“Huckleberry Pie” FUDGE

If you’re willing to part with two cups of precious huckleberries, I have a recipe for you!  I know how hard these little berries are to come by, and I usually use them sparingly, but my youngest son (who shall now be known as my favorite son) just gave me eight pounds of them, and I’m feeling a little reckless.

If you don’t have huckleberries (frozen are fine, by the way) you can substitute wild Maine blueberries, available in the freezer section of most grocery stores.

I added a pie crust bottom, just for fun, and lots of marshmallows. The texture of this candy is more marshmallow-like than that of chocolate fudge. If you prefer a more traditional texture, you can cut the amount of marshmallows in half.

Marshmallows, white chips, and lemon zest.

"Huckleberry Pie" FUDGE
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You'll need a candy thermometer for this recipe.
Ingredients
  • CRUST:
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ cup cold shortening
  • ¼ cup cold butter
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (save the zest for the fudge)
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • FUDGE
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen huckleberries (wild Maine blueberries are good, too)
  • 1¾ cups sugar
  • 1 small can (5 oz.) evaporated milk
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1½ cups white chocolate morsels
  • 4 cups miniature marshmallows
  • zest from one large lemon
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts (optional) or more to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 375 F. Line an 8x8-inch baking pan with a piece of parchment, extending over two sides. This will serve as a "handle" to lift your fudge out when it's firm.
  2. In a small bowl, combine flour, salt, and sugar. Cut in the shortening and butter with a pastry blender or your fingers until you have no lumps of butter bigger than a pea.
  3. Add lemon juice and milk. Toss with a fork until combined.
  4. Press firmly into the prepared baking pan and poke holes into the dough with a fork, covering entire pastry evenly. Press all the way to the bottom of the pan. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the crust begins to turn brown around the edges. Move to a cooling rack. While pan is still warm, brush a little butter on the two sides of the pan without parchment, to keep the fudge from sticking.
  5. FUDGE:
  6. In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, combine huckleberries, sugar, evaporated milk, and butter. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally with a heat-proof silicone spatula, until the mixture thickens and reaches a temperature between 235-240 F. (If you are high-altitude, don't forget to adjust for this by subtracting 1 degree for each 500 feet above sea level.)
  7. Remove from heat and stir gently a few times, allowing bubbles to settle down. Add the white chocolate, marshmallows, and lemon zest. Stir until incorporated and pour over baked crust.
  8. Allow fudge to cool, then refrigerate several hours. Slide a thin knife along the two buttered sides, then lift the fudge onto a cutting board and cut into squares.

Lemon juice goes in the crust, lemon zest is saved for the fudge.

Press the dough firmly into the pan. Stab repeatedly with a fork. (Bwa haha)

Combine hot berry mixture with marshmallows, white chips, and lemon zest.

Pour hot mixture over cooked crust.

Cool and chill, then lift fudge onto cutting board and cut into squares.

I have so many uses for these berries (margaritas) that I never seem to have enough. But this year, I think I’m covered (margaritas). I may be pulling out the huckleberry recipes at Christmas! Hot buttered margaritas?

Lorinda

Blueberry Rhubarb Muffins

These scrumptious blueberry rhubarb muffins were served to my friend and me at a charming bed and breakfast recently, and I begged for the recipe—only to find out that the batter was made using a boxed mix. How easy is that? (For the record, I have nothing whatsoever against boxed mixes; I usually just like the challenge of creating my own recipes.)

Our hostess added a few more blueberries, a little chopped rhubarb, and a simple crunchy topping, and I assure you we gobbled those muffins up with enthusiasm.

Vicki Broeckel is the heart and soul behind The Parsonage, a lovely old home surrounded by an oasis of trees in the middle of the rolling hills of the Washington Palouse.

The Parsonage, seen from the Highway.

When you make a reservation at The Parsonage, you get the house to yourself. The whole house. (And it’s big!) Vicki lives down the road, but comes in each morning with a huge hamper of food to make a hearty breakfast for her guests. She is a fabulous artist (some of her paintings adorn the walls of The Parsonage) and her creativity also extends to the colorful food she serves

All big blue eyes and energy, Vicki seems to magically produce a meal in seconds, then whisks the dishes into the dishwasher, chats for a moment, and disappears. We coaxed her to stay and visit as long as possible, because she’s so much fun.

And that food!

Her blueberry rhubarb muffins are in the background of this photo. Oh, so good. She told me how she made them, but I didn’t get exact measurements, so my recipe may be a little different, but it’s close to what we enjoyed at that kitchen table.

Easy Blueberry Rhubarb Muffins
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Makes approximately 15 muffins. Brown sugar in the topping gives the muffins a darker, more rustic look. Half brown sugar, half white gives them a lighter appearance. Your choice!
Ingredients
  • TOPPING:
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar (or ¼ brown sugar, ¼ white for a lighter look)
  • ½ cup quick oats
  • ⅓ cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • MUFFINS:
  • 1 box Krusteaz Wild Blueberry Muffin Mix
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup oil (I used canola)
  • ⅔ cup milk (you can use water if you wish)
  • ¼ cup blueberries or huckleberries (in addition to the canned berries in mix)
  • ¼ cup fresh rhubarb, diced - more to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 400 F. Add paper liners to muffin pans. Because of the extra berries and rhubarb, this recipe will make about 15 muffins.
  2. TOPPING: Melt butter. Stir in sugar, oats, flour, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
  3. MUFFINS: In a medium bowl, combine the package of dry mix, eggs, oil, and milk. Stir just until combined.
  4. Open and drain the can of wild blueberries. Add, along with fresh berries and diced rhubarb. Fold in gently.
  5. Fill liners about ⅔ full. Cover batter in each cavity generously with topping and bake approximately 20 minutes.
  6. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then move muffins to cooling rack. Serve slightly warm.

I lived in Seattle for fifty years, so I’m a little bit “local loyal” when it comes to ingredients. I don’t get paid to promote products . . . I just trust Darigold and Krusteaz. I used local eggs, huckleberries from our nearby mountains, and fresh rhubarb from The Parsonage. Good ingredients make a difference!

Hint: Don’t be stingy with that topping. Cover the batter with a liberal hand. On this batch I used half brown sugar and half white for a lighter color.

I thought I didn’t like rhubarb, but I was wrong. I only added a little to these muffins, but I think they’d be better with twice as much. The tart/sweet combination is delightful, and now I regret having destroyed our rhubarb plant. Thank goodness for farmers markets!

If you have a chance to visit southeastern Washington, I hope you’ll spend a night or two at The Parsonage. Here I am, fixated on the food, when there are so many other wonderful things to see and do. Visit the Pataha Flour Mill for dinner (donation only), a journey to see the Palouse Falls, or spend a quiet afternoon of bird watching on the front porch swing (I got photos of two owls). All are sure to bring you joy.

Lorinda