When Kristi and Bill Harris’s three children stepped up to the soda fountain counter at Paupack Blueberry Farm and ordered scoops of homemade blueberry ice cream, they stepped into a 50-year tradition of blueberry bliss. This summer, the farm is celebrating half a century of welcoming folks to pluck ripe berries from the 15 acre expanse of laden bushes and enjoy the blueberry treats and gifts at the family’s charming country store.
“Our family comes here regularly during the summer,” says Kristi, whose own parents brought her to the store as a child for fresh blueberry pastries and ice cream. “Honestly, I’m obsessed with the blueberry oat squares,” she confesses. “And I want my children to experience the fun of picking their own berries, just as I did.”
Donald and Shirley Coutts purchased the blueberry farm in 1964, and now three generations of Coutts family members help run the farm and store, while Shirley still hand-rolls out the piecrusts for her famous blueberry pies. So many people come into the store and say, “I came here when I was a kid, and they are thrilled to still find my Mom’s blueberry muffins in the bakery case.”
The country store is a tribute to all things blueberry. Coutts home-made jams, spreads, and syrups line the shelves, and include blueberry blends with raspberry, cherry, rhubarb, peach, grape, and strawberry. “Champagne Jelly is new this year,” says Carol. “And there is quite a bit of Champagne in it!” The pastry case is filled with blueberry treats, including the popular Blueberry Gems, a butter cookie with a dab of jam in the center. The blueberry gifts range from teas, to tea-towels, to trinkets.
Paupack Blueberry Farm is located at184 Gumbletown Road in Paupack, PA. For more information, call 570.226.9702 or visit paupackblueberryfarm.com
Recipe: Shirley’s Blueberry Muffins
½ cup milk
¼ cup vegetable oil
1½ cups flour
½ cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 cup Paupack Blueberry Farm Blueberries (fresh or frozen)
Grease (bottom only) off muffin pan or use paper liners. Beat egg, stir in milk and oil. Combine remaining ingredients (except blueberries) and add to the egg mixture. Stir just until mixed. Mixture will be lumpy. Add blueberries and stir gently. Fill muffin cups about ¾ full. Bake at 400° for about 20 minutes or until golden. Makes one dozen muffins.