Tag Archives: blueberry

Patriotic Pie: Behind the Scenes

Sometimes I wonder what it’s like to be the type of blogger who plans out recipes. I picture her sitting in a clear acrylic chair just off her kitchen at a built-in desk with various Pottery Barn dry erase calendars and magnetic boards above her head, sipping a latte while casually writing a post on her MacBook Air about how perfectly her Saturday Morning Chocolate Soufflé came out of her double-oven just minutes prior.

She schedules it to publish the following Saturday at 7:45 a.m. because she’s already got this week’s posts lined up so that perfectly fluffy and not about to deflate soufflé will just have to wait it’s turn.

She’s organized and she’s probably getting compensated by Ghirardelli for the whole damn thing.

If any of those thoughts cross your mind whenever you scroll Instagram or Pinterest and spot a too pretty to eat food photo, then get out of my head because we are the same person.

Kidding. Kind of.

Truth is I’m sure those bloggers exist. I’m even more sure that I am not one of them. Let me walk you through the Sarah stages of recipe post planning.

Sunday, July 3rd, 10:28 p.m.

Friend sends you a picture of her American Pie. Literally. Stars and Stripes and berries galore.

Now you want pie.

Monday, July 4, 4:30 p.m.

You decide that now’s as good a time as any to make a pie. Or a tart. OK, something with crust and berries because you have both and not much more.

Googles recipes that include berries and pie crust. 

Most tart recipes call for a filling that requires cream cheese. You don’t have cream cheese. Or cream. Or any filling essentials really. You narrow your focus to pies.

Googles recipes that include berries and pie crust and no cream filling. 

Monday, July 4, 5:30 p.m.

OK so now your’e making a pie but you’ve already pressed your crust into a tart pan.

You already start brainstorming funny names for a tart+pie combo. 

Partie in the U.S.A.? Artie? Tie?

Ok, but seriously you should probably just make the pie.

You add the filling to the tart and end up with just enough extra dough for three stripes but no stars.

Thaws out more dough.

Monday, July 4, 6:30 p.m.

You have to concentrate really hard to remember how to correctly carve a symmetrical star using only a paring knife.

You are actually pretty impressed with your ability to carve a symmetrical star using only a paring knife.

Snaps far too many photos of pre-baked pie for fear baking will completely disfigure your stars and stripes.

Monday, July 4, 6:40 p.m.

Pie is in oven. Focus immediately shifts from design to taste potential.

You’re now convinced that not only is it going to probably look like crap, but it may not taste good either.

Did you even add sugar? 

Monday, July 4, 7:20 p.m. 

Pietart is done and still resembles flag. Maybe you should blog this one.

Takes hot pie outside onto hot patio to capture it with what little natural light is left.

Monday, July 4, 9:30 p.m.

You finally taste pie and realize that you didn’t waste all your time taking photos of a pie that tastes like crap.

Happy Birthday America.

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Patriotic Pie (adapted from the Casual Craftlete)

  • 1.5 pie crusts (1 for bottom and half for topping)
  • 1 pint strawberries, sliced
  • 1 pint whole blueberries
  • ½ cup  sugar (plus a little for dusting)
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 TBL water
  • Flour for dusting

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Rinse and slice strawberries. Place rinsed berries in bowl and mix with cornstarch and sugar. Set aside.

Roll pastry on mat until circle is a little larger than your pan. Press dough into prepared pan. Trim edges.

Pour berry mixture into center of pan and spread out.

Trim remaining pastry dough into patriotic shapes. Place over berries and connect to edges of crust.

In a small bowl, mix egg with water. Brush crust with egg wash. Sprinkle with remaining sugar.

Bake for 40 minutes or until filling bubbles and pastry turns golden brown.

Let cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.

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Hope that your readers don’t think you scheduled blogged this from your Pottery Barn desk weeks before the Fourth of July because now they know how randomly your blog posts originate.

Thanks for following along anyways!

Blueberry Tea Cake

I must admit, my baking has been somewhat of a bust as of late. Last week I attempted a “healthy” oatmeal, banana, raisin cookie and it failed miserably. I was missing one of the ingredients and tried to make it work, and well, let’s just say it was intern level at best. I can’t promise I won’t attempt it again just because I’m competitive, but I’ll save you the wasted ingredients until I at least have a successful outcome.

oatmeal raisin cookies

healthy cookie FAIL

While I typically eat pretty healthy and substitute where I can, I try not to skimp when it comes to baking. I come from the school of thought that if you enjoy the real thing, you are less likely to binge on it. There are a few exceptions of course. And those recipes I typically take straight to the office. No one looks pretty standing over the counter devouring an entire 9×13 pan of rhubarb cake. Not that I’ve ever done that or anything.

blueberry tea cake

Speaking of rhubarb cake. This is typically the time of year I make my grandmother’s recipe. Unfortunately, I haven’t had a chance to get my hands on any good rhubarb yet so I settled for a blueberry tea cake instead.

berry blue tea cake

My mom always says you can judge a good recipe by the stains on the paper. And she’s right. The tried and true ones are typically creased, gray and aged to perfection. Just like George Clooney. As I was looking through my cookbook for a recipe to help dig myself out of the black hole of baked goods, this little piece of paper fell onto the counter like a sign from the baking gods. It was one my mom gave to me from a Junior League cookbook circa 1990. Inspiration comes in all forms and this time it was staring at me saying, Bake me, Bake me!

And so I did.

blueberry tea cake

Berry Blue Tea Cake

  • 2 C sifted flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 C unsalted butter
  • 3/4 C sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 C milk (I used almond)
  • 2 C blueberries

Topping

  • 1/4 C sugar
  • 2 TBL flour
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 TBL butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Grease and flour an 8 inch square pan.

In a small bowl, sift flour, baking powder and salt together. In a large bowl cream butter and sugar together. Add egg and milk. Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in floured blueberries. Batter will be thick.

In a small bowl, cut 2 TBL butter into sugar, flour and cinnamon mixture. Just dig in and use your hands. Spread topping over batter. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until knife comes out clean.

Tea cakes are great because like scones, they can be justified at any meal of the day. Have some with your morning coffee. It’s not too sweet. Serve it for Sunday brunch. After all, there’s fresh fruit in it. Scarf down another piece for dessert. You can’t go wrong with a cinnamon-sugar combo.

In today’s Pin-centric world, I’m interested to hear if you still use cookbooks and printed recipes? Where do you get your cooking inspiration from?

Blueberry Banana Muffins

So I think I finally adjusted to west coast time. Only problem is I flew back to central time on Sunday. Or, it could be that Saturnsnowpacogeddon that rolled through yesterday causing all sorts of panic only to dust us with 5 or so inches here in the city. That may seem like a lot if you live off a country road, but one perk of the city is a cleanup crew that never sleeps. And apparently doesn’t want you to either. I’d like to thank Mr. Snow Plow Man for the 2 am parking lot scrape. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate you. Just not at 2 a.m. Whatever the excuse, I’ve had no energy to cook this week. Unless you count a lazy quinoa salad, but I’ve already shared a similar recipe with you in a recent post.

Instead, ill share one of my go-to recipes for Blueberry Banana Bread, or in this case muffins. It’s a simple recipe but a crowd-pleaser. I started adding blueberries a few years ago because I thought it might add a little something and while the bread is good on its own, (credit to the cup-o-sugar) the blueberriesadd a nice tang and moisture to it. That and I think they give you a good dose of fiber and phytonutrients, but if you avoid all things healthy, just leave them out.

blueberry banana muffin

My mom’s side of the family is what you might call large. And the Boschfolk can breathe easy knowing I don’t mean in width, but in numbers. There’s a lot of us. My grandpa is one of 8. My mom is one of 8 and swears she knows each and every one of her hundred-plus cousins. You don’t have to be a mathalete to know that’s a lot of mouths to feed, a lot of cooks in the kitchen and a lot of tailgaters at the tailgate.

Fortunately, this also means a lot of recipes. I’d been using my personal banana bread recipe by memory for years, not knowing where exactly it stemmed from but figuring because of it’s simplicity it was adapted from any number of sources. It wasn’t until one of my co-workers kept telling me that she made my banana bread the weekend prior that I finally ask her what the heck she was talking about. After all, I did make the bread fairly often and bring it into the office but I never remembered her asking for the recipe. Finally one day it hit me. She was referencing the 2nd Edition of the Bosch Family Cookbook I gave her a few years ago. My Grandpa heard she was interested and gifted me with a copy to give her. Unbeknownst to me, inside the book was my trusted banana bread recipe. Only it wasn’t mine at all. Instead, credit belonged to my great Aunt Monica.

family cookbook

Now I guess I could take credit for the magical day when I decided to put a streusel topping on it. Or the other one when I discovered the power of floured blueberries in a quick bread. But I’ll resist. After all, doesn’t everyone prefer a trusted family recipe to one that they just found as a top listing in a Google search?

I think the real key to my banana bread is the bananas themselves. Growing up my mom always put over-ripened bananas in the freezer (skins on). I thought everybody did it. And if you haven’t, you should. Anytime a banana gets too mushy to eat, into the freezer it goes. Not only does it sweeten them up a bit, but it allows you to make banana bread whenever you want (or when you get a sign from above that it’s banana bread time as you pull open the freezer door and one drops on your foot ). Ok, I get it. Banana bread time.

blueberry banana muffins

I made these muffins for my girlfriend and her husband after they welcomed their new baby girl home. I figured muffins were better than the quick bread so that they could freeze the extras and take them out when they wanted them or share them with the many visitors they would have in the days to come.

Blueberry Banana Muffins

  • 1/3 C melted unsalted butter
  • 1 C sugar (you can use less, but why?)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 medium over-ripe (or frozen and thawed) bananas
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 C all-purpose flour (I sometimes sub half whole wheat)
  • 1 C fresh blueberries

Streusel Topping

  • 1-2 TBL old fashioned oats
  • 1 tsp flour
  • 1 TBL brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

I know some people think it’s faux pas to use a stand mixer for quick breads but I do it. Sue me. Cream butter and sugar together. Add egg, and vanilla. Then bananas until just combined.

In another bowl mix dry ingredients. You can do this part by hand but if you have a decent mixer with a slow speed just mix the dry ingredients into the wet being careful not to over-mix the batter.

Rinse and dry blueberries. In another bowl, add 1 TBL flour toblueberries and shake until coated. Fold floured blueberriesinto bread mix.

blueberry banana muffins

Scoop into lined muffin tins, top with 1 tsp streusel and bake for 30-45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Muffins take less time than the bread so check often.

blueberry banana muffins

Let cool on rack and share with your family!