I’ve had few opportunities to bake recently, thanks to hot and busy days.
But now that our Wisconsin summer is gradually turning cooler, I’m thinking blueberry crisp or Grandma Annie’s blueberry pudding.
There was one day in mid-July that was cool enough to ponder baking something. I’d just been to one of the local farm markets where I found bag of gleaming gooseberries for a very reasonable price.
I paired them with leftover blueberries for a Gooseberry-Blueberry Bars.
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter (I always use Smart Balance)
3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1-cup fresh gooseberries
1-cup fresh blueberries
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
Blend flour, powdered sugar and buts. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or fork until mixture resembles coarse meal. Press evenly into a 9-inch square pan. Bake for 15 minutes in 350-degree oven. In a saucepan, combine berries, sugar and cornstarch. Heat over medium-to-low heat until softened and thickened. Pour over crust. Cool thoroughly before serving with whipped cream or ice cream.
The blueberries temper the sometimes too-sweet gooseberries. To my palate, warm gooseberries taste like patchouli. Fresh gooseberries are often bland. I usually add a dash of vanilla to my fruit when I make this sort of thing, but this time I forgot to do that.
Note: This recipe was adapted from one I found at Oregon Fruit Products.
For a time, I had a gooseberry bush in my back garden. It never flourished, and after a few years, it died. But the few berries it produced were sweet and flavorful.
Gooseberry bushes, by the way, should not be planted near certain pine trees. The bushes are hosts to White Pine Blister Rust, which is devastating for five-needle pines.
What are you baking these days?