Since July is National Blueberry Month, a holiday we're more than happy to honor, we've been on the hunt for some of the best blueberry desserts in town. One place that really knows how to celebrate the summer berry is Magnolia Bakery on West Third Street.
When the bakery opened its first L.A. outpost last summer, we were happy to see more than just cupcakes--the New York original is said to be responsible for launching the cupcake craze--but also icebox pies, layer cakes, cheesecakes, cookies, puddings, brownies, bars and squares. It's sheer bliss for a sugar rush.
During the summer, you'll find a lot of seasonal fruit desserts, especially blueberries in many forms: in pies and muffins, and even topping red velvet cupcakes. But the Blueberry Jamboree really caught our eye.
A cross between a fluffier cheesecake and blueberry pie, one bite of the Jamboree reveals it's cool and creamy filling, the fresh berries popping in your mouth, and a nutty, buttery crust that adds a nice texture. It simply screams summer.
"It really surprises people, catches them off guard," says owner Tyra Abrams. "Most people have never had Jamboree before, so it doesn't really bring back memories; it creates a new one."
Pick one up at the shop (warning: you'll leave with more than you went in for), but it's also an easy dessert to make at home, and a real crowd pleaser.
Recipe adapted from Magnolia Bakery
Makes 1 pie
For blueberry topping:
- 3 ½ cup fresh blue berries
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1/8 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch, dissolved in 1 tablespoon water and 1½
- teaspoon water
- ¾ teaspoon of Lemon Zest
In a large pot combine 1 ½ cup of blueberries and the sugars. Over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, cook until it comes to a boil and the sugar is dissolved and the blueberries pop. Add the cornstarch water mixture and stir until the blueberries thicken. Remove from heat and stir in the remaining blueberries and lemon zest. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate until ready to use.
For crust and filling:
- ¾ cup plus one tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup toasted pecans, chopped
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 pound cream cheese, room temperature and cut into chunks
- 2 cups sifted confectioner's sugar
1. Heat oven to 325°. Butter a 9x13'' rectangular glass dish. In a bowl, combine the melted butter, flour and pecans. Press the mixture into the glass dish and bake for about 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature.
2. Whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Set aside. In a separate mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese and confectioner's sugar until combined. Fold in the whipped cream and spread onto cooled crust.
3. Top with a thin layer of blueberry pie filling (about 4 cups), and refrigerate for at least one hour or until set. Serve cold or at room temperature.
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