Updated: Nov 2, 2020
Is it blueberry season already?! Oh, yes!! When you hear about blueberries, the first thing you probably think about is blueberry pancakes. But those sweet berries offer so much more than just pancakes, muffins, cobbler, pie, and granola. I do hope we'll get to enjoy this season together exploring both sweet and savory ways to prepare blueberries.
I have always loved picking berries. In fact, it was actually one of my chores growing up! The region where I'm from didn't have blueberries, and I don't think I actually tasted them until I moved to Kiev as an adult. But I got to pick plenty of strawberries, black currants, red currants, red raspberries, and gooseberries. Everything was 100% pesticide free, and sometimes the insides were warm. Maybe each berry didn't look perfect, but the flavor was amazing. Unfortunately it's not the same here. Some adults I've met have never had a real, non-GMO strawberry. They don't know how juicy, sweet, and fragrant they can be. These berries go bad in your refrigerator in just a day or so.
There's a little farm near here that grows blueberries, and I can see they don't use pesticides to care for their plants; they're truly natural. When I found them for the first time, I was amazed. I love to pick them multiple times every blueberry season. My boys love to pick them as well, but my oldest son doesn't like to eat them!
Yes, you read that right. Thomas won't even touch his plain pancake is a blueberry one was on the same plate. Crazy, right? Do you want to know the story behind why my Thomas won't eat blueberries? Well, when I was a new mom back in 2015, I chose organic everything to feed my child; my precious baby. After he was born, our first vacation took place in NY state on a lake. Thomas was six months old, and I was just starting to add the first baby foods along with nursing.
All along the lake where we stayed were little bushes of blueberries. Tiny wild berries that were sweet and just a little bit sour. I thought this was perfect for Thomas’s first baby food, so I picked them every day for two weeks straight. Some people joked, "Inna you should leave some for the bears or they'll starve!"I laughed and went right back to picking my blueberries. When we went home, we took a huge cooler of frozen berries with us.
So, as you can guess, Thomas ate those blueberries every day for the next six months. My husband says that's why Thomas won't eat them anymore, and I think he's probably right...
But since my second son came along, we go berry picking every season, and I love playing around with sweet and savory recipes to incorporate more of those healthy berries in our diets.
If you like smoothie, blueberry pairs wonderfully with greens like spinach, bok choy or kale. The smoothie will most likely have a jelly-like consistency if you leave it in the refrigerator for a few hours. Why? Because blueberries are high in natural pectin, which means you don’t need to add any if you decide to make jam. The only thing you need is an acid, so just add lemon juice and sugar.
However, today I want to share with you, my friends, one of my go-to recipes for a quick and easy last minute dessert: blueberry cobbler with homemade grammar cracker topping. The large number of mediocre cobblers in the world adds validity to this label, and problems with those cobblers are easy to identify: The filling is too runny or there’s too much of it. The topping is too cakey and there’s too much or too little of it. What I've come up with is a crispy, chewy crust that smells like berries and a filling that’s syrupy and bright with almost all berries still having their own shape; not overcooked and mushy. This recipe translates equally well to any combination of fruits. This recipe is so delicious that I promise you will make it over and over again.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Bake time: 30-35 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
Author: Inna of Innichkachef.com
2 pounds of very ripe blueberries (imperfect fruit is okay here)
¾ cup raw cane sugar
Zest and juice of one big lemon or two small
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon corn starch (optional)
1 tablespoon butter (to butter the dish)
2 cups of grammar cracker dough
If you happened to have made my grammar crackers recipe, you can use a portion of the dough you have already. If not, simply divide the grammar crackers recipe in half, and that should make 4 cups of crumbling dough. 2 cups of dough is enough to cover a 9x13-inch baking dish. Freeze the rest of it for the next baking day. It's easy and very convenient to have this prep done ahead of time.
The ratio of filling-to-topping is important. For every 1½ inches of filling, you want ½ inch of grammar cracker crust.
I have tried all the the obvious berry fillings like blackberries, cranberries, cherries, strawberries, plums, apricots, figs, Muscatine’s grapes, and peaches in this recipe. Pick your favorite fruit and go for it!
Because blueberries are naturally high in pectin you don’t have to use starch if you don’t want to.
1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
2. Melt butter, then butter the baking dish with a brush.
3. Put the rest of ingredients (besides the grammar cracker dough) in a bowl and stir to combine everything together. All berries should be evenly covered with lemon-sugary starch.
4. Transfer the filling into a baking dish and cover with grammar cracker crust.
5. Bake in the oven for about 30-35 minutes or until it's bubbling around the pan.
6. Serve with a scoop of ice cream (vanilla or blackberry) or whipped cream or just on its own. If you're going to eat it with ice cream, I recommend serving the cobbler warm. Room temperature is best with whipped cream.
I hope you'll make this recipe soon. If you do, please tag me #innichka_chef on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest.