It is blueberry season. As I walked into the store one night, boxes of blueberries were lined up neatly in front, welcoming me and beckoning as if they were asking me to take them home. The price too, was much more reasonable than usual. Unable to resist the temptation, I bought two large boxes – one box to eat freely, and the other to make a blueberry tart.
The fruit tarts I had in France were exceptional. In contrast to the North American ones, which are tooth-achingly sweetened with spoonfuls of sugar, the French ones were much more subtle in their taste. They don’t add excessive amount of sugar. They let the flavours of the blueberries do its on talking, without any assistance of the sugar, lemon, or other flavourings, which is what a fruit tart should be.
This recipe is simple. No pre-baking of the tart shell, no resting, no waiting game. The ingredients are simple too. With just a sprinkle of sugar on top, the sugar acts as a light complement, rather than a competitor, to the blueberries.
The trick to this tart is the melba toast. Crumbled and distributed on bottom of the tart, it soaks up the moisture from the berries as they cook, keeping the crust crispy. I was skeptical with this method at first, but the crunchy sound coming from the tart crust as I bit into it threw away any doubts that I previously had out the door.
French-Style Blueberry Tart【法式藍莓撻】
- For the tart pastry:
- 250g of flour
- 50 mL of cold water + more if you live in a dryer climate
- 100g of cold butter (about 1 stick), cut into cubes
- pinch of salt
- For the filling:
- 1lb of fresh blueberries
- 2 eggs
- 40 mL of cream
- 2 melba toasts
- 1 tsp of sugar
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit on the bake setting. You will also need a 9-inch tart dish for this recipe. If it is not non-stick, butter the dish.
- In a medium mixing bowl, add the flour, salt, and cold butter pieces and mix until evenly distributed. With your fingertips, rub the butter pieces into the flour until they are about irregular pea-size. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and add 50mL of cold water at once. Mix and knead with your hands until the dough forms a ball. If your dough is still too crumbly and dry, you could add a bit more cold water and knead until the dough is just formed. This may happen if you live in an area where the air is dry. Conversely, if you live in a more humid climate, you may find that your dough needs less water. As long as you have enough water to form the dough without it being overly wet, it is fine.
- Tip the dough out on to a work surface and knead several times to incorporate any loose crumbs. Roll the dough out with a rolling pin into a round disc that is approximately 1cm thick and is large enough to cover your fluted flan/tart dish. Then, gently place the rolled out dough into the tart pan, pressing the corners, and trim off the excess from the edges. With a form, randomly prick the tart shell to prevent ballooning when it is baked.
- Crush the melba toast with a rolling pin into rough crumbs, then distribute it evenly on the bottom of the tart pan. Add the blueberries into the tart dough.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together 2 eggs with 40mL of cream drizzle it into the blueberry tart. Sprinkle the sugar on top.
- Bake the tart in the middle rack of the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the tart from the oven and let it rest on a wire rack for another 30 minutes. Dust with icing sugar before serving.
Adapted from Tarte aux Brimbelles recipe from le Carnet de Julie.
This post/recipe is first published and seen on http://www.YuenShan.com.