This is what happens when you leave Amanda alone with a bounty of fresh blueberries, an unadorned cake, and a bottle of grappa. (If only the rest of us could be so composed.) This sauce is all you could want (on everything) this summer: not too sweet, boozy, and keeps the focus on the berries themselves.
1 1/2 cup blueberries
2 tablespoons raw sugar, plus more to taste
3-inch long piece lemon zest
1 tablespoon grappa
In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup blueberries, the sugar, lemon zest, and grappa. Bring to a simmer, stirring gently to dissolve the sugar, about 3 minutes. A purple tinted syrup should form but the blueberries should not break down. Add more sugar to taste — the sauce shouldn’t be sweet, it should taste like heightened blueberries. Fold in the remaining fresh blueberries. You’re done!
2. Crepes with Lemon Curd and Blueberry Compote
We know you want to douse your crepes in maple syrup. This time, stop — put down that bottle and try this tangy lemon curd and blueberry compote instead. Save your syrup for what’s up next.
3. Lemony Cream Cheese Pancakes with Blueberries
Here, you have full permission to bust out that syrup and pour away. These fluffy pancakes, studded with the season’s best fruit, act as the ultimate sponges for your sweet maple topping. But that’s not even the kicker: pockets of cream cheese are folded into the batter, for an even richer Sunday brunch.
4. Mom’s Blueberry-Coconut Muffins
These muffins are just like mom used to make — if your mom was a great baker and liked coconut. Cakey and stuffed to the brim with blueberries, this is the perfect post-picking recipe.
Want to impress guests and do next to nothing? Line a bowl with some bread, fill it with berries, and let it do its thing over night. That’s it. But it gets even better: you can use stale bread for this dessert. You know what they say: when life gives you stale bread, make pudding. Right?
6. Blueberry Almond Breakfast Polenta
Back when you were graduating and needed to eat on the cheap, we told you about this staple dish. Now, in the height of blueberry season, we’re bringing it back. Think of it as a blueberry-corn muffin in breakfast cereal form, except it cooks faster, uses way less dishes, and you won’t have to preheat your oven.
This recipe was inspired by wild blueberries — the tiny kind that grow with reckless abandon each summer in Maine. If you aren’t lucky enough to be summering there (we can dream), regular old laymen blueberries will work just fine. Your ice cream will hardly know the difference, and your kids probably won’t mind, either.
You won’t be able to decide if the topping (made of oats and sugar, much like a crumble) or the crust (shortbread, basically) is your favorite part of this dessert. The shortbread crust means that you get the same amount of butter as a pastry, but without all of the work.
Food52 is a community for people who love food and cooking. Follow them at Food52.com and on Twitter @Food52.