Sunday, August 4, 2013

Maine Wild Blueberry Gingerbread

Blueberry season is upon us here in Maine, a season, I for one, look forward to every summer.  Maine's wild blueberries grow naturally in fields and barrens throughout the Downeast coast and are indigenous to Maine .  Native Americans were the first to use the tiny blue berries, both fresh and dried, for their flavor, nutrition and healing qualities but it was not until the 1840′s that wild blueberries were first harvested commercially.  
I found this recipe in a flyer called Maine Blueberry Recipes, put out by the Maine Department of Agriculture.  If your looking for a moist and really delicious quick bread, this is the one to try.  Fresh or frozen blueberries may be used and it freezes very well. 

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons molasses
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
3 tablespoons granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 350°
butter and line the bottom with parchment paper a 5X9 inch loaf pan.

1.   In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and salt until well combined.

2.   Add the egg and beat until light and fluffy.
3.   In a large bowl, sift together the flour, ginger and cinnamon, set aside.
4.   In a small bowl, add molasses and baking soda, stir to combine and set aside.

5.   Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, starting with the flour first then buttermilk and ending with flour.  Mix until completely combined.  Add molasses mixture and mix to combine.  Fold in by hand the blueberries and mix carefully but thoroughly to distribute the berries throughout the mix.

 6.   Pour into prepared loaf pan and smooth the top.  Sprinkle the 3 tablespoons sugar, evenly over the top of the batter.  Place in the preheated oven and bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean.  Remove from oven and place on a wire cooling rack.  Allow to cool for an hour, then turn out onto rack to cool completely before cutting.  Enjoy!


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