Adventures in the kitchen: The blueberry edition

I like to batch recipes. Got a bunch that use lots of the same ingredients? Group ’em and make them all in the same week or month.

With the end of summer fast approaching, I thought it was high time I got onto all the berry/lemon baked treats lying neglected in my Delicious folder.

blueberry cream cheese tarts nzmuse

Mini blueberry cream cheese tartlets

“Spectacular.”

His words, not mine. Because third-party validation always carries more weight.

I was pretty sure that this was going to bomb from the very start. For one, I didn’t have anywhere near enough fruit, so I cut Poor Girl Eats Well’s recipe by about 2/3 and turned this into mini tarts/bites rather than a pie. (Things usually go haywire when I do this). I eyeballed everything, more or less, and totally winged the pastry part. It seemed way too wet for its own good, and came out a little delicate and crumbly, but overall, a win. Here’s the original recipe.

Ingredients

For the crust

  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder

For the cream cheese filling

  • 250ml package of cream cheese (normal or spreadable, softened)
  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

For the blueberry topping

  • 3 cups blueberries
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons cornflour

Directions

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.

Mix flour and baking powder in one bowl. Separately, cream butter and sugar.

Add the flour gradually, then press dough into muffin tins.

Bake until golden (10-15 minutes). Remove and set aside to cool (I actually popped them in the fridge briefly.)

Meanwhile, whip the cream cheese in a food processor until it’s soft and pliable, then add condensed milk and give it another whirl until incorporated. Finally, add the lemon juice.

For the blueberry filling: Combine the cornflour and lemon juice in a small bowl and mix. Then, in a saucepan, cook the berries and sugar over medium heat until the berries start to release their juices and break down slightly. Add the lemon-cornflour slurry and bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the berry mixture starts to thicken. Remove and set aside in a bowl to cool completely.

Once the crust is cooled, pour in the cream cheese filling. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (I skipped this second step).
Finally, spoon the cooled berry mixture over the top to make a pretty layer. Cover and refrigerate again until ready to serve (or just dive in, like me!) at which point you can add extra fresh berries (I didn’t have room on the tarts, nor did I miss them).

Frugal factor: average. I happened to already have condensed milk at home, but berries ain’t cheap (I don’t know about where you live, but a cup’s worth runs me about $3, and can’t be found out of season at all. Still a big ouch value-wise, but hey, we live to eat, not vice versa), nor is cream cheese.

 

  berry loaf nzmuse

Lemon berry yoghurt slice

Molly at These Little Moments made this loaf last year. I gave it a spin this month. Just look at that glorious glaze atop it!

Here’s the recipe:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (I skipped this)
  • 2 containers of 5.3oz organic Greek yoghurt (I kind of guessed at the amount here, and tipped in all the yoghurt left in the container)
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
  • 3 large eggs (I used two; after the yoghurt, it seemed plenty moist enough)
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used a little less; again the mixture was pretty wet)
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
  • 1/4 cup frozen blueberries

Directions

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Grease and flour a small loaf pan.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl.

In another bowl, whisk yoghurt, 1 cup sugar,  eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla. Slowly blend the dry ingredients into the wet.

Fold in the oil, then mix in the berries.

Pour into pan, and bake for about 50 minutes or until cooked through.

Meanwhile, cook the 1/4 cup lemon juice and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.

Once the cake is done, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. The glaze went solid as I made it right after putting the baking tin into the oven, so I heated it up again at the end to re-liquefy it in order to pour over

Frugal factor: high. You don’t need many berries for this one, and you probably have everything else in the pantry (plain yoghurt might be the only one that trips you up).

berry butter cake nzmuse

Blueberry butter cake

I actually started my berry craze with this cake recipe found via the Joy of Caking. I also wanted to make this buttermilk bundt by Smitten Kitchen (mainly because bundt is an awesome word!) but quite honestly, it looked too hard and this cake seemed pretty close.

I am, sadly, a poor excuse for a food stylist. Rest assured that despite the presentation (I have never been able to make pretty food – this cake was lopsided, for goodness sake) it was moist and palate-pleasing.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup blueberries

Directions

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Generously grease your cake tin.

Beat butter, sugar, eggs, sour cream, and milk until well mixed (I used our food processor).

Add flour and baking powder, then the vanilla extract.

Pour half of the batter into the bottom of the pan and sprinkle blueberries on top. Pour remaining batter over the berries.

Bake for approximately 35-40 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

Remove from oven and cool completely before removing from pan.

Frugal factor: high. Just the basics of baking ingredients, plus half a container of sour cream and a punnet of blueberries (expensive, as above).

Got any berrytastic recipes to share?

12 thoughts on “Adventures in the kitchen: The blueberry edition

  • Reply Eileen March 18, 2013 at 08:43

    So glad you’re trying and sharing recipes that feature my favorite berry to bake with!

  • Reply Leslie March 18, 2013 at 09:56

    I like the inclusion of a “frugal factor”!

  • Reply CashRebel March 19, 2013 at 00:17

    I can’t wait for blueberry season!

  • Reply Tony@WeOnlyDoThisOnce March 19, 2013 at 06:23

    Those all look phenomenal. Thanks for this!

  • Reply Mackenzie March 19, 2013 at 12:20

    These look delicious! If I could reach through my computer and eat them, I would 🙂

  • Reply KK @ Student Debt Survivor March 19, 2013 at 14:25

    Those tarts look delicious (all of them do actually). Now I’m craving a sweet. Gonna search the cupboards for a boring alternative.

  • Reply Funny about Money March 20, 2013 at 03:37

    ooohhhh those berry-cream cheese tarts are to die for!

    Wow, the prices there are high…we get fresh berries for $5 for two packages, and the packages are fairly generous. Surprising: I’d imagined that berries would grow well in NZ. Hope your crops aren’t getting shipped over here, leaving nothing for the locals.

  • Reply Shannon @ The Heavy Purse March 20, 2013 at 08:28

    Yum! All these treats look delectable and are making me hungry! Please make and send my way!! 🙂

  • Reply The Norwegian Girl March 20, 2013 at 18:46

    mmmMmmmMM! those blueberry cream cheese tartlets are looking gooood! Seriously craving blueberry cheesecake right now!

  • Reply Michelle March 21, 2013 at 13:19

    Thanks for the recipes! I can’t wait to make the tartlets.

  • Reply The Asian Pear March 21, 2013 at 13:39

    Those all look delicious particularly the mini blueberry cream cheese tartlets. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply CF March 21, 2013 at 17:40

    Nice. I made similar blueberry tarts a few weeks ago. If you replace some of the butter with shortening, you’ll get a flakier crust!

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