Susan S. Yeske: Dining In - Recipe of the Week

A high-powered berry yours for the picking

This time of year employees are carefully harvesting the pears, which bruise easily and are packed in “socks” for shipping.

It’s high season for blueberries in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and it’s time for a celebration or two.

The high-powered berry will be in the spotlight this weekend at Peddler’s Village in Lahaska at the Bluegrass and Blueberries Festival. Bechdolt’s Orchards Farm will sell its berries and the Peddler’s Village General Store will offer blueberry pies, butters, jellies, preserves, and lemonade.

Other vendors will offer a variety of baked goods including blueberry shortcakes, cake pops, muffins, fudge and popcorn and lemon blueberry cupcakes. Meanwhile bluegrass and country bands will be playing throughout the village. See for information.

The following weekend is the Bethlehem Burnside Plantation Blueberry Festival on July 21 and 22. In addition to savory fair foods there will be a dessert tent offering blueberry pie, ice cream, coffee cake, strudel and fresh berries. Elsewhere you can find blueberry crepes topped with white or dark chocolate by Crepe Soleil and blueberry kombucha by Lehigh Valley Kombucha.

The Blueberry Brewery Tasting Tent will be filled with samples of beer, wine, mead and vodka from local producers. For more on the festival see

Blueberries are available at farms and farmers markets, and if you prefer to pick your own, there are several options. “It looks like a beautiful crop” at Manoff Market Gardens in Solebury, says Gary Manoff, who owns the farm with his wife, Amy.

There also is picking at nearby Solebury Orchards, Shady Brook Farm outside Yardley, Wildemore Farm in Chalfont, Brumbaugh’s Farm in Telford and Snipes Farm in Morrisville.
In New Jersey, Terhune Orchards in Princeton and Haines Berry Farm in Pemberton both have pick-your-own blueberries and sell picked fruit.

Picking blueberries is easy. Look for berries with a light blue-gray color, then place your hand around a ripe cluster and gently pull. They should drop into your hand. A berry with any hint of red isn’t fully ripened and berries do not ripen after they are picked.

Blueberries are ranked No. 1 in antioxidant activity compared with 40 other commercially available fruits and vegetables. They can be used in a myriad of ways including baking, such as this Blueberry Breakfast Cake from the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council.

Blueberry Breakfast Cake
1 1⁄3 cups flour
¾ cup quick-cooking oats
1⁄3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoons salt
¾ cup milk
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 cup frozen blueberries *

Preheat oven to 400 °F. Grease an 8-inch round baking pan; set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl combine flour, oats, sugar, baking powder and salt.

In a 1-cup measure stir milk, oil and egg. Pour all at once into flour mixture and stir just until moistened (batter will be lumpy). Fold in blueberries.

Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake until cake is golden and pulls away from sides of pan, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool on a rack, 5 to 10 minutes. Serve warm. Yields 8 serving.

*Editor’s Note: The U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council recommends freezing blueberries before you bake with them.

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