Recipes

Blueberries, pecans make intriguing combo

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Those delicious Oregon blueberries are still showing up in Treasure Valley stores.

If you’re looking to branch out from just popping a handful into your mouth, consider this pecan and blueberry bread.

The berries have a wonderful temperament toward high heat, softening well when baked but yet hanging on to their shape. Also, cakes, bars, breads and muffins look visually stunning studded with blue polka dots. When it comes to adding blueberries to a cake or bread batter, keep some basic tips in mind: Freeze the fresh berries before adding them to the batter to avoid staining the sugar-egg-butter-flour mixture to an unappealing blue. Also, it pays to toss the berries with flour before adding them to the batter so that they won’t sink to the bottom of the muffin or cake.

Speaking of freezing, don’t wash the berries before freezing them because when they are wet, they will stick together and get icy.

Author Bob Vivant said he tweaked the original recipe he found in his mother’s recipe box by replacing all-purpose flour with white whole wheat (we stuck with the all-purpose), the vegetable shortening with butter, and sour cream with yogurt. When the butter, yogurt, milk and eggs are whisked together, the mixture will look curdled. Don’t freak out because the end result is simply delicious.

BLUEBERRY-PECAN BREAD

Makes 1 loaf

1 1/2 cups pecans, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped, divided

1 1/2 cups blueberries

3 cups all-purpose flour, divided

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

4 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt

3/4 cup milk

2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Coat the inside of a 9-by-5 inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Evenly sprinkle 1/2 cup pecans over the bottom of the pan.

Gently toss together blueberries with 1/4 cup flour.

In a large bowl, combine remaining flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

Whisk together melted butter, yogurt, milk and eggs.

Add yogurt mixture to flour mixture. Stir until just combined; don’t overmix.

Add blueberries and remaining pecans. Spread batter into prepared pan.

Bake for about 70 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Let pan cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes.

Remove warm bread from the pan and allow to cool completely before slicing.

Bob Vivant from Food52.com

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