July is blueberry season in New England, and if you are a fan of these healthy little berries, there is something you should know. In Maine, they speak differently, and that includes when they're talking about blueberries. That's because there's a major difference between wild Maine blueberries and larger, rounder, cultivated blueberries.
Say "blueberry" in Maine, and residents automatically think of wild-picked berries that are fragile, tiny and unique in taste: a combination of sweet and tart that is surprising and intense.
The recipe that shows these tender-skinned wild berries off best was developed by the Maine Department of Agriculture years ago, and it's still served at places like Harbour Towne Inn on the Waterfront in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. Here it is if you'd like to create your own experience of waking up in Maine on a summer morning:
Maine Wild Blueberry Streusel Coffeecake Recipe
2 cups flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1-1/2 cups Maine wild blueberries*
2 brown eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
2 tablespoons sugar for top
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup cold butter
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
*If you don't have access to fresh wild Maine blueberries, look for frozen berries from Wyman's of Maine in a store near you: They're distributed throughout the U.S. When thawed, their wild Maine blueberries are just as fresh tasting and perfect for baking.
Dip frozen berries in hot water for up to one minute to thaw, then drain and pat dry.
1. Sift and combine dry coffeecake ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add blueberries.
2. In another bowl, beat eggs, milk and melted butter. Combine milk mixture with the dry ingredients. Stir until blended.
3. To prepare the streusel mixture, cut the cold butter into the dry ingredients until uniformly crumbly, then add nuts.
4. Put half of the batter in a greased and floured 9" square pan. Sprinkle streusel over batter. Spread remaining batter over streusel and top with 2 tablespoons of sugar.
5. Bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes. Test with a knife tip in the center. Cool before cutting.
More New England Blueberry Recipes
Here are some additional blueberry recipes from New England restaurants and inns to try at home. Experiment with using traditional or wild Maine blueberries to see which you prefer.
Apple Blueberry Cake, from Asygarth Station Bed & Breakfast in Bar Harbor, Maine.
Blueberries 'n Cream Cheese Cake, from The Inn on Sea Street in Hyannis, Massachusetts.
Blueberry-Almond Crepes, from Rosewood Country Inn in Bradford, New Hampshire.
Blueberry Buckle, from The Francis Malbone House in Newport, Rhode Island.
Blueberry Buckle, from Gwendolyn's Bed and Breakfast Inn in Perkinsville, Vermont.
Blueberry Buckle, from Stafford's in the Field in Chocorua, New Hampshire.
Blueberry Cornbread, from The Kings' Rose in South Kingstown, Rhode Island.
Blueberry Cornmeal Pancakes, from The Elms Bed & Breakfast in Camden, Maine.
Blueberry Cream Cheese Crunch, from Captain Jefferds Inn in Kennebunkport, Maine.
Blueberry Lattice Pie, from Captain Briggs House in Freeport, Maine.
Blueberry Lemon Muffins, from Judith's Garden B&B in Goshen, Vermont.
Blueberry Muffin Cake, from Hearthside Bed and Breakfast in Bar Harbor, Maine.
Blueberry Muffins, from Beverly Farms Bed & Breakfast at the Jon Larcom House in Beverly, Massachusetts.
Blueberry Muffins, from Harborside House B&B in Marblehead, Massachusetts.
Blueberry Muffins, from Snowbound Bed & Breakfast in Hill, New Hampshire.
Blueberry French Toast, from The Richmond Victorian Inn in Richmond, Vermont.
Blueberry Pancakes, from The Blue Hill Inn in Blue Hill, Maine.
Blueberry Plum Crisp, from the Restaurant at The Egremont Inn in South Egremont, Massachusetts.
Blueberry Sauce, from The Kennebec Inn Bed & Breakfast in Bath, Maine.
Blueberry Shortcake, from Deerhill Inn & Restaurant in West Dover, Vermont.
Blueberry Stuffed French Toast, from Joan's Bed & Breakfast in Peabody, Massachusetts.
Blueberry-Stuffed French Toast, from The Inn On Golden Pond in Holderness, New Hampshire.
Blueberry Stuffed French Toast with Wild Maine Blueberry Sauce, from Inn At Southwest in Southwest Harbor, Maine.
Blueberry Surprise, from Maple Hill Bed & Breakfast in Freeport, Maine.
Cheese Blintz Muffins with Blueberry Sauce, from Mostly Hall B&B in Falmouth, Massachusetts.
Cranberry and Blueberry Pancakes, from The Inn at Harbor Head in Kennebunkport, Maine.
Ellen's Blueberry Muffins, from Brandt House in Greenfield, Massachusetts.
Fresh Blueberry Pancakes, from the Inn at Charlotte in Charlotte, Vermont.
Gil's Blueberry Muffins, from Lupine House Bed and Breakfast in Florence, Massachusetts.
Lemon/Blueberry Zucchini Bread, from 1794 Watchtide Inn in Searsport, Maine.
Light and Fluffy Blueberry Pancakes, from Captain Briggs House in Freeport, Maine.
Low Calorie Blueberry Muffins, from Homestead Inn B & B in York Beach, Maine.
Maine Wild Blueberry Cobbler, a recipe from former Maine Governor Angus S. King, Jr.
Maine Wild Blueberry Pancakes, from The Victorian by the Sea in Camden, Maine.
Maine (Wild) Blueberry Pancakes, from The Isaac Randall House in Freeport, Maine.
Old-Fashioned Blueberry Pie, from Willey's Farm Bed and Breakfast in Essex Junction, Vermont.
Red, White and Blueberry Pancakes, from Manchester Highlands Inn in Manchester, Vermont.
Sourdough Blueberry Pancakes, from Flying Cloud B&B in Newcastle, Maine.
Todd House Blueberry Muffins, from Todd House in Eastport, Maine.
Wild Blueberry Scones, from Acadia Oceanside Meadows Inn in Prospect Harbor, Maine.
Wild Maine Blueberry Streusel French Toast, from the Inn at Portsmouth Harbor in Kittery, Maine.