The other day a woman I work with surprised me with 5 pounds of wild Maine blueberries. Yep, 5 pounds. You don’t see them in grocery stores, typically. They are the teeny tiny little gems that grow wild round these parts. I have no idea how my cowboy accent fits into this post, just go with it please. It’s hot out. I’m a little weird. And shiny.
But, I digress.
Maine produces 99% of the United States wild blueberries. These berries (lowbush) are incredibly high in antioxidants, even higher than their plump, cultivated cousins. Their antioxidants are also different from the big highbush berries and research has found that they also have enhanced health benefits. They really are a “super food”. Out of 40 fruits and vegetables, blueberries were the highest in antioxidants.
I’ve got to say, I haven’t had the opportunity to eat these often. As close as I am to Maine, I don’t get there to pick berries. After eating these, I’ll be making the effort more often. The little guys also freeze better, can be kept in the freezer for up to two years and retain their health benefits and shape when thawed. They don’t turn to mush like the big ones do. A plus for baking.
I ws going to make some jam. But I can’t stop sticking my hand in the bag and grabbing a handful to pop in my mouth. They are so incredibly sweet and flavorful. I can honetly say, I have never had tastier berries. They are amazing. Even the kids are grabbing them to snack on. Nina ate a bowl of cereal loaded with them for dinner and I had a bowl for a late night snack. I doubt there will be enough for jam by tomorrow.
Especially since I just made these blueberry crumb bars. Yum. So good.
If you have the opportunity to get your hands on some wild Maine blueberries and have enough after chowing down on them to make this, you must. Buttery and fresh, a real winner. Even if you can’t get the little, wild ones the big ones will be delicious as well. You could even swap the fruit for other Summer berries or even some fresh peaches. Ooooooooohhhhhhh peaches. Gotta try that.
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cold unsalted butter (2 sticks or 8 ounces)
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups fresh blueberries
1/4-1/2 cup white sugar ( used a 1/4 c. because the berries were so sweet, adjust as you prefer)
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 inch pan.
2. In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup sugar, 3 cups flour, and baking powder and salt. Use a fork or pastry cutter to blend in the butter and egg. Dough will be crumbly. Pat half of dough into the prepared pan.
3. In another bowl, stir together the sugar and cornstarch. Gently mix in the blueberries. Sprinkle the blueberry mixture evenly over the crust. Crumble remaining dough over the berry layer.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until top is slightly brown. Cool completely before cutting into squares they cut easier.
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen