Tuesday, July 28, 2009
This post has nothing to do with weddings, but a lot to do with more blueberries! I think this has been a summer of blueberries for me. There must have been a couple of weeks where I was consuming them by the pounds, though I'm tempering that now. I like to think of them as fruits with the best ROI (return on investment). They're plentiful and not too expensive. They go well with other foods like yogurt and cereal, and are high in antioxidants. They're refreshing, and when I use them in desserts, I don't have to worry about peeling, slicing and all that--just wash and go.
So deciding on trying this recipe was a no-brainer. There are several things I love about this recipe. It incorporates two types of blueberry filling: a sort of blueberry jam (made by cooking the blueberries with some other ingredients and squishing them, which is kind of fun--almost like popping bubble wrap), and fresh blueberries with a glaze--it's kind of like eating both a blueberry pie and a fresh blueberry tart at the same time. The crust also includes ground almonds which adds more complexity to the texture and flavor. I did have to improvise a little, and crush the almonds by hand, then mix the crust with a pastry mixer since I don't have a food processor, but the effort was certainly worth it.
Adapted from epicurious.com
Makes about 8 servings
For the filling:
1. Heat in a medium saucepan over medium heat, coarsely mashing the blueberries, until mixture begins to boil and thickens:
- 3/4 pound of blueberries
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 T. lemon juice
2. Whisk together the following, then add to the mixture from #1 slowly, and continue to cook for another couple of minutes until the mixture boils and thickens more:
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 t. cornstarch
3. Add to the mixture:
- 3 T. unsalted butter
- 1 t. grated lemon peel
4. Remove from heat, cover and chill overnight.
For the crust (without food processor):
1. Lightly butter a 9 inch tart pan with a removable bottom.
2. Lightly toast 1/4 sliced almonds, then crush by hand using a mortar and pestel (or any other means available to finely crush the almonds).
3. Transfer to a medium bowl, and mix with the following using a pastry blender until a coarsely combined:
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 2 T. sugar
- 1/4 t. salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter, chilled (which has been cut into cubes, about 1 T. each)
4. Continue mixing in:
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/4 t. almond extract
5. Form the mixture into a ball then flatten into a disk. Press dough into the bottom and sides of the tart pan, and freeze for about half an hour. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
6. Line the crust with foil, and bake for about 12 minutes. Remove the foil, then bake for another 18 minutes until crust is golden brown. Allow the crust to cool completely.
1. Spread filling into the crust.
2. Spread on top of the crust:
- 3/4 pounds of fresh blueberries
3. Heat and pour over the fresh blueberries:
- 1/2 cup red currant jelly (or other preferred flavor)
4. Garnish tart with more lightly toasted almond slices (optional).
5. Cover with foil and chill for about 2 hours.
6. To serve, push up the bottom of the tart pan to remove the sides and place on a serving platter.