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Bobbie’s Kitchen: July’s Ripest

July is blueberry month here at Magnolia Bakery and I’m excited to share some of my secrets to baking with these delectable berries. Here are ten tips on baking with blueberries.

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1. Always pick through your blueberries by rinsing them off and pulling out any that are soft and mushy. Pull off any stems as well.

2. The ripest blueberries should be sweet, not tart.

3. In season blueberries tend to be smaller and sweeter than the blueberries you get in the winter.

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4. If you are cooking a filling, you can adjust the amount of sugar up or down depending on the sweetness of the blueberries.

5. Grated lemon peel and fresh juice add a brightness to pies and cooked fillings.

6. Always use fresh blueberries when making pie. Frozen blueberries will release too much liquid and your pie will be watery. You can use individually quick frozen blueberries(use them frozen) in baked desserts such as a muffin or coffee cake, but not a pie.

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7. You can freeze your own fresh blueberries by placing them on a tray, freezing them solid, then placing them in baggies pre-measured for your recipes.

8. My favorite way to serve blueberries is in a simple hand pie that can be assembled in just a few minutes and baked in less than a half hour. Hand pies are any form of a fold-over pie dough with a filling. For example, Pop Tarts would be considered hand pies. They are so easy to make and it’s fun to involve the kids. I usually have pie dough in the refrigerator ready to roll out at any time.

9. Blueberries are so delicious when cooked with a little sugar, lemon peel and a bit of cornstarch. Cook until thickened and the blueberries start to burst, then add a handful of fresh blueberries.  Cool this filling and keep it on hand in the fridge.

10. Always keep pie dough in the refrigerator or freezer in case you need a quick dessert! Add a fruit filling, such as the above blueberry recipe.

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Also be sure to stop by your closest Magnolia Bakery this month to try some of our featured blueberry treats, including our brand new blueberry lemon cupcakes, blueberry jamboree and pies!

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