Welcome back to Cooking the Books (where we try recipes found in, well, books!)
Amanda Flower’s who-done-it, Blueberry Blunder (An Amish Candy Shop Mystery #8) was an exploration into a genre I don’t normally frequent. As more of a literary fiction gal myself, my exposure to cozy mysteries has thus far been to admire the punny titles on the library’s paperback spinner rack: Another One Bites the Crust, Dim Sum of All Fears – you get the point. However, when I saw this recipe included in the back pages (Blueberry-and-Cream Fudge) I decided to take a leap for the sake of…research.
The plot: Bailey is a candy shop owner in Amish country Ohio, building her dream: a candy factory. When her contractor is murdered, she is the self-appointed sleuth out to clear her friend’s family name. There’s plenty of pleasant dialog, an adorable pet pig, and enough small-town festival charm to fuel a Hallmark movie. I did become more invested in the mystery as the novel progressed and found the Amish culture descriptions enlightening.
The recipe: I cooked up the fudge, refrigerated it, and brought it to work the next day. While it was set, it was difficult to get out of the pan. Pro tip: when it says “line the pan with parchment” line the bottom and the sides in one large piece. That way, the fudge can be lifted out to be cut and served.
My colleagues’ reactions:
The flavor: “More blueberry!” “I can’t believe I’m saying this – too sweet!”
The texture: “Creamy, but hard to get out of the pan.” “Texture was perfect.”
Overall: “Messy – probably needs to be refrigerated?” “I would eat this again!”
In summary: I am more than happy to move on from the cozy mystery genre, and despite my love of all things sweet, this recipe is not one I will try again.
Book and recipe: 2/5 stars
Bailey’s Blueberry-and-Cream Fudge
from Blueberry Blunder by Amanda Flower
1 cup fresh blueberries
½ T cornstarch
1 T lemon juice
¼ cup sugar
24 oz white chocolate chips
¼ stick of unsalted butter
14 oz sweetened condensed milk
Line a 9×9 pan with parchment.
Make the blueberry sauce. In a small pan, add blueberries, sugar, lemon juice and cornstarch over medium heat. Stir continuously and smash the blueberries until you have a thick sauce like a puree. Using a fine mesh strainer, push the puree through into a bowl.
Make the fudge cream. Over a double, add the white chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk and butter. Stir continuously to blend and until all the chocolate is melted.
Pour ⅓ of the white chocolate mixture into the 9×9 pan. Pour ⅓ of the blueberry sauce on top of the chocolate in the pan. Using a knife, swirl the white chocolate and blueberry together. Repeat these steps twice more.
Place the pan in fridge to set for at least three hours. Cut into pieces and eat. Fudge can last for one week in an airtight container.