Fresh-picked BlueberriesYou know you want some!
2017 PYO Blueberries
Blueberry fields are now open! This year, a quart of blueberries will cost $4.75. Please stop in the Farm Market to purchase quart baskets and pay for your berries before picking.
PICKING BLUEBERRIES Different varieties have different characteristics. Some blueberries are small and grow in clusters, while others are larger and tend to spread out on the branch. All are equally delicious and nutritious! When selecting berries, look for plump berries with a light gray-blue color. A berry with a hint of red hasn’t fully ripened. White and green colored blueberries will not ripen after they are picked, while blueberries that have already turned purple, red or blue-ish usually DO ripen after they are picked if they are kept at room temperature. The easiest way to pick blueberries is to hold the bucket under the branch, then rub the clump of berries. The ripe ones will fall off into your bucket.
If you are picking to make jam, a few slightly unripe berries will increase the pectin levels in the jam and will make it thicken quicker.
A one-quart container holds about 1.5 pounds, or about 4 to 4 1/4 cups. For recipes requiring 1 cup of fresh blueberries, you only need about 6 ounces which is 65 to 70 berries. For a nice looking fresh blueberry 9-inch pie, 3 pounds should do the trick – what a treat!
TAKING BLUEBERRIES HOME
- Let the berries cool down as soon after picking as possible. Do not place in a closed container, as the moisture will build up. Fresh-picked blueberries will keep in the refrigerator for about 10-14 days.
- Do not wash berries until just before using them
- Freeze berries individually in a single layer on a tray, then gather and store them in an air tight bag in the freezer.
- Blueberries are ranked No. 1 in antioxidant activity compared with 40 other commercially available fruits and vegetables. That means a serving of blueberries has more of the antioxidant power you need to fight aging, cancer and heart disease!
Blueberry Stuffed French Toast
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
2∕3 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons sugar,divide
Pinch salt, optional
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (thawed and drained, if frozen)
8 slices (1-¼ inches thick) Italian bread
1∕3 cup sliced almonds
Preheat oven to 400°F
Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray. In a medium bowl beat eggs, orange peel and juice, 2 tablespoons of the sugar and the salt until well blended. Pour into a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan. Set aside
In a small bowl combine blueberries and the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. Set aside.
With the tip of a sharp knife, cut a 1-½-inch wide pocket in the side of each bread slice. Fill pockets with reserved blueberry mixture, dividing evenly. Place filled slices in egg mixture. Let stand, turning once, until egg mixture is absorbed, about 5 minutes on each side.
Arrange bread on prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with almonds. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes, turning slices after 10 minutes.
Blueberry Chocolate Clusters
1 package (11 ½ oz) semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips
¼ c. butter
2 c. fresh blueberries washed and dried
3 dozen 1 ¼ in. candy liners
Melt the chocolate chips and butter over hot water in a double boiler. Be careful to not overheat the chocolate mixture. Gently stir in the blueberries until well-coated with chocolate. Spoon evenly by rounded teaspoonfuls, into candy liners. Chill in refrigerator until chocolate is set. Yield 3 dozen clusters. These are delicious, try them!!