Monday, May 18, 2009

Purple haze

When I arrived home late a few weeks ago, there were a couple of big bags of individually quick frozen Wild Quebec Blueberries waiting for me at my door. Sadly, they had defrosted because I wasn't forewarned that they were coming that day. So I had to think fast: What to do with this bounty of berries?
There's always jam, of course, but I'm not a big jam fan. Could have made sorbet or ice cream, but that would have been a whole production, and to be quite honest, I wasn't up to the task. Blueberry pie? I'm not a big pie person either (except for strawberry rhubarb). And then I thought of the simplest dessert one could make. And while we're at it, healthiest too. That's because wild blueberries contain more beneficial antioxidants than their cultivated kin, and more than most other fruits. It's what they call "an antioxidant superfood" (antioxidants guard against cell damage that is associated with heath risks such as cancer, heart disease and other age-related maladies.) Plus, they taste great. 
This easy dessert takes about 30 minutes to throw together, but then you've got to wait eight hours before eating it.
Nobody ever said life was perfect.
(serves 4)
4-5 slices white bread, crusts removed
4 cups wild blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
pinch of salt
2 tsp lemon zest
yoghurt or sour cream for garnish (optional)
Cook blueberries with sugar and pinch of salt on medium-low heat for about a half hour, then let cool for 15 minutes and stir in lemon zest.
Get out a medium sized mixing bowl (that can hold four cups of liquid) and line it with plastic wrap, letting wrap hang over edges of bowl. Press crustless bread slices into bowl so that there are no holes and all seems airtight. Really press it down. Then, using a slotted spoon, fill plastic wrapped and bread-lined bowl with cooked and cooled wild blueberry mixture, packing it in there tightly. Add some of the juice too, but not so much that it's soupy. You just want to make sure the bread is saturated and everything is gloriously purple.
Wrap the the top with overhanging plastic wrap, press down again, then place a small plate over the bowl that fits within the bowl, and put a can on top if to to weigh down your burgeoning summer pudding. Put in fridge for 8 hours. 
When time's up, unwrap the top, turn the pudding out onto a large plate, and remove all plastic wrap. Slice into wedges and serve with a dollop of yoghurt or sour cream. 

No comments: