Since I promised that I would make another blueberry dessert for MJ and the J‑Man, I ended up making the last one of the season. For next year (or if you can still get your hands on the last of this summer’s extraordinary crop), now you too can make my favourite old recipe for dessert, Blueberry Buckle:
(From “American Classics” cookbook, part of the Cook’s Magazine Series)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup (3 3/4 oz. ) unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (5 1/4 oz.) plus 1 tablespoon sugar (I prefer organic sugar, if you can find it. It has a cleaner flavour and crunchier texture for the bit on top.)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
2 cups blueberries, picked over and rinsed
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350°. Put butter in an 8‑inch square or 9‑inch round pan (I get away with a 9‑inch rectangular pan) and place pan in the oven to melt the butter.
Meanwhile, whisk the flour, 3/4 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl. Add the milk and whisk until just incorporated into the dry ingredients.
When the butter has melted, remove the pan from the oven. Pour the batter into the pan without stirring it into the butter. Arrange the blueberries over the batter. Sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of sugar.
Bake until the surface is golden brown and the edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 40 or 50 minutes. Serve warm, with vanilla ice cream, if you like (we’ve had it with nothing added plenty of times).
This is so ridiculously easy a recipe, that you can do it on a whim. I made it at least 4 times this summer, and look forward to making it again several times next summer. Who said a baked fruit dessert has to take much time or effort?
The other night, we took a bag of Elderberries home from Granville Market. Louis, the Mushroom Guru, who we frequently chat with and get advice about what’s in season, what’s growing, how to prepare things, etc. had them and told us what to do. We boiled them down with a little water, sugar, and apple slices (for the pectin), filtered what it reduced to through some cheesecloth, and we got a thick, purple syrup. Here are a few photos of the process:
Pam tried some of this final cup or so of syrup on vanilla ice cream tonight and said it tasted a lot like blueberries. I’m going to try it in sparkling water to see if it makes good ‘Elderberry Soda’. No, we have no plans of making Elderberry Wine, but we’ve certainly heard about that very old-fashioned potent potable.