few extra for decorating, if desired
1/4 cup or 80g blueberry jam

Optional lemon glaze:
1/2 cup or 60g icing sugar
1 1/4 oz or 35g cream cheese, at room temperature
1 teaspoon butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2-3 teaspoons milk

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your 10-cup Bundt pan by greasing and flouring it or using the non-stick spray that has flour already in it.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a bowl and set aside.

Measure your milk, cream and lemon juice together in a measuring cup and stir well. It's going to kind of thicken and get all sour creamy/buttermilky and that's a good thing.

In the bowl of your stand mixer or with electric beaters, cream the butter and the sugar together until light and fluffy.

Add in the vanilla and then the first egg.

Beat well until combined. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl with a rubber spatula and add the other two eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.

Add in half your flour and beat well, followed by half your liquid mixture and beat until thoroughly combined.

Scrape the sides of the bowl well and continue beating, adding the balance of the flour and then the balance of the liquids, along with the lemon zest. Beat well.

Spoon two-thirds of your batter into the prepared Bundt pan. Use a spoon to make a very shallow channel in the batter.

For the filling, cut the cream cheese up into small chunks and mix lightly with the jam and fresh blueberries.

Spoon your filling into the channel.

Then top it with the balance of the batter and smooth it out.

Bake in your preheated oven for about 45-50 minutes or until the top is nicely golden and the Bundt begins to just pull away from the sides.

Let the Bundt cool in the pan for about 10 minutes and then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

This is not a thing of beauty

The filling will probably sink to the bottom of the pan, which becomes the top of the cake, making an upside down blueberry cream cheese topping. Which, as I mentioned, while delicious, is not particularly attractive. At least in my opinion. If you’d like to hide it with a glaze, whisk all the glaze ingredients together, adding just enough milk to get it to the consistency you'd like, and then drizzle it (or use a piping bag) to decorate the top of the Bundt.

If you've added the glaze, top with a few blueberries, if desired.


Many thanks to our host this month, Anshie of Spice Roots for a great, if somewhat vexing, theme and for all the work it takes to host. Have a look at how the rest of our group handled the Hidden Surprises challenge:

#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send an email with your blog URL to

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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Strawberry Vanilla Blueberry Ice Cream #foodieextravaganza

Sweet summer strawberries, juicy blueberries and vanilla bean ice cream bring a little red, white and blue to this week’s Fourth of July celebrations.

Let’s talk about obsessions. At our house, we are a little football crazy. Some of us, more than others. My husband came home from work last night a little early, just so he could have a short nap and stay up till midnight (Dubai time) for the START of the USA-Belgium World Cup game. I have no idea what time he came to bed. I checked the news first thing this morning though and read through the play-by-play of the game and some of the social commentary - Best quote: Tim Howard is the American Jesus! He saves! - and I couldn’t help laughing at all the Tim Howard jokes. It almost made me wish I had stayed up to watch. Almost. Darn this time difference!

There’s an English idiom that people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. So I should even the score by admitting that I am throwing football rocks in my own ice cream glass house. I’ve got an obsession for making ice cream. But you probably knew that already after this post, and this post and, just yesterday, this post with an ice cream cookbook giveaway. (And those are just the ones I’ve shared!) With the churn, without the churn, it’s all good.

Truth is, I was hoping that this red, white and blue ice cream would be a celebration of a football victory so our two obsessions would dovetail so nicely.  After all, isn’t that what marriage is all about? The best advice books say to find something in common that you can enjoy together, right? Right?!

Today, I’m joining another great group of bloggers in an event we are calling Foodie Extravaganza and the ingredient for this month is blueberries. So how about let’s just celebrate blueberries and call it a day well spent! Make sure to scroll on down to see the whole list of blueberrilicious recipes. Many thanks to Alexis from We Like to Learn as We Go, our organizer for July’s extravaganza.

3 1/2 oz or 100g blueberries
3 1/2 oz or 100g strawberries
1 2/3 cups or 400ml whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
2/3 cup or 200g sweetened condensed milk
1 whole vanilla bean
2 tablespoons homemade vanilla extract (split vanilla bean infused vodka) or 1 teaspoon normal vanilla extract and two tablespoons vodka or alcohol of your choice (The alcohol helps keep the ice cream from freezing solid, which makes scooping easier.)

Hull and chop your strawberries into pieces about the same size as your blueberries. Spread the strawberries and blueberries out in a single layer on a baking pan lined with cling film. Put the pan in the freezer until the fruit is frozen. This doesn’t take long so set a timer for about 25-30 minutes.

Once your fruit is frozen, split the vanilla bean with a sharp knife and scrape out the tiny little seeds. (Pop the empty bean pod in a couple of cups of sugar in an airtight container to create fabulous vanilla flavored sugar or add it to your vanilla extract.)

In your stand mixer or with electric beaters, whisk the cream, cream of tartar and the vanilla bean seeds until the cream thickens. Add the condensed milk and the vanilla extract. Whisk until stiff peaks form.

Reserve some blueberries and strawberries to decorate the top of the ice cream.  Ever so gently, fold the rest of fruit into the cream mixture.

Pour in an airtight container, top with the reserved fruit and freeze for several hours for soft serve or overnight for firmer ice cream.

Warm your ice cream scoop in a mug of hot water and serve.


Welcome to the Foodie Extravaganza!  
We are a group of bloggers who love to blog about food! And each month we all incorporate one main ingredient into a recipe. This month the ingredient is blueberries. We hope you all enjoy our delicious blueberry foods this month and come see what next month's new ingredient is. If you would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook page Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you!

Make sure to check out these great recipes from our group! 

Blueberry Lemon Breakfast Cake @ We Like to Learn as We Go
Blueberry Orange Muffins @ Forty Eighteen
Homemade Blueberry Poptarts @ Our Thrifty Ideas
Blueberry Cheese Cake Pastries @ Summer Scraps
Lemon Blueberry Sandwich Cookies @ From Gate to Plate
Panna Cotta w/a Blueberry Compote @ The Freshman Cook
Strawberry Vanilla Blueberry Ice Cream @ Food Lust People Love
Blueberry Pie Ice Cream @ Love in the Kitchen
Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake @ Keep it Simple, Sweetie

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