I am doing the happy dance this month because it’s Blueberry Season here in Florida! There is always something wonderful in season in this sunny paradise, but I have to admit to being partial to berries, especially BLUEberries. I could eat them morning, noon and night and when they are in season, I actually do. Starting with muffins or pancakes, moving on to salads or wraps and ending with desserts, I manage to sneak a lot of blueberries into our diet. I love Fresh From Florida produce!
Because the temperature has actually been in the mid-80s, I have been turning on my oven less and less. My family was hankering for a pie, but I wanted something lighter. For this Blueberry Cream Dessert, the oven was on just to make the pretzel crust. Usually, I would make a graham cracker crust for such a dessert, but I had inadvertently picked up a bag of unsalted pretzels from the store. Have you seen unsalted pretzels? They are considered an abomination in my house bordering on sacrilege. The bag would have sat in my cupboard, uneaten, for the rest of eternity had I not offered them up as a dessert crust.
Because I love Florida produce so much, I added some Key Lime juice to the filling. Blueberries and limes are such a lovely combination, especially when they are both locally grown. The sweet of the berries gets a little zing from the limes. All in all, this dessert was heavenly. Everyone loved it and sadly, it was gone faster than anyone liked. I had to tell a few sad kids that their sibling had eaten the last piece.
Blueberry Cream Dessert with Pretzel Crust
(note: to make this gluten free, simply use gf pretzels).
2 cups crushed pretzels (if using the no-salt variety, add 1/2 tsp salt)
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
12 oz blueberries
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 cup water, divided
8oz cream cheese
2 tsp key lime juice
1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
Combine melted butter, pretzel crumbs and 2 Tbsp sugar in a small bowl.
Press the pretzel mixture into the bottom of a greased 9×9 pan.
Bake for 8 minutes in a preheated 400 degree oven.
Remove pan from oven and set on a wire rack to cool.
Meanwhile, combine blueberries, 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water in a saucepan.
Slightly squish half of the berries with a potato masher and heat the pan on medium.
Combine the remaining 1/4 cup water with the cornstarch in a small bowl.
When the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is bubbly, add the cornstarch mixture while stirring the blueberries.
Continue to stir constantly while this mixture thickens.
Remove from heat and let cool completely.
When crust is cooled, beat together the cream cheese, lime juice and sweetened condensed milk.
Pour the cream cheese mixture over the crust.
Refrigerate for 20 minutes and then pour the topping over the filling.
Let the dessert set up in the refrigerator for another hour or more before serving.
The longer it stays in the fridge, the better it will hold it’s shape when cut into squares and served.
What is your favorite recipe using blueberries? Do you keep a stash in your freezer to use after the season is over?