Buckle down and use up those frozen blueberries

Cherries just starting to redden on our tree this week put me in mind of last year’s crop — still reposing in my freezer.

As I admonished my sons to wait a few more days for the fruit to really ripen, I vowed in the interim to use up last year’s cherries, followed by last year’s blueberries and perhaps the last bag of sweetened strawberries that escaped smoothies and sundae sauce.  

I’ve confessed to food-hoarding tendencies previously in this blog. And although I’ve made more of a concerted effort in recent years to use up canned and frozen goods, some deadlines still sneak up on me.

So I buckled down, put aside procrastination and whipped up a cherry-berry cobbler, based on a recipe long since posted to this blog that’s proven its worth time and again, whether it’s blackberries picked along the riverbank or peaches plucked from local farm stands.

Because picking blueberries takes longer, and worthwhile patches can be challenging to locate, I tend to spread them among as many treats as possible. One of those is a cornmeal cake with lemon. This blueberry buckle from the Detroit Free Press test kitchen would be another way to use frozen berries to their best effect.

I’m not a fan of margarine in any form and have substituted the same quantity of butter in other baking recipes, including a delicious “heart-healthy” cookie. I have noticed, however, that baked goods lacking margarine need a bit more time to brown.       

Tribune News Service photo

Blueberry Buckle

Floured baking spray, as needed

4 tablespoons trans fat-free margarine, divided

3 tablespoons reduced-fat cream cheese

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour, divided

3/4 cup white whole-wheat flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup skim milk

2 cups fresh blueberries, washed and patted dry

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat a 9-inch baking pan with floured baking spray.

In a large bowl, cream together 3 tablespoons of the margarine, the cream cheese and granulated sugar. Add the egg and vanilla; beat well.

In a separate bowl, combine 3/4 cup of the all-purpose flour, the whole-wheat flour, baking powder and salt. Add dry ingredients and the milk alternately to sugar mixture, beating after each addition until smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan and top with the blueberries.

In a small bowl, combine remaining 1/4 cup all-purpose flour with the brown sugar and cinnamon. Cut in remaining 1 tablespoon margarine until mixture forms coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over blueberries. Bake in preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes.

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