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

Friday, August 5, 2016

Classic Blueberry Pie

We write about blueberries a lot on Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen. If you go through the long list of our earlier posts, you’ll find recipes for pies and cakes and pancakes and whole lot of muffins (and there are more waiting in the wings!). It seems we like to eat blueberries, and we like to cook with them.

It’s blueberry season again. It doesn’t last too long, so you’ve kind of got to seize the day as it rushes by—and there were local blueberries at my farmers’ market this week. It’s not a coincidence that the New York Times recently posted an article about blueberry pie. Nothing new under the sun, eh?

Well, yes and no. The first comment discussed in the article among several chefs, was that it’s hard to thicken blueberry filling, because blueberries can be unpredictable, anywhere from runny to gummy. That makes choosing a thickening agent challenging, and the chefs did not all agree. The options are (1) cornstarch, (2) flour, (3) tapioca, and (4) arrowroot. There is some preference for using arrowroot. Aha! I have arrowroot!

Then there’s the question of the crust. Sam Sifton, NYT food editor, prefers all butter. The Joy of Cooking cookbook and Julia Child leaned toward using shortening. Some people like lard. But Sam specifies that if you use the right butter (high fat European style), and keep everything cold (which is a challenge because the blueberries come into season in midsummer, when it’s not exactly cold), butter is the way to go.

As I’m sure you remember, not long ago I finally found a pie crust recipe that worked. I promptly saved it with the title Pie Crust Recipe That Works. Yes, it’s all-butter, and also includes powdered sugar and orange juice. You can find that recipe here. (If you wonder why my crust looked a bit raggedy, it’s because I should have thought to make a double recipe—but look! It stretched!)

Blueberry Pie Filling

2 pounds/8 cups fresh blueberries, washed and picked over [Note: this is the way the recipe was given. I weighed out two pounds, and it’s nowhere near eight cups, more like six cups. Six cups is plenty to fill a pie.]

1/2 cup sugar
2 Tblsp lemon juice
2-3 Tblsp arrowroot or cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt

Put 1 cup of the blueberries into a food processor or blender with the sugar, lemon juice, 2 Tblsp arrowroot/cornstarch and salt, then puree.

Put the mixture into a medium or large pot and cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens (about one minute). Remove from the heat and add the remaining blueberries and stir.

Roll out the bottom crust of your pie and fit it into an 8-inch pie plate. 
[Another note: that two-pound measure of blueberries wouldn’t fill an eight-inch pie crust, especially if heaped. Maybe that’s where the eight cups came in. If you’re making this, either use the two pounds of berries and a smaller pie dish, or the eight-inch dish and the eight cups of berries. Who says the NYT knows everything?] Heap the filling into it. Make an egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 Tblsp water) and apply to the edge of the crust (pretend it’s glue!). 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 
[And yet another note: an all-butter crust browns very quickly, so you might want to (1) reduce the heat, or (2) wrap the edges with foil. And an aside: pies have been known to leak, so it’s wise to put a baking sheet on the rack below to catch any drips—easier than cleaning the bottom of the oven!]

Roll out the top crust and cut some vents (plain or fancy) to let steam escape. Place it over the top, crimping at the edge. Place it in the oven and bake for approximately 30 minutes. 

After 30 minutes, rotate the pie and reduce the heat to 350 degrees. Bake until the top is golden and the filling is bubbling through the vents, which may take from 25 to 45 minutes [Sorry, Sam, but it didn’t take that long. But then, it wasn’t an eight-inch pie pan either.].

Oh, what the heck. It’ll taste good, no matter what. Let it cool on a rack before you try to cut it. And those berries? Definitely goopy. So much for the arrowroot theory.

Seeds of Deception, coming in October. Does not take place in blueberry season! Or even apple season. But even sleuths and suspects have to eat, so no doubt there will be recipes.

Find it at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

BLUEBERRY BLONDIES from Billionaire Blend by Cleo Coyle

With blueberry season in full swing, my husband (and partner in crime-writing) asked me to bake up a pan of these babies this week. Marc thought I should call them Mondies. They are, after all, a cross between a Muffin and a BlondieFrankly, I prefer Bluffin
Chef Ansel's Cronut 
No, it's not exactly Pastry Chef Dominique Ansel’s world-famous cross between a croissant and a doughnut, aka the Cronut ™. Nonetheless, it is an amazingly delicious mash-up. Here's why...

My Blueberry Blondies have...

(A.) The cozy familiarity of a blueberry muffin, but with...

(B.) Delicious caramel and butterscotch background notes (from the butter, brown sugar, and vanilla), and a...

(C.) Slightly chewy texture and crusty top reminiscent of a true blondie, even more so after they've cooled completely. They're also...

HEALTHIFIED! (Well, somewhat, anyway.)

An 8-inch square pan of blondies would typically call for 1 whole stick (8 T.) of butter. I’m using only 3 T. butter and including plenty of blueberries, a superfood that offers nutrition and fiber. I also use mostly brown sugar, which has a tad more nutrition value than white.

Once strained, Norwegian Egg Coffee
produces a very pretty (and smooth!)
amber-colored beverage. The egg
proteins are what make the magic, as they
do in today's recipe for Blueberry Blondies.
To see my recipe for Norwegian
Egg Coffee, click here.
The key to maintaining the chewy texture with less butter is the astringent ingredient (in this case vinegar, but you could also use lemon juice). It interacts with the proteins in the incredible, edible egg (a baker's trick that's been around for years). 

To see more egg-protein magic of the culinary variety, click here, and read my post about Norwegian Egg Coffee. The egg helps clarify the brew, and a Norwegian chemist explains it all for us.

May you eat with joy and (slightly) less guilt. 

~ Cleo

Billionaire Blondies? Yes!

Cleo Coyle has a partner in
crime-writing—her husband.
Learn about their books
by clicking here and here.
A delicious, low-fat cross between a butterscotch blondie and a blueberry muffin, these Blueberry Blondies are a bonus recipe from one of our most popular Coffeehouse Mysteries, Billionaire Blend, in which Clare, our coffeehouse manager and amateur sleuth, saves the life of a high-tech billionaire who hires her to create the most expensive coffee blend on the planet. A dream come true? Maybe not...

Billionaire Blend:
A Coffeehouse Mystery
by Cleo Coyle
As Clare is pulled deeper into Eric Thorner's world, a mesmerizing circle of cutting-edge luxuries and cutthroat rivalries, she begins to wonder: Is this charming CEO marked for termination? Or is he the one making a killing? 

To solve this case, Clare will have to bribe a bomb squad lieutenant; conjure up a menu for a "billionaire's potluck"; fix her daughter's love life; stop a Slayer while working with one; and stay alive while doing it.

To see more of the recipes featured in this (our 13th) culinary mystery from our long-running series, click hereAnd enjoy today's bonus recipe, which can be made with fresh or frozen blueberries, so you can eat with blueberry joy all year round...

To download this 
recipe in a free PDF 
document that you can 
print, save, or share, 
Click here for the
Free Recipe PDF

Cleo Coyle's Blueberry Blondies

Makes one 8-inch square pan of blondies 
(In my photo, you see 16 squares)


2 large eggs

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (Do not omit! The cider
   interacts with the eggs to create the proper texture.)

1 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup white, granulated sugar 

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest (grated rind of a lemon,
   yellow only, no bitter white pith)

1/4 teaspoon table salt (+ a generous pinch)

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled a bit 

1/8 teaspoon baking soda 

1 cup all-purpose flour 

1 cup frozen (or fresh) blueberries 


Step 1 - Prep oven and pan: Preheat oven to 325° F. Because this is a relatively low fat recipe and blueberries secrete juice as they bake, the best way to prevent sticking is to create a parchment paper sling for your 8-inch square pan (see my photo).

Step 2 – One bowl mixing method: Into a large mixing bowl, break 2 eggs, add the cider vinegar, and whisk well. Add the brown and white sugars, vanilla extract, lemon zest, and salt. Whisk until well blended. Add the melted (and cooled!) butter and the baking soda. Whisk again until smooth. Now add the flour and switch to a spoon or spatula, stirring well. (Do not over-mix at this point.) Gently fold in the blueberries, trying not to smash or crush them.

Step 3 – Bake: Transfer batter to the prepared baking pan and bake in your well pre-heated 325° F oven for 30 to 40 minutes (exact time depends on your oven, mine takes exactly 38 minutes). The low temperature and long cooking time helps with even baking. The blondies are done when the top is golden brown and displaying slight cracking (as you see in my photos and as you usually find on the top surface of brownies or blondies). To be sure the blondies are done, insert a test toothpick into the middle of the pan. It should come out with no wet batter clinging to it (blueberry juice and/or moist crumbs are okay, just not wet batter).

Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before gently lifting by the parchment paper handles. Cut into 16 squares. 

  F o o d i e  

Adding melted (and cooled)
butter to the batter.

Batter is thick but loose enough to pour.
Be sure to even it out in the pan.

Eat (and read) with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of  
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Friend me on facebook here. * Follow me on twitter here
Learn about my books here

* * *

Our newest mystery is now

a bestselling hardcover!

Coffee. It can get a girl killed.

Amazon * B&N

A Mystery Guild Selection
A Baker & Taylor Fall "Trends" Pick
Three "Best of Year" Reviewer Lists

Dead to the Last Drop 
is a culinary mystery with 
more than 25 delicious recipes!

See the free illustrated 
Recipe Guide by clicking here.

*  *  *

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
15 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 


(with mini plot summaries)

* * * 

Marc and I also write
The Haunted Bookshop Mysteries

Get a free title checklist, 
with mini plot summaries, 

Or learn more about the 
books and meet Jack Shepard, 
our PI ghost by clicking here.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

It's as American as Blueberry...Clafouti? #Recipe @Peg Cochran

Yesterday Sheila brought you something RED--her strawberry tart.  Today I'm bringing you something BLUE with blueberry clafouti and tomorrow...we have a guest and maybe she will be bringing something WHITE?  Tune in to find out!

It's the 4th of July, Independence Day, and you're probably wondering why I'm posting a French recipe. I'm sure you know the French were instrumental in helping us win the Revolutionary War or the War for Independence.  So it only seemed they gave us the Statue of Liberty.  What more could you ask for?

I once made blueberry clafouti to take to a party given by some French friends in NYC.  They all but burst out laughing at the concept of blueberries in a clafouti--traditionally you would make it with cherries.  But Julia (Julia Child of course--although I've never met her I've always been on a first name basis with her since her cookbooks taught me how to cook) includes a recipe for blueberry clafouti (as a variation of the traditional cherry clafouti) in her Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  That's good enough for me!  Plus it's delicious and so simple--sort of like making a pancake batter and pouring it over fresh fruit and baking it.

The recipe calls for mixing this in a blender but I'm assuming that back in 1961 (when the first edition came out ) few people had a Cuisinart in their homes--which is what I used for mixing this up.


3 cups washed blueberries
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 TB vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups sifted flour (if you're using blueberries--cherries call for only 2/3 cup)
1 1/4 cups of milk or 1 cup milk and 1/4 cup brandy or cognac

Place the ingredients above in a blender or food processor and whir until blended.

Pour 1/4 inch layer of batter in your 7 to 8 cup baking dish or pie plate.  Place in pre-heated 350 degree oven for a few minutes until batter sets on the bottom.  Remove from oven.

Spread blueberries over the top of the batter and sprinkle with 1/3 cup (more) sugar.  Pour on remainder of batter and return to oven for approximately an hour--until a knife plunged into the center comes out clean.  (My oven runs hot and it took only 45 minutes so check often!)  Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.  The clafouti is best served warm.

Love the colors of fresh blueberries!

Simple ingredients

Place a 1/4 inch batter on bottom of baking dish and bake until a film forms

Place berries on top of pre-set batter and sprinkle with sugar

Pour remaining batter over fruit and place in oven. Drink in delicious smells!


Bon Appetit as Julia would say!

Have you subscribed to my newsletter?  Next week I am offering subscribers a peek at the first chapter of Berried Secrets, the first book in my Cranberry Cove series!  You can join by going to my web site.  AND be sure to join me on Facebook because I will also be giving away an advance reader copy of the book along with some other wonderful goodies!  Berried Secrets will be out on August 4 but you can pre-order now!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Blueberry Yogurt Cake #recipe @LucyBurdette

LUCY BURDETTE: Blueberries have to be my favorite fruit after peaches. So I love to take advantage of blueberry season in Connecticut, buying as many pints as I can get my hands on. If I had time, I would go picking, as my father-in-law used to do with all the grandchildren. 

 I needed to bake something easy for my husband's bridge group, but what? Blueberries of course! I remembered Ina Garten's recipe for peach cake, which is utterly caloric and equally luscious. But one or another of the guys is always on a diet. What if I replaced the sour cream in that recipe with yogurt? And what if I cut the sugar back a little bit? 

This cake is the result. Even Hayley Snow would approve of the results!


2 cups flour 
one stick butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar +2 teaspoons 
half teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1 teaspoon baking soda 
1 teaspoon vanilla 
2 eggs 
1 cup Greek yogurt, unflavored 
2 cups blueberries 
half a teaspoon cinnamon
Cream the butter with the sugar
Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each. Beat in the yogurt and vanilla. Mix the dry ingredients together and add them to the yogurt mixture, beating lightly.

Pre-heat the oven to 350°.


Grease well an 8 x 8" baking dish. Layer half the batter into the square pan. Over that, sprinkle half the blueberries. Sprinkle the berries with 1 teaspoon of sugar. Layer on the remaining batter, and the blueberries over top. In a small bowl mix the remaining 1 teaspoon of sugar with the cinnamon and sprinkle this on top of the cake.

Bake the cake at 350 for 40 to 45 minutes. The top should be browning, and a toothpick stuck into the middle should come out clean. This cake can stand on its own, or be served with ice cream. It's just as good the second day, or even the third, should you have any left!

And ps, I made this a second time, replacing some of the berries with chunks of peach. Yes it was delicious!

MURDER WITH GANACHE, the fourth Key West mystery, is in stores now. DEATH WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS will be out in December.

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