Well, blueberry season has started here and this past weekend we went picking for the first of many times during the season. I realized that last season I blogged about the usual things I do with the blueberry harvest, but I can’t blog about the same things again! This is both good and bad – good that I get to try some new things along with the usual, but bad, since now I have to preserve in so many different ways!
It was the perfect day for picking – the sky was blue with billowy, light clouds floating by, a slight breeze and the temperature in the mids 70″s! The drive up the Taconic to Red Hook was glorious – I just love driving the Taconic – it is a narrow, windy road, but the scenery is spectacular and if you go the speed limit a most relaxing drive.
It was just Stella and me, which was so nice – we usually have people with us. I have never picked this early in the season and it was a little more work than usual, but fun. Stella got bored pretty quick, but kept me company with her chit chat. I think she ate more than she picked, which is usually the case. She picks some, eats some and then dumps her bucket into mine – she likes to hear them hit the bottom of the bucket. It was time to leave, but I was having a hard time walking by the bushes and not picking the big, plump, blue berries! Stella was funny walking in the middle telling me to keep my eyes only on her – she was ready to go. Of course, as it is tradition, we went to GiGi’s market and had our favorite Skizza – fig jam, mozzarella, thinly sliced pears, arugula and a drizzle of truffle oil – Stella was on her third piece as I was finishing my first – she was really enjoying it!
As one of the new things to try with the blueberries was fruit leather – I have wanted to try this since I got my dehydrator, but never have – the first batch I forgot to grease the sheet – a little difficult getting them off – but not impossible – highly recommend you grease!
Blueberry Fruit Leather (this is easily doubled)
2 cups blueberries
3 Tbl water
1/4 cup honey
1 cup unsweetened applesauce (I used the applesauce I make which has some cinnamon in it)
2 tsp lemon juice
2. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Remove the saucepan from the stove and add the apple sauce, honey and lemon juice. Stir.
4. Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth.
5. Place the jerky trays on the regular dehydrator trays – remember to grease them – I used butter.
6. Spread a thin, even layer of the fruit mixture – using a spatula to spread around.
7. Dehydrate from 8 – 12 hours on 135 degrees. You can also do this in the oven, using baking sheets lined with parchment or plastic wrap.
8. The leather may be a little sticky, but will be pliable. Using a sharp knife cut the leather into pieces.
9. Take a piece of plastic wrap and place on table next to dehydrator, take the leather pieces off and place on plastic wrap or wax paper – I did 3 – 4 pieces per wrap. Then roll up. Store in an airtight container.