Could anyone not be loving berries? Strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, blackberries, and -the tiniest of all- blueberries. Having enjoyed innumerable bowls of fresh strawberries and raspberries over the last weeks, I’m now ready to move on from bright red to a devilish blue/purple.
I believe there is a perfect role for each sort of berry: Strawberries are the undisputed king, whether simply dusted with sugar and whipped cream or on a traditional strawberry cake. Raspberries jazz up every dessert merely by their presence. Blackberries conjure jam into some really addictive stuff. And blueberries?
Although blueberries are the perfect all-rounder and work great in muffins, pancakes or ice cream, my own memories are quite limited to eating them straight from wild bushes in the nearby forest – entailing the obligatory stained fingers and clothes, nicely packaged by a stern lecture from my mum. And I do remember her household remedy to clean up dark purple teeth: Brushing them with freshly squeezed lemon juice. Which in fact works great – however, I’m not sure if any sane dentist would honestly sanction this procedure…
Watch out though, blueberries are not created equal. I was hugely disappointed a few years ago, when I had planned to show up with a blueberry tart at a dinner party and bought a basket of cultivated blueberries. Nothing short of a disaster! The difference to the wild blueberries – being used to picking them with my own fingers – was shattering; I obviously had purchased the worst cultivated blueberries available. Despite (or maybe because of it?) their large size, they were practically tasteless and biting into them revealed a white inside, no blue, no violet, no colored tongue! Fraud!!!
After this incident I felt the need to do some research on blueberries. Picked wild blueberries are usually smaller in size, their color and taste is far more intense and in case you get to buy them fresh at the market, expect prizes to be a tad higher. Anyway, ever since my pratfall I can’t pass the market stalls selling the picked wild ones, no way.
We’ve been having them on a regular basis since they first appeared on the (Viktualien-) market. Since our temperatures became so low, I have been playing with the thought of turning on the heating. In August? So far I prohibited myself from doing it – because, how crazy is that, heating in the summer period? Consequently, instead of serving home made ice cream I felt much more like having a batch of cinnamon waffles with hot blueberries, sautéed for a few minutes with a bit of sugar and lemon juice until their dark purple juices started to come out. Ahhhh, a much better choice!
Usually I’d turn to my proven waffle recipe, which admittedly is pretty rich. So I’ve been trying various other, lighter waffle recipes over the last year, yet there was none that I would call a definite keeper. This time I used one from a waffle book, omitted the melted chocolate and added the cinnamon. The outcome topped my last attempt, but still, if you have a proven waffle recipe that is dear to your heart, I’d love to hear about it!
Carefully wash the blueberries in a sieve, then heat in a small pot together with a bit of sugar and the lemon juice (amounts up to taste). Let the mixture simmer for a few minutes.
The waffle recipe is quite simple. Heat up the waffle iron and brush it lightly with butter if needed. Whisk soft butter and sugar together in a bowl.
Now add the three eggs individually and beat the mix well after each one. Add the flour, the baking powder, a pinch of salt as well as the milk, the cream & cinnamon. Depending on how you prefer the batter (more or less dense) feel free to vary the amount of flour, a good starting point is 200g.
Pour batter into the center of the lower half of the waffle maker. Try not to use too much batter, the dough will rise a bit (and potentially make a mess). Bake them for a few minutes (3-5) until they become golden brown. Serve with freshly whipped cream and the hot blueberry compote. Lightly dust with confectioners’ sugar. And don’t forget to check the color of your blue teeth and tongue afterwards…
Waffles with hot blueberries and whipped cream
Recipe source: Dr. Oetker - Waffeln, p.56, adapted
Prep time: 15min., baking: 15-20min.
Ingredients (yields 6 waffles):
1 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
100ml heavy cream
1 tsp cinnamon
freshly whipped cream