Western Washington is struggling this year because of rain, rain and more rain. The raspberries are out. The rain disintegrated the beautiful red berries right on the vines. For blueberry u-pick folks, well the issue is not about "if" but "when". All blueberry farms are having a late start for ripening, yet when the juicy blueberries are ripe, pickers have approximately 6 weeks to pick before waiting for the next year. My favorite place? A short drive of 4 hours takes me to the famous Blueberry Hills Farm in Manson, WA. Over 13,000 blueberry plants, raspberry plants, strawberries, thornless blackberry plants, Bing and sweet cherry trees . . . all available for u-pick people . . . like me!
Oh, and the restaurant is renowned for miles around too. People are known to come from over 400 miles away to stab a fork in Blueberry Hill's famous Danish Yeast Waffles (filling a whole plate of course!), Blintzes (recipe is a secret), oh and the triple tiered burger, bet you can not eat the whole thing!
Info: Blueberry Hills Farm: 1315 Washington Street . Manson . WA 98831 509.687.2379 wildaboutberries.com
Thought I would share one of my favorite recipes for fresh blueberries:
Blueberry Filled Sweet Buns
1 pkg. active dry yeast
1/4 c. warm water, 105 to 115 F.
1/2 c. milk, scalded and cooled to lukewarm
1/3 c. sugar
1/2 t. freshly ground cardamom
1/4 c. golden raisins
1/2 t. salt
1/4 c. softened butter
2 1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
1 pint fresh blueberries
1 1/2 t. cornstarch
1 T. sugar
1 slightly beaten egg
2 T. milk
In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in the water; add the milk. Let stand 5 minutes. Add the sugar, egg cardamom, raisins, and salt. Add the softened butter and 1 cup of the flour; beat until smooth and satiny. Gradually add the remaining flour, mixing until dough is smooth and satiny, not quite stiff enough to knead. Cover and let rise 1 to 2 hours until doubled.
Meanwhile, combine the blueberries, cornstarch, and sugar.
Dust risen dough with flour. Shape into a ball, dusting with flour lightly, if necessary, to prevent stickiness.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and divide into 12 parts.
Cover a baking sheet with parchment, silicon mat or lightly grease it. Roll dough into smooth balls and place on the baking sheet with the smooth side up. Let rise until puffy, 45 minutes to 1 hour. With a floured glass, press an indentation into the center of each round of dough.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Spoon the filling into the pastries. Beat the egg and milk together to make a glaze and brush edges of the pastries with the mixture. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.