Even though we can buy berries of all kinds year-round, summer is the perfect time for our favorite fresh berry desserts.
When I think of blueberries, their little wild cousin, the huckleberry, comes to mind. I can't remember my mother using cultured blueberries in her baking, but I certainly can mentally taste those huckleberries in her cobbler. They might be similar to blueberries, but huckleberries have a more intense sweet taste, great to enjoy fresh from the picking.
A few weeks ago, when I was taking an inventory of items in my freezer, I found some blueberries, so I decided to see if I could come up with a tasty new dessert. The following Blueberry Cobbler Crisp was the result of my experiments. The name is perfect for this blueberry treat. It tastes like a cobbler but looks like a blueberry crisp. It was so good that when a friend shared some fresh blueberries, I made another one.
Still in a blueberry mood, I pulled out a favorite Southern Living cookbook, "Scooped: Ice Cream Treats, Cheats and Frozen Eats." The Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream sounds wonderful, especially during the hot weather.
Both of these desserts could be made with blackberries or strawberries. You might even want to try fresh raspberries.
FRESH BLUEBERRY COBBLER CRISP
- 3 cups fresh blueberries
- 1 ¼ cups sugar, divided
- ½ cup water
- 4 or 5 slices of white sandwich bread
- 1 egg (do not use an extra large egg)
- 6 tablespoons butter, softened at room temperature
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pour blueberries into a 9-inch cake pan (best if at least 1 ½ inches deep). Sprinkle ½ cup of the sugar over berries and pour water over top. Set aside. Tear the bread into bite-size pieces. The number of bread slices needed will vary according to size of loaf. You need enough to cover top of berries. Don't put the bread on berries yet. In a bowl that can be used in microwave, combine remaining ¾ cup of sugar with the egg. Mix well. Add butter. Microwave on high until butter is melted. Start with 30 seconds and then stir, then continue in 15 second intervals, if needed. Stir butter into sugar/egg mixture. Top the berries with the bread pieces and then pour the sugar, butter and egg mixture over the top of the bread. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until delicately browned and crisp. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.
BLUEBERRY CHEESECAKE ICE CREAM
- 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1 ½ cups half and half
- ¾ cup sugar
- ½ cup whole buttermilk
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- ⅛ teaspoon table salt
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 3 tablespoons blueberry preserves
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
Process first 7 ingredients in a blender for 30 seconds or until very smooth. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours, or up to 2 days. Pour mixture into freezer container of a 1 ½ quart electric ice cream maker, and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Mash together blueberries, blueberry preserves and lemon zest. After ice cream is finished churning, stir in blueberry mixture. Freeze in an airtight container at least 1 hour before serving, or up to 1 week.
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