Buckets of blueberries, crepes, cakes, and Edna Lewis
LOCAVORE’S DELIGHT: The Series # 8.
Follow us all summer long as we explore the bounty of our region’s farms.
Sunday just concluded our participation in the semi-annual Triangle Restaurant Week and one of the featured desserts was Edna Lewis’ Blueberry Cake from her book, “The Taste of Country Cooking.”
Edna was a spiritual mother in my research of southern foods for Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen. Her recipes call for “fresh, local” foods. And right now, Edna, we’ve got buckets of blueberries on the Farmer’s Cart.
Giant specimens from Bill Stevens in High Point on the cart outside the restaurant in Greensboro. In Cary, we have blueberries from Lewis Farms in Rocky Point. And yes: We have issues (thank you eatocracy.com) and every dollar spent on a blueberry from a local farm is a vote for the local farming economy.
Cast a vote for local blueberries:
- Fresh blueberries are best and frozen are acceptable as substitutes.
- If you must use frozen, freeze your own.
- Place whole, washed blueberries on a parchment lined baking sheet and place in the freezer.
- When they’re frozen, transfer blueberries to a ziptop plastic bag.
- Thaw what you need when you want to make our blueberry crepes (recipe is below).
Also this weekend — in both the Cary and Greensboro locations — is the last opportunity to enjoy Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen’s blueberry crepes, so we’d love to encourage you to pick up some fresh blueberries off the Farmer’s Cart and make your own at home. Also, opportunities are dwindling to take your kids (or yourself) to a pick-your-own blueberry plot. Check this website for more info: pickyourown.org
Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen Blueberry Filling for Crepes
Makes 4.5 cups (18 cups)
- 2 lbs of fresh blueberries (8 lbs)
- 2 tsp orange zest (8 tsp)
- 2 tsp lemon Zest (8 tsp)
- 2 tbsp juice from orange (½ cup)
- ½ cup granulated sugar (2 cups)
- ¼ cup corn starch (1 cup)
Mix berries, zest, and sugar in a small stock pot. Stir until ingredients are well mixed. Add juice and cook over medium heat until sauce just starts to bubble – approx. 10-15 minutes. Dissolve cornstarch in water. Reduce heat and add cornstarch slurry and blend well. Allow to cool before filling crepe shells.
Place 2 Tbsp filling in each crepe shell and roll up. Calculate three crepes per person and arrange in a casserole dish. Bake in 350 degree Fahrenheit oven until heated though and browned on the edges. Remove to serving plate and garnish with sprinkled powdered sugar and more fresh berries.
Edna Lewis Blueberry Cake
- 2 cups fresh blueberries
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup water
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- ¼ cup water
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- ¼ tsp salt flakes
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1 fresh, local egg
- 1 cup Homeland Creamery Milk
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
Combine 1/3 cup sugar with 1/3 cup water and blueberries in a medium saucepan; simmer for 3-5 minutes, strain berries and reserve for cake. Return liquid to a pot and return to a simmer. Combine cornstarch and ¼ cup water. Drizzle slurry into simmering juice and cook until syrup consistency is achieved. Set aside.
Sift flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Add butter and blend until mixture resembles cornmeal. Beat egg and mix in milk; add to dough, stirring all the while. Add vanilla, continue stirring; add baking powder, mix well. Spoon into a buttered 2″ half hotel pan. Scatter drained berries over the top. Combine remaining 1/3 cup sugar with cinnamon and sprinkle over the top.
Place in 425 degree Fahrenheit oven and close. Turn oven down to 375 and cook 25 minutes or until center is done. Serve slices of cake with reserved syrup.