Rebecca is a retired special education teacher. She earned a master's degree at Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, GA.
Thanks to the right mix of sunny days and gentle rainfall, we had a bumper crop of blueberries in North Georgia this year. That meant lots of plump, sweet berries to munch on at the bushes, toss atop a bowl of cereal, whip up in a smoothie, and add to pancake batter.
Blueberries are easy to grow, easy to freeze, and good for easy jam recipes. This is all good news since blueberries are one of the top 10 superfoods and can be pricey at the grocery store.
The freezer is now stocked, and a few jars of blueberry jam have been put away. And we enjoyed a few tasty blueberry desserts along the way.
It’s always good to try something new. This year it was a blueberry skillet cake, a rustic dessert baked in a cast-iron skillet. It was delicious and really easy to make. Just blend all ingredients except the berries in a blender and pour the batter into a buttered cast iron skillet.
I love the taste of blueberry together with lemon, so I added a lemon glaze after baking, but this is optional. The blueberry skillet pie was delicious. Thanks to a bumper crop and a freezer full of blueberries, one will grace my holiday tables this year.
- 2 cups blueberries
- 1 tablespoon butter, unsalted
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine and blend all ingredients except for the blueberries.
- Pour the batter into a buttered cast iron skillet.
- Top with the blueberries.
- Place the skillet in the oven and bake for 40 minutes.
- Cool and drizzle with lemon glaze, if desired.
Optional Lemon Glaze
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
- Combine lemon juice and confectioners' sugar. Adjust for desired consistency.
- Drizzle the glaze on top of the cooled skillet cake.
How to Preserve Blueberries for Winter
There are some simple ways to “put up” blueberries for winter. Canning is a bit costly and very time-consuming. Canning requires glass jars with lids and rings. The jars must be sterilized, and the canned fruit must be brought to a certain temperature for the jars to seal.
Freezing blueberries is much less time-consuming. Simply wash the berries and lay them out in a single layer on a cookie sheet with shallow sides or a cake pan. Place the cookie sheet full of berries in the freezer for a few hours. Avoid leaving them in the freezer for too long to prevent freezer burn. Roll the frozen berries into a Ziploc bag, remove air, and seal.
Take out a few berries later on or use the whole bag in a recipe. Thanksgiving and Christmas will be the time to try all the blueberry and crisp recipes. The payoff? Save time and money shopping for holiday food. Not to mention they will be delicious!
Another way to preserve blueberries without spending a lot of time is by drying them. Spread the berries on trays and cover with cheesecloth. Place the trays in a sunny location for drying. A food dehydrator can also be used to dry blueberries. Use the dried berries in granola recipes. Or just eat them! The same antioxidant is still there, and still free.