Monday, September 12, 2011

Obsessively Blue

As the summer season draws to a close, I’m finally ready to share the details of my little summer romance. I have been obsessed with blueberries. I don’t quite know why the attraction is so strong, but in the heat of the summer I could be found haunting the farmers markets of the asphalt jungle, looking for pints of perfectly round blue spheres.

The obsession becomes so strong that I buy four (expensive) pints at the market on a Wednesday morning and bake a blueberry tart that night (recipe found here). Yes, I bake, on a weeknight. The method includes a crust pressed into the tart pan, and a quick blueberry compote, with fresh berries scattered on top of the tart. Although I share some of the tart, I must admit I eat most of it myself. Color me bloated blue.

The obsession then evolves from hoarding blueberries at the market to picking them myself.

When Dorothy and Company arrive at Oz, everyone is seeing emerald green. On a recent trip to Patty’s Berries & Bunches in Mattituck, Long Island, everything seems to shimmer berry blue.

I pick in the heat of the day. The sweat runs down my back and the rows of berries seem to stretch on into infinity.

I flash freeze the berries on a tray, and use some for a blueberry cobbler (recipe found here) served when Susan “The Food Blogga,” Jeff and Rosemary come for dinner. My teeth take on a shade of midnight blue - my berry badge of honor.

The remaining berries are precious gems that I dole out judiciously. Some are added to a Blueberry Lemon Bundt cake (recipe found here). The berries rupture within the batter while baking and each slice of cake looks like a blueberry Rorschach test.

There are just a few left in the freezer and now, as the summer prepares to fade into memory, I am feeling a bit blue. The final few will likely be blended into smoothies, a frosty reminder of the summer past and my trip to blueberry bountiful.

©2011 T.W. Barritt All Rights Reserved


Maris (In Good Taste) said...

I love these ideas, especially the tart piled high with blueberries!

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

I can just imagine you surrounded by blueberries in your kitchen. Your tarts look delicious and your kitchen must have smelled divine. Susan, Jeff and Rosemary were lucky guests.

I think you like blueberries as much as I like tomatoes. As you said to me, I will miss them when they are gone and you are so, so right.

Deana Sidney said...

That's a lovely idea to have fresh and cooked berries in the tart... they are different and each special in it's own way. I love them too and haven't gotten nearly enough of them.
One of my favorite things is a slightly hot blueberry chutney that I make in about 10 minutes and then put on grilled chicken... it's not pretty but boy is it good!!

Barbara said...

Honestly TW, is there anything better that freshly picked (by you) berries? I remember picking them when I was a kid in the wilds of Georgian Bay and the divine pie my mother made later. I don't do much picking anymore but I do love making a blueberry crumble. Your bundt cake looks fabulous and your tart LOADED with blueberries!

~~louise~~ said...

Oh I adore blueberries, T.W. I too have a freezer full this year. I didn't get to pick them myself so, I've decided to plant three blueberry bushes for next year. (blueberries need to be planted in threes they tell me:)

Your tart looks lovely. However, I'm really eyeing up that bundt. You know how I adore Bundt Cakes:)

Now, I'm craving blueberries, I think I'll scatter a few on my morning oatmeal!

Thanks for sharing...

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I'm one of those people who loves blueberries in their natural state, but I don't like anything made from blueberries. I'd eat those four pints all by myself, and I'd have the blue-stained fingers to prove it.

Gloria Baker said...

Ohh TW I adore bluberries you know and these look amazing, I love picking berries, we usually picking in the summer blacknerries, love this post of course!! gloria

Julia said...

I think you just need to buy out Long Island of all the blueberries to stock pile in your freezer to get you through the winter. All these desserts look so wonderful!

I remember a blueberry dream (yes, a real dream in my sleep that I had 20 years ago)of a wonderful dessert... It was a blueberry coulis with floating meringues on top -- meant to look like the blue sky with clouds. tee hee. I mentioned my dream to the chef I was working for - thinking it was the best idea ever - and she looked at my like I was high on glue.

tasteofbeirut said...

Lovely ode to the blue berry; at least with your romance here, you can tell her with certainty "same time, next year". Cheers, the date lady.

Mary Bergfeld said...

I share your love of blueberries and really appreciate the suggestions you've made for using them. Your photos have made them most appealing. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Susan from Food Blogga said...

So that's who stole your heart! Jeff and I are so honored that you shared your loved one with us. We're still talking about that blueberry cobbler!

Velva said...

I relate to the obsession with blueberries. This summer I hand picked 22lbs...Blackberries too.

Your tart is beautiful. Love that you bake on a weeknight.