I’ve always loved the concept of a tart. I think it’s the ease of preparation that appeals to me. The idea that you can whip up a pastry base and fill it with anything you like, whether sweet or savory is just exciting, and the ridges–I can’t get over the ridges. Any combination of summer fruit will make a beautiful tart. This buttery, comforting blueberry tart was inspired by The New York Times Dining & Wine Recipes of Summer Fruit.
It all starts by combining your dry ingredients with cold butter, egg yolks and ice water. It’s important that the butter is cold, so your dough comes together in the right consistency.
Once your dough is blended, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and cover with plastic wrap. I recommend refrigerating it overnight. If you don’t allow it to set long enough, here’s what happens…
…one big sticky mess! Just keepin’ it real. After 30 minutes in the freezer, my dough was firm on the outside, but once I began to roll it out, it stuck to the rolling-pin and the plastic wrap. I formed it back into a ball, and refrigerated it overnight.
It just needed to “chill” a little longer. Don’t we all? You’ll want to roll it out to be a little bigger than your tart pan.
The rolling-pin provides a nice vehicle for transferring the dough and keeps everything from falling apart.
Press the dough into the crevices of the pan, making sure it’s evenly distributed. Meanwhile, toss your blueberries in sugar and cornstarch, reserving a few to top off the tart just before cooking. The sugar adds the sweetness, the cornstarch thickens it up and gives it that comforting, pie-like texture. While mixing the blueberries together, crush a few of them with a fork to release the juices. (That’s Millie in the bottom right corner. Isn’t she cute? A great kitchen mate.)
Cover the crust with aluminum foil, then weight it down with dried beans or rice. It may seem strange, but it’ll keep the center of the dough from puffing up while cooking. Bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees.
When the crust comes out of the oven, it’ll still be pale, but not raw. It’s ready for the filling! Pile the blueberry mixture into the crust, then top with the remaining blueberries you reserved. Adjust the oven’s temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 30 minutes. A friend gave me these blueberries, farmed in Baxley, Georgia.
The tart bakes up beautifully and bubbly. You can serve it with whipped cream, cool whip, ice cream…the options are endless. A little dusting of powdered sugar and it comes to life! Look closely at the full blueberries compared to the ones that were crushed…great texture.
Those ridges are just gorgeous. The crust tastes so buttery and flaky, and the blueberries burst with sweetness in your mouth.
Serve it warm with a side of cold vanilla ice cream. The temperature difference does it for me every time! This recipe is a definite keeper.
New York Times Blueberry Tart
Yield: 8 or more servings
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into about 10 pieces
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 3 cups local blueberries, stemmed
- Confectioners’ sugar, or ice cream, whipped cream
1. Combine flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor; pulse once or twice. Add 8 tablespoons of butter and turn on machine; process until butter and flour are blended and mixture looks like cornmeal, about 10 seconds. Add egg yolks and 2 tablespoons ice water and pulse machine on and off a couple of times. Remove and gather mixture into a ball, adding a little more water if necessary. Wrap in plastic, flatten into a small disk, and freeze dough for about 15 minutes (or refrigerate for 30 minutes) to ease rolling. (You can also refrigerate for a day or two, or freeze for a week or so.)
2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Roll crust out on a board sprinkled with flour or sprinkle it lightly with flour and roll between two sheets of plastic. Roll with light pressure, from center out; if dough becomes soft or sticky while you’re rolling it, return it to refrigerator for 10 minutes or so. Continue to roll until diameter of dough is about 12 inches (for a 10-inch tart pan), then drape it over rolling pin and move it into pan. Press it firmly into bottom and sides, then prick all over with a fork. Line it with foil and weight with a pile of dried beans, rice (these can be reused for this purpose), or other weights that will sit flat on the surface. Bake 15 minutes, or until shell is no longer raw but is still quite pale. Remove from oven, reduce heat to 350 degrees and carefully remove weights and foil.
3. Combine sugar and cornstarch in a bowl. Toss with about 2 cups of berries, crushing some of berries with a fork. Pile berries into the tart crust, then top with remaining berries.
4. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until fruit mixture is bubbly. Cool. Serve warm or at room temperature, dusted with confectioners’ sugar, or topped with ice cream, whipped cream.
Visit the Georgia Blueberry Commission website for more recipe ideas! How do you like to eat blueberries?
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Food Network Star finalist Rebekah Faulk Lingenfelser is a food enthusiast and writer. Her blog, Some Kinda Good, features Southern, coastal recipes, locally sourced and in-season. A Georgia Southern University alumna, Rebekah also attended Savannah Technical College’s Culinary Institute of Savannah. To learn more, connect with Some Kinda Good on social media, or visit RebekahLingenfelser.com.
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