Brighten up the Holidays with BC Blueberries
Brighten up the Holidays with BC Blueberries
Give the gift of supporting local this holiday season
It’s time to brighten up the holidays with BC Blueberries. Although many of us are excited to take out the holiday decorations, gather with loved ones, and start making delicious homemade recipes, not everyone in our province will be celebrating as expected.
For blueberry growers in parts of British Columbia, this this holiday season may be bluer than usual. After the province was hit with devastating mudslides and flooding, many blueberry growers in the area still have acres of blueberry fields submerged in water.
As advised by the Minister of Agriculture, you can support your BC blueberry growers during this time by purchasing frozen BC Blueberries in the freezer aisle of your local grocer. Just look for “cultivated” or “high bush” “Buy BC” “Product of Canada” on the packages to ensure that your blueberries are from BC. Then use your berries to make one of the five recipes below and share your tasty creations with friends, family, your community, or someone who needs some holiday cheer.
Five Festive BC Blueberry Recipes
Looking for the perfect spread for your holiday charcuterie? This chutney is the perfect addition to your next cheese board and can be kept fresh in the fridge for weeks. If you’re looking to host friends and family this winter, save this recipe!
- 4 cups (1 L) frozen BC Blueberries
- 1 can (16 ounces) whole berry cranberry sauce
- 1/4 cup (75 mL) sugar
- 3 tablespoons (45 mL) balsamic vinegar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons (7 mL) grated orange peel
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) ground ginger
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon (1 to 2 mL) crushed red pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon (1 mL) ground black pepper
- In a medium nonreactive saucepan combine the frozen BC Blueberries, cranberry sauce, sugar, balsamic vinegar, orange peel, ginger, and red and black peppers.
- Bring to a boil; boil uncovered, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened, for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Pour into clean jars; cover and refrigerate up to 3 weeks, place in canning jars and process according to manufacturer's directions, or place in covered plastic containers and freeze.
- Serve with roasted or grilled turkey, chicken or pork, if desired.
Take your holiday dinner table to the next level with these blueberry biscuits. Prepare the dough ahead of time, place the unbaked individual scrolls in the freezer, and then wait until your guests arrive before defrosting and popping them into the oven. Of course, if you can’t wait, enjoy this savoury holiday goodie right away!
- 1 sheet (225g) Puff Pastry, thawed (keep cold)
- 2 tbsp (15g) All-purpose unbleached flour
- 2 tbsp (30ml) Roasted garlic, cooled and mashed into a paste (optional)
- 6 slices (75g) Prosciutto or Serrano ham- thin slices
- 1 cup (70g) Asiago cheese, grated
- ¾ cup (110g) B.C. Blueberries, fresh or frozen (do not thaw if using frozen)
- 1 tbsp (15ml) Lemon zest, finely grated
- 2 tsp (10ml) Fresh rosemary, finely chopped (or substitute for 1 tsp. dry)
- Once the roasted garlic is prepared, pre-heat oven to 400°F/200°C with oven rack positioned in the centre. Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Dust 2 tbsp of flour on a clean surface, roll out cold puff pastry, turning over to coat in flour, into a 14” x 14” sheet.
- Spread the roasted garlic evenly on the cold puff pastry, arrange a single layer of Prosciutto slices, sprinkle evenly with grated cheese, blueberries, rosemary and lemon zest.
- Roll the pastry up into a cylinder and cut into twelve 1” discs.
- Carefully transfer each disc to the lined sheet pan, lay them on their sides and gently press down to flatten.
- Bake in the centre of a pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
Make the BC Blueberry Lemon Tea Loaf a day in advance and have it on-hand for when you welcome your holiday guests in the morning or evening, as this recipe can be enjoyed at breakfast, lunch, or even dessert.
- 1 ½ cups (200 g) All-purpose unbleached flour
- 1 ½ tsp (7.5 ml) Baking powder
- 1 ½ tsp (7.5 ml) Baking soda
- ¼ tsp (pinch) Salt
- 1 2/3 cups (275 g) Frozen BC Blueberries- divided in half (mix 1 tbsp of the flour mixture in with the blueberries)
- 3/4 cup (150 g) White sugar
- ½ cup (120 g) Unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 2 (100 g) Large eggs (room temperature)
- ½ cup (120 ml) 14% Sour cream
- 1 tbsp (15 ml) Lemon zest
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) Lemon juice - fresh (*approximately the zest and juice of 1 large lemon or 2 small lemons)
- Pre-heat oven to 350°F/ 160°C
- Butter a 9” x 5” x 2.5” non-stick loaf pan.
- Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl, mix and set aside.
- Mix 1 tbsp of the flour mixture in with the blueberries until coated, set aside. (If the blueberries are too dry to coat, then add ½ tsp. of lemon juice so the flour adheres to them.) *This is to stop the blueberries from sinking to bottom of loaf.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, approximately 1 minute.
- Beat the eggs in one at a time.
- On low speed, alternately mix in the flour mixture, sour cream, lemon zest and juice in three intervals.
- Gently fold in half the blueberries.
- Pour into the greased loaf pan.
- Top with the remaining blueberries.
- Bake in the middle rack of a pre-heated 350°F/160°C oven for 45-55 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.
- Cool in the loaf pan for a minimum of 30 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack.
- Slice and serve.
The best kind of holiday recipe is a versatile holiday recipe! You can serve this BC Blueberry Sauce on any of your favourite baked treats, but we recommend adding it on top of cheesecake, quick breads, shortbread cookies, ice cream or whatever else is on your seasonal dessert table.
- 2 cups frozen BC Blueberries
- 2 tablespoons sugar (or other granulated sweetener)
- 1 tablespoon each lemon juice and water
- In a medium-size saucepan, over medium heat, stir blueberries with sugar, lemon juice and water until berries are soft, about 5 minutes, chill.
Nothing screams the holiday season like a dozen dusted cookies with decorative cut-outs. What makes these Linzer Cookies special are their darker than normal centres. Frozen BC Blueberries give these cookies a plum-coloured middle. Although they’re not filled with the usual holiday red, Blueberry Linzer Cookies aren’t short of seasonal flavours.
Blueberry Jam Filling
- 1 cup (150g) Frozen BC Blueberries
- 1 cup (165g) Sugar
- 1 pkg (185ml) Liquid Pectin/ or ½ pkg.-28g of powdered pectin
- 1 tbsp (15ml) Lemon zest
- 1 tbsp (15ml) Lemon Juice
- 2 cups (260g) Cake and pastry flour
- ½ tsp (5ml) Baking powder
- ¼ tsp pinch Salt
- 1 cup (160g) Almonds
- ¼ cup (40g) Sugar
- 1 cup (240g) Unsalted Butter- room temperature
- ½ cup (80g) Sugar
- 1 large (50g) Egg
- 1 large (15g) Egg yolk
- 1 tsp (5ml) Finely grated lemon zest
- 1 tsp (5ml) Vanilla Extract
- ¼ cup (40g) Confectioners’ Sugar
For the Blueberry Jam Filling, start on medium heat and in a small saucepan, mash and break down the blueberries using a potato masher. Add the sugar, pectin, lemon zest and lemon juice, raise the heat and bring to a rolling boil for 1-2 minutes. Then set aside and cool at room temperature.
For the cookies, in a 350F/160C oven bake the almonds until fragrant and toasted, approximately 5 minutes, allow to cool. Place the cooled almonds and ¼ cup of sugar in a food processer and process until finely ground, then set aside.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt, then set aside.
In a large bowl, using a hand or stand mixer, beat together the butter and ½ cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs. Mix in the almond/sugar mixture, lemon zest and vanilla. Mix in the flour mixture in three intervals, paying close attention to not over mix.
Divide the dough into two, half-inch thick discs, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled and firm, at least 2 hours and up to 2 days. When ready to bake, place the rack in the centre of the oven, and pre- heat to 350F/160C. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow to stand at room temperature for 5-10 minutes.
On a generously floured surface, roll out the dough until about ⅛ - ¼ inch thick. Using a 2” or 3” decorative cookie cutter, cut out cookies and place one inch apart on the prepared cookie sheet.
Using a smaller 1” cookie cutter with decorative shape, cut out the centers of half of the unbaked cookies, this will be the top half of the cookie sandwich. Bake the cookies for 10-13 minutes at 350F/160C until a very light golden. Cookies with cut-outs (for the top) will bake slightly quicker. Make sure to allow them to cool. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Sprinkle icing sugar over the cut-out tops of the cooled cookies. Dollop approximately 1 tsp of the blueberry jam filling in the centre of the bottom halves of the cooled cookies. Top with the sugared, cut out cookies and gently sandwich together. These cookies can be stored in an air tight container for 2-4 days, however, they are best assembled to the day of consuming.
We’d love to see what you made with BC Blueberries during the holidays! Spread the cheer on socials by tagging @bcblueberries.