When Life Gives You Blueberries

Do you live near a Produce Junction?  If not, you should really think about moving.  They have the best bargains!  You never quite know what you’ll find but you can be sure it will be fabulous and cost next to nothing.  Last weekend we got the most ginormous hostas for $7.50 each!  I’m telling you, they were big enough to divide into two or three plants each, and they were in full flower and almost as tall as I am!

One evening last week, my Mr. returned from work boasting about yet another fabulous Produce Junction find.  He told me blueberries were buy one get one free, and I was all, yah, so?  They do that all the time at the regular supermarket.  And he was all, no, you gotta see, and then he showed me and I was all, NO WAY!

It’s kinda hard to tell from this pic, but those containers are twice as deep and twice as wide as the normal blueberry containers.  To be exact, they are 16 ounces each.  Which is the way you’d normally see strawberries packaged.  And strawberries usually cost about half of what blueberries do, even though you get a lot more.  So, in other words, my Mr. got 32 ounces of blueberries for….(drum roll)… $5.99.  Score!

This is a lot of blueberries, my friend.  More than you could even bake into a pie.  I had to strategize.  I put on my thinking cap and the steam started seeping out of my ears.  I figured, make a blueberry compote, and then use some in that night’s dessert.  The rest can go into the fridge for… just, whatever.  I’ll give some ideas later in the post.  First, let’s make blueberry compote!

Start by rinsing the berries in cool water and dumping them into a pot.

Add in 1/3 cup of sugar, 3 tablespoons of cornstarch, and the juice and zest of half a lemon.  I just used a veggie peeler on my lemon and left the zest in big strips.

Next you just whack the whole mess on the stove for a bit.  Put it on a medium flame and keep an eye on it.  You can cook it for as little or as long as you like.  The longer it cooks, the more the fruit will break down and soften.  The berries will burst and give up their juices and then the cornstarch thickens it all up into a syrupy kind of delicious goo.  I personally like about a 70/30 ratio of whole fruit to goo, so I let mine bubble away for about 15 minutes.

Let it cool down a bit and transfer it to an airtight container in the fridge.  It should keep for a couple of weeks.  Here are some ideas for what to do with it:

Spoon it over vanilla ice cream or lemon sorbet
Spread it on toast or an english muffin
Stir it into a little greek yogurt and top with granola
Drizzle it over pancakes or waffles, instead of syrup
Mix in a teaspoon of dijon mustard and top a grilled salmon filet with it
or, how about… Eat it with a spoon, straight from the jar, because it’s scrumptious!

If you have any other delicious ideas for what you’d do with blueberry compote, be sure to leave me a comment at the bottom of this post.

Or, try this recipe for a delicious treat that is also great for your next backyard barbecue!

Goat Cheese Cheesecake Cups with Blueberry Compote
makes 18 cupcakes
(inspired by Anne Burrell)

5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1 8-ounce block cream cheese
6 ounces soft goat cheese
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
juice of half a lemon

Start with the crust: microwave the butter in a big, non-metal bowl for one minute on power level seven.  Dump in the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, cinnamon, and salt, and stir to combine.

Place a tablespoon or so of the mixture into the bottoms of each cupcake liner, and press into place with the bottom of a cup.

Next, the filling:  Chuck the cream cheese in the mixer along with the goat cheese.  Beat for about a minute to combine.  Add in the sour cream and sugar and beat for another minute.

Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.  Crack in the eggs, and add in the vanilla and lemon juice.  Mix for another minute.  Divide the mixture between the 18 cupcake liners.

Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes or until set.  Cool and top with about two tablespoons of blueberry compote.

The tangy goat cheese is a really subtle backnote to the creamy rich cheesecake filling, while the graham crust adds a great crunchy contrast.  And that berry compote is just pure, sweet summer on a spoon…

Here’s some printable 4×6 cards for your recipe box!  These will surely be some of your classic summertime faves…

Blueberry Compote Recipe Card
Goat Cheese Cheesecake Cups Recipe Card

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4 thoughts on “When Life Gives You Blueberries

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