Tag Archives: blueberries

Blueberry Cobbler

Forbidden Rice Blog | Blueberry Cobbler (2 of 6)

Just like that, here we are, almost to the middle of February and it’s a whole new year since the last actual recipe I posted on this food blog. Though this space hasn’t been entirely vacant, and certainly I’ve been cooking frequently, my apologies for the lack of shared recipes.

After being “away” for so long, I wondered if I needed to explain myself. But… I don’t feel the need. There aren’t good excuses. Life is busy. There never seems to be enough hours to get everything I both need and want to get done in a day. Let’s be honest. I spend the majority of every day doing a multitude of tedious things that have to get done (though I try to make at least an hour to get outside — the puppy needs a good walk/play/run, after all). By the end of the day (which is usually somewhere between 11PM and 2AM for my nocturnal brain), I finally have time to myself and generally trying to think of words to describe a recipe in any detail sounds less than enjoyable.

That said, here we are. Blueberry cobbler. There are cobblers and then… there are COBBLERS. I’ve rarely heard of people agreeing on what exactly constitutes an authentic fruit “cobbler.” Bottomless-pie-pastry-crust-top? Thick, wet, cake batter smoothed over fruit then baked? Biscuit batter dropped haphazard and beautifully onto some fruit filling? I don’t know. Maybe YOU wouldn’t even call this cobbler. You can call it whatever you want, really, it’s still tasty!

Blueberry Cobbler

Ingredients:

For the biscuit topping:
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold butter
2/3 cup cold buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 egg

For the filling:
2 pounds fresh blueberries, stems removed
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Additional ingredients:
fresh nutmeg
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons coarse sugar
zest from one lemon
2 tablespoons butter

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9″x13″ baking dish.

Prepare the biscuit topping: in a large bowl, combine the two cups of flour, 4 teaspoons baking powder, sugar, salt. Mix well. Cut the butter into your dry ingredients, until you form pea-sized crumbs.

Whisk together the buttermilk, vanilla and egg. Add this mixture to the butter/flour mixture, gently kneading until a soft ball of dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll until you form a rectangle approximately half an inch thick. Fold the bottom edge of the dough upwards, over the middle. Next for the top edge over the side you’ve just brought to the middle. (Basically creating 3 layers!) Roll this out until it’s a half inch thick again.

Use a knife or rectangular biscuit cutter to cut the dough into 12-15 pieces. Set on a baking sheet and refrigerate while you prepare the filling.

Prepare the blueberry filling: stir together the cornstarch, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Pour this mixture over the blueberries and toss to evenly coat. Pour the blueberries into your buttered baking dish.

Prepare the cobbler:  place the biscuits on top of the blueberries, spacing them about one-inch apart from one another.

In a small dish, stir together the 1/4-cup buttermilk and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Brush over the top of each biscuit. Sprinkle the coarse sugar, lemon zest and a light pinch of fresh nutmeg.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the biscuits are lightly browned. Serve warm, with vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream if you’d like!

Blueberry Pie

Forbidden Rice Blog | Blueberry Pie

Awaiting Oregon berry season with eager anticipation is one of the highlights of these months for me. Embracing the vast bounty and variety of berries available here each summer can be chalked up to “enjoying life’s simple pleasures” in its finest sense. Strawberries can be found as early as May, then again in the later summer months (when they are full of even better flavor). Raspberries and blackberries start showing up in June, marionberries around July… but my all-time favorite, blueberries, are beginning to show up right now… and should easily stick around until late summer.

Last year I made one of my favorite jams ever with some local blueberries. While I look forward to making another batch or two (or three, or four), standing around a stove cooking piping hot jam, then jarring them up while Ashland temperatures have been lingering in 3-digit numbers, sounds less than ideal.

Of course my next move wasn’t the most intelligent either, given the outside temps, but I couldn’t resist the first blueberry pie of the season. It’s one of my favorites and not often a pie I find on restaurant menus. There’s a beautiful simplicity about a good blueberry pie. This recipe isn’t brain-surgery; it’s pretty simple, the crust is flaky and also simplistic. This pie will easily become a loved staple in your recipe repertoire if you let it! :)

Forbidden Rice Blog | Blueberry Pie

Blueberry Pie

Makes one 9-inch pie.

Ingredients:

For the crust:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup granulated sugar (plus a little more to sprinkle on the top)
1/2 teaspoon salt
14 tablespoons cold butter
8-10 tablespoons ice cold water

For the filling:
6 cups fresh blueberries, picked through for stems
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
zest and juice from half a large lemon
1 egg, whisked with 1 teaspoon water

Forbidden Rice Blog | Blueberry Pie

Directions:

Prepare the dough for the crust: In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, sugar, and salt. Cut in the cold butter (I like to use a standing box-type grater for this) until you have a shaggy looking mixture with pea-sized pieces of butter mixed in. Add the water to the mixture, then use a fork to bring to dough together. Add a bit more water (a tablespoon at a time) if necessary, although you want to dough to be shaggy and not outwardly wet.

Divide the dough into two equal portions and gently knead each portion into a flattened disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap or wax paper and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Blueberry Pie

Prepare the filling: In a large bowl, combine the blueberries, sugar, flour, salt, zest and lemon juice. Gently mix until all the berries are coated. Let the blueberries sit for about 10 minutes.

Prepare the pie: Remove one of the pie dough disks from the fridge. Roll the dough out into about a 13-inch round, on a lightly floured surface. Gently lift the 13-inch round and center it in a deep 9-inch round pie dish. Place the crust in your fridge while you roll out the top crust.

Roll out the top crust just as you did the bottom crust, creating a roughly 13-inch circle.

Remove the bottom crust from the fridge and fill with the blueberry mixture, evenly spreading the blueberries around. Carefully remove the top crust from your work surface, then drape over the filling. Use a small knife to trim the crust, leaving about 1-inch overhang. Press the top and bottom crusts together with your fingers, and fold under. Use a fork or your fingers to crimp the edges of the dough. Cut a few small slits in the top of the crust so the steam can vent.

Brush the pie lightly with beaten egg, then sprinkle with a teaspoon or two of granulated sugar. Place the pie in your fridge to chill while the oven preheats.

Bake the pie: Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Bake for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F and continue baking for another 30 minutes, or until the top of the pie is nicely golden brown and crisp.

Allow the pie to cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting and serving. Leftovers can be wrapped in plastic wrap, then refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Blueberry Pie

Forbidden Rice Blog | Blueberry Pie

Forbidden Rice Blog | Blueberry Pie

Forbidden Rice Blog | Blueberry Pie

Blueberry Chai Jam

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Up until last summer, canning anything really terrified me. I was certain I would create jars of botulism-ridden, bacteria filled foods and most definitely kill someone. Unintentionally. (Ahem.) Then I made some jams, I made and canned squash pickles, dill pickles, green bean pickles, pesto and marinara sauces, diced tomatoes… and I didn’t accidentally sicken anyone while sharing!

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Recently blueberries have begun to make their beautiful blue-purple appearance in the Pacific Northwest. These fresh berries are sweet and juicy, and although it often feels like it’s quite the splurge to indulge in the cost of these organic blueberries, I usually give in. They’re excellent by the handful, on yogurt, in muffins, pies, tarts, ice cream

But over the last few years, I think my favorite way to enjoy them is in jam, year round. I like simple, plain jam… and then I also enjoy flavorful, spiced jams. I love stirring a spoonful of either type into vanilla yogurt or my bowl of oatmeal. I decided to add some chai flavors to the following blueberry jam. The result is warmth, sweetness, earthy spiciness that balances nicely with the blueberries.

There is a certain loveliness about jams, jellies, and preserves you’ve canned yourself. I especially enjoy giving a jar of them as a gift, as I know the time, love, focus, and heart that goes into each batch. (Plus if it didn’t taste good, I wouldn’t let it leave my kitchen.) My intention with this blueberry jam was to enjoy its summery, warming flavor dead in the middle of winter-to-come. However, I seem to have issues with eating it by the spoonful. May you have more self-control than I! :) But if not, I totally condone eating this jam as quickly as you want.

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Blueberry Chai Jam

Yields about 8 half-pint jars.

Ingredients:
8 cups fresh blueberries, stems removed
3 3/4 cups unrefined cane sugar
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 ceylon cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground anise
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

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Directions:

First of all: since this is a canned preserve, it’s important to make sure your jars and lids are sterilized.

Next, place a plate in the freezer to use to test the readiness of the jam once its done.

Begin by sterilizing your jam jars. Boil the empty jars in a large stockpot of water, with at least one inch of water covering them for at least ten minutes. Leave the jars in the water, turn the burner off and begin making the jam.

Place the blueberries, sugar and fresh lemon juice together in a large heavy bottomed pot. Let the juices macerate for about 15 minutes. Add the vanilla bean (scraped insides plus the pod), cinnamon stick and spices. Bring the mixture to a low simmer for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the jam reaches 220-225 degrees F and remains at that temperature steadily for at least 10 minutes. If the mixture foams up a bit that is totally normal, just keep it simmering.

After 40 minutes, test the jam on the plate that has been in the freezer. Spoon out a teaspoon of the jam onto the plate and let it sit for a minute. If you pick up the plate, tilt it and the jam does not run, it’s done. Stir in the vanilla extract.

Bring the water the jars were sitting in back to a boil and pull out the jars. Spoon jam into each jar and wipe the top edges with a damp towel. Then place the lids and caps on the jars and immerse back into the boiling water for 15 minutes, with at least an inch of water covering the tops.

Once the jam is done, set on the counter to cool until you hear the ever-glorious-and-satisfying POP! indicating your jars sealed correctly. Wait until completely cooled to check that the jars sealed. If any didn’t properly seal, simply place in the refrigerator and consume! Keep stored at room temperature for up to 1 year for best flavor.

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Gluten Free Oatmeal French “Toast”

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Alright, things are going to get a little weird. But good. Yeah, yeah – you aren’t surprised, I’m a weird girl, it’s okay. When it comes to leftovers, I am not entirely into eating the exact same meal again. I like to change things up. The other day I made spaghetti squash for dinner, tossing the cooked squash with fresh garlic, basil, shallots, and roasted piquillo peppers. When we wound up with leftovers, the following night I layered the squash with spicy marinara, blanched broccoli, sharp white cheddar cheese, then topped it all off with panko breadcrumbs, baking it until the panko was golden and the squash heated all the way through. It was different enough from the previous night to not feel like I was just eating the same old thing – not that there’s anything wrong with doing that, of course!

When I cook oatmeal, I often make too much. It’s probably because I eat breakfast at lunch time or for dinner, rarely at normal people breakfast times… So typically I am making the oats for my husband and Silas, and way over-guesstimate what they’ll eat. What do you do with a pot of leftover oats? I refrigerate them for later use. Or I feed them to our dogs. Recently I pressed the leftover oats into a square baking pan and refrigerated them overnight. The following morning I cut out the oats, treated them like bread and made “french toast.” While they certainly weren’t bread-y by any means, this gluten-free take on french toast was delicious.

Part of the trick is making sure the oats have great flavor to start with. I generally cook our oats with brown sugar, mashed up bananas, cinnamon, fresh nutmeg, and whatever else we have laying around. Sometimes there’s diced apples, or peaches. Ground ginger, coconut flakes, vanilla bean, pears, etc. You really cannot go wrong. There are these oats or these. Perhaps this is more your style. This is a great way to use up leftover oatmeal. If you don’t have leftovers, you can simply make a pot, pour it into a baking dish, then refrigerate until cold before using the following recipe.

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Gluten Free Oatmeal French “Toast”

Serves one.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups prepared oatmeal*, pressed into a baking dish to about 1/2-inch thickness
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk (almond, dairy, soy, whatever you want)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
pinch of ground ginger
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup blueberries, for serving (optional)
warm maple syrup, for serving

* Read the above paragraphs for recommendations about the prepared oatmeal. The oats need to be cold for this recipe, so they stay together while cooking.

Directions:

Cut the refrigerated oats into 2 – 3 rectangular pieces.

In a flat-bottomed dish, whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger until completely combined. Gently place the cut slices of oatmeal into the egg mixture.

Meanwhile, heat the oil and butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Flip the oatmeal slices gently in the egg mixture to coat both sides well. You can do this flipping back and forth a few times, being careful so the oats don’t fall apart.

Once the butter has melted and the oil is hot, lay the oatmeal slices in the frying pan. Cook for 4-6 minutes, until the bottom is golden brown. Gently flip and continue cooking until the second side is golden in color, too. Serve immediately, topped with blueberries and warm syrup.

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When Winter Moves From Inside-Out

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Since I was about twelve, I’ve known what it’s like to ride out lows that feel like they’re going to bury me alive. That’s a decade and a half filled with periods of wanting to close myself off to the world, week-long – month-long, periods of time where unburying my head from under my pillows feels like the most grandiose chore. Major and minor times of depression, where it feels like the rest of the world couldn’t possibly have any idea why I’m not at all hungry, why it feels like work to move from one room to the next, where my mind recesses itself when all I’m trying to do is sleep, why I don’t want to talk about it.

When you’re in it, it’s big and overwhelming. I’ve been medicated for it, but not since I was a teenager, because once I turned eighteen, I had some say in deciding that it felt better to actually feel things (even if it got to be a lot sometimes), rather than numbing my feelings away to move through my days. The truth is, I still have periods like this in my life. Times where I don’t want to socialize, I don’t want to talk about how things feel. Times where it takes a lot of effort to motivate myself to get up and be productive. Even if “productive” means spending some time in fresh air, or doing a few loads of laundry, or writing things I’ll never attempt to place on this blog or submit to some poetry journal out there in the world.

This time of year, where sunshine is limited and the cold clings under my skin, I find that the chances of low-feeling days are increased drastically. While I like to allow myself to feel those things, at some point I have to decide how much it’ll overtake my life. So I try going to the gym even though I don’t want to. I make the effort to laugh or find humor anywhere I get the chance. I cook things that are filling and have some nutrient value to them, even if my body says it isn’t hungry. I’ve found that things like the following oatmeal are easily filling and help keep the motivation going. But even if you’re not depressed, or sad, or tired and unmotivated, these oats are lovely. And really, most of the work happens overnight while you’re sleeping, so as far as motivating yourself goes – it just takes the tiniest push.

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Blueberry-Nut Overnight Slow Cooked Steel Oats

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

1¼ cups steel cut oats
1½ cups blueberries (frozen or fresh)
2-4 tbsp. unrefined cane sugar
½ cup shredded coconut flakes
¼ cup sliced almonds (roasted or raw)
¼ cup chopped walnuts
1 vanilla bean, scraped (or ½ tsp. vanilla extract)
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. sea salt
¼ tsp. ground ginger
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
3 cups milk (keep this vegan by using nut or rice milk)
2 cups water
2-3 tbsp. unsweetened dried cranberries (optional)

Directions:

If you’re using frozen berries, rinse them under cold water until the water runs clearly rather than purple. Allow the blueberries to drip-dry for a minute or two.

In your crock pot, stir together the oats, berries, sugar, coconut flakes, almonds, walnuts, vanilla bean, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cranberries if you’re using them, until all the ingredients are well mixed.

Stir in the applesauce, milk, and water until just combined. Set the crock pot to low heat, then cover and cook overnight (or 6-8 hours).

When ready to serve, fluff the oatmeal gently with a fork or spoon. Add enough milk to your individual serving in order to get the consistency you prefer.