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Red, White and Blueberry

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Red, White and Blueberry Photo: U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council

Red, White and Blueberry Pound CakeAlly and I were tossing ideas around for our upcoming holiday weekend. We've been blueberry crazy the last several weeks but have been limited on our annual handpicking adventures.

Two things happened at about the exact same time that sealed the theme for this article. I was researching some facts on blueberries when I came across the perfect Fourth of July recipe. At just about the exact same time Ally walked into the kitchen and suggested that I call our friend Louis Varnell.

Many people in Chattanooga know Louis as the director of the Southeastern Veteran's Museum and the History Company. You may have seen him Louis around the area dressed as a Civil War solider or an American WWII G.I. while offering verbal history lessons during an event. Or, you may have seen some of efforts in various movies or productions that he has consulted on.

Besides being a historian Louis grew up on a Blueberry farm. Today Louis and his wife Rene tend to the history related businesses as well as one of the area's oldest blueberry farms. It’s an adventure where customers can hand pick fresh blueberries. It's perfect for families, chefs or just someone that wants some fresh blueberries.

I knew things were coming together when Ally mentioned Louis and Rene just as I came across the recipe for a Red, White and Blueberry Pound Cake. Think about it; a patriotic blueberry recipe teamed up with a local Chattanooga area resident who's a living military historian who also grew up in the blueberry business. Talk about a nice fit!

So, this week I'm proudly handing over the reins of the Comfort Foodie to a few Blueberry specialists - Louis and Rene Varnell of Varnell Blueberry and the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council for their great recipe and photo.

Red, White and Blueberry Pound Cake
Recipe and photo are Courtesy of the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council
Ingredients
1 package (10 ounces) frozen pound cake
Raspberry-Orange Sauce (recipe follows)
1 container (8-ounces) whipped cream cheese
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice
1-½ cups fresh blueberries, divided
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
Instructions
Slice frozen pound cake lengthwise in three layers. Arrange in a single layer on a cookie sheet with top layer cut side up. Pierce layers with fork tines. Spread each with 2 tablespoons of the Raspberry-Orange Sauce. Let stand 10 to 15 minutes so that the cake absorbs the sauce. Meanwhile, in a bowl stir together cream cheese, sugar and orange juice until well blended.

To assemble cake
Place bottom layer on a serving plate. Spread evenly with a third of the cream cheese mixture. Arrange a third of the blueberries evenly over cream cheese. Drizzle about 1 tablespoon Raspberry-Orange Sauce over blueberries. Repeat with center slice of cake. Place top layer cut side down. Spread with remaining cream cheese mixture. Decorate cake to resemble an American flag using remaining blueberries and the strawberries. Serve with remaining Raspberry-Orange Sauce
Raspberry-Orange Sauce
InstructionsStir together until smooth 3/4 cup seedless raspberry jam and 6 tablespoons orange juice.

Kent Whitaker

Kent Whitaker, also known as "The Deck Chef," is a culinary writer and cookbook author. He's also penned Young Reader and History titles. The former winner of the Emeril Live Food Network Barbecue Contest also covers football, motorsports, and bass fishing. Kent currently lives in East Tennessee with his wife, son, and a couple of dogs that love when he fires up the smoker or grill.

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