Sunday, July 27, 2014

Blueberry Time is Back

Mid- July marked the beginning of blueberry season here in Camden.  For those of you who don’t know - Maine wild blueberries are very different from those you find in most supermarkets.  They are smaller, darker, and sweeter. PLUS they capture the sweet tooth of both visitors and locals in the summer.
  Luckily they are plentiful and easily available to anyone hoping to try them.  Locals will harvest and sell the berries in grocery stores, or you can pick them yourself at the peak of select hikes throughout the area.  The blueberry bushes are low and finding a patch with plentiful berries on a well visited slope can be challenging, but if you know where to look, you can have a day’s work that reaps a sweet reward. Yesterday I decided it was time to officially kick off this year's season.  I set out to make a pie and I needed 32 ounces of wild blueberries to get it.  Armed with three water bottles and bug spray I set off for Pleasant Mountain Trail, a peak 5 miles from Camden.  After what I will admit was a challenging afternoon, I returned to the inn sweaty, a bit scratched up, and with three full bottles of fresh wild berries.  Then came the baking - homemade crust, a traditional filling recipe, and 45 minutes in the oven later, my pie came out looking good enough to eat (or gobble)!!  Unfortunately I had to wait until the following morning as it cooled before sampling my hard earned dessert.  Thankfully it was WELL worth the wait!! I have had blueberry desserts made with frozen berries at other times of the year, but they are no comparison to the taste of this homemade treat!  What made the pie even sweeter was the work that went into both harvesting the berries myself and baking the pie from scratch. I had enough leftover berries from my harvest to serve them with yogurt in todays breakfast. I’m pleased to say guests noticed the difference!! No matter where you’re from, a town over or miles away, our local blueberries are a seasonal treat like no other!

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