I generally prefer local fruits over imported ones. I cannot tell you how much juicier and tastier our Indian plums are over the “Chinese” ones that are imported to local markets. Ditto with Indian peaches. I do make an exception with some fruits, however. For instance, in my orange cakes (this one and this one and this one), I prefer using the Valencia oranges because their skins are not as bitter. And I simply cannot resist it when I find fruit that is not grown in the country–blueberries, for instance. I have a special love for berries of all kind–the Indian jamuns, amlas, cape gooseberries, the local varieties of ber as well as our Mahabaleshwar strawberries–the large, deep red fruit that tug at my heart strings every time they appear–I love them all. Blueberries have begun appearing in our markets only recently. Last time, I made these blueberry muffins. Then, someone gave me a bunch of raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries, which I made a jam of (this reminds me I need to post that recipe) and finished yesterday with a stack of crepes and clotted cream (ahem).
Last weekend, I found the shelves in the supermarket loaded with boxes and boxes of blueberries. I bought three–you know, just being minimalistic. That night, we shot a video for my current favorite bread–the focaccia. I had made a rosemary and black grape focaccia for my last cooking class on Basic Italian food (no pictures; camera had konked off) that was very well-received. Except this time, I made a sweet focaccia. It’s the perfect accompaniment to coffee–my mum has been enjoying it with her mug of filter kaapi everyday. It’s not very sweet, and the flavors of the lemon zest and cinnamon compliment the blueberries beautifully. Once the focaccia is baked, the berries bursta nd ooze their color and flavor and make for a beautiful rustic bread that can adorn any coffee table. Here’s the video.
- 3 cups flour
- 1 tbsp. yeast
- 2 tbsp. Sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 cup Lukewarm milk
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1/2 tsp. grated Cinnamon
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- Icing sugar to dust
- Place yeast, sugar and milk in a bowl and allow to froth for about 15 minutes.
- Sieve the flour in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle almost all the salt and grate the cinnamon and lemon zest into it.
- Add the frothy yeast mixture and egg and knead to a soft dough.
- Pour in the olive oil and knead to a silky, shiny dough. Leave to rest for about half and hour until double in size.
- Knock back the dough to release the air. Add three-fourths of the blueberries and knead again.
- Flatten the dough on a 9 by 13 inch greased and lined rectangular pan. Topple over the reserved berries and sprinkle with some salt and sugar. Rest again for about 15 minutes.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 200 degrees centigrade for 20 minutes.
- Remove and dust with icing sugar.
- Cut into squares and serve with coffee.