Monday, July 7, 2014

There's No Berry Like A Blueberry...Pudding, (that is)

Every year about this time, we follow the trails of Tennessee to our summer home in the mountains of North Carolina. While here, I try not to be obnoxious about our blueberries. But they are prolific. It occurs to me, however, while looking out the kitchen window, that I have not picked any berries in a couple of days. Man o' man! Wow! And no mosquito bites, either! It's a cool 70 degrees according the tree thermometer. I simply must find a home for these cerulean morsels.
As a member of the Fort Nashborough Daughters of the American Revolution, I have become fascinated with Colonial recipes and methods of cookery. In fact, I love the word "cookery."
Desiring a delicious uniqueness for my 'yield,' I discovered this recipe for Colonial Blueberry Pudding. I may need a few more berries to complete my dish, but, like any true musician, I'm gonna keep on pickin.'
Originally, this dish was made with whortleberries, also called bilberries, which are the blackish fruit of a small European shrub. They're related to blueberries and huckleberries. I thought I'd improvise and use our fresh blueberries.
Although it's called a pudding, it's more like a moist coffeecake. If you're wondering why the recipe doesn't call for baking powder or baking soda, well-beaten egg whites provide the leavening for the dish.
This Colonial dessert can be baked in a covered, cast-iron skillet in the hearth or simply baked in your home oven (using a cast-iron skillet, too, if you like.)
Note: Fairy Butter is spread over the top of wedge-shaped slices of the pudding.
From The Shirley Plantation Collection (1660-1900)
You'll need:
1 cup softened butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, separated
2 3/4 cups sifted flour
4 cups blueberries, coarsely mashed
Fairy Butter (see recipe below)
Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
Beat egg yolks in separate bowl that's clean and cool. When yolks are lightened in color, gradually add them to the creamed mixture, blending well as you do it.
Reserve 1/4 cup of flour and add remainder to creamed mixture, blending well.
Beat egg whites until stiff. Gently fold into mixture.
Combine remaining 1/4 cup flour with berries that have been lightly crushed. Fold into batter.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour batter into 12-cup, well-greased Bundt pan or divide batter in half and bake in two greased 8-inch pie plates. Bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about 50 to 60 minutes.
*You can serve the pudding with Fairy Butter, a recipe from Hannah Glasse, an Englishwoman who wrote "The Art of Cooking" in 1747. Hannah Glasse's book of cookery is a 'find' for those of us who enjoy the unique, fine art of Colonial cooking and baking.
2 yolks from hard-boiled eggs, mashed as for deviled eggs
2 tsps. orange flower water or orange-flavored liqueur
1 to 2 Tbsps. confectioners' sugar or to taste
4 Tbsps. of softened butter
Shell the eggs. Discard the whites or reserve for another use. Mash the yolks and mix them with orange flower water and sugar for a smooth paste. Then blend in butter until smooth. Force mixture through a fine sieve for really smooth texture. Chill. Serve with slices of the pudding.
Enjoy this delicious tradition... along the Trails of Tennessee.


A Peachy Way to Spend the Day

A perfectly peachy way to spend the day in N.C. My yield from that peck of birthday fruit we picked at Farmer's Market in Asheville. Six golden, glorious, globes! And they are truly delicious. We be jammin' now  :)


Happy Birthday from Asheville, North Carolina!

July 1st was a beautiful day for a birthday... mine!
 Lunch at the very cool Early Girl Eatery in Asheville, N.C., a stop at Farmer's Market for fresh peaches for jam I'll enjoying making. Our yearly dinner at the Jarrett House in Dillsboro. Saving the best for last, Bruce wrote a classical piece for me "Lynne's Largo." We savored his song on our deck back in Sylva at twilight.  I'm grateful for a full, rich b-day!