Note: this was made before becoming a gluten-free blog. Contains gluten.
Photographed by me
Oh dear, where to begin. Right, the beginning. We had been invited over to family friends of ours for dinner, who I hadn’t seen for years (years as in braces and overall days) and my husband hadn’t even met them. The hostess in me decides to bring a tart for dessert. Why I decide on a tart when I had never made one before if beyond me. If you asked me now about this experience <insert light chuckle>, I would probably say that it was a bit challenging, but fun, honestly. Now, if you asked my husband about this experience, well he might use a different word than “fun”. So we’re not going to ask him. Let’s be clear on one thing, I was working with an 11-inch tart pan, not a 9-inch, which is what the recipe was measured for. My husband (god bless the man) suggested adding a half to the recipe [below] and he says, “Lisa, this is the fun part of baking”. Luckily, he still has all 10 fingers because he needed them to calculate the new measurements by hand when google and my calculator failed me. Did I mention my husband was in the hospitality program in college and has already made pies, tarts, breads, etc.? Yes, he’s the expert. Why is more difficult asking for help from your husband than an professional or teacher? Anyways, I sucked up my pride and let him help. Long story, long. The crust ended up being thicker than I would have liked, but I was happy with how it looked overall. As for the taste test, my table of critics, which was the largest yet, gave the nod. I even got an email saying they all enjoyed it for breakfast the next morning. Baking challenge #3, big check!
If this is your first time baking a tart, might I suggest having a glass of wine and the the right size tart pan before you begin.
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for dusting
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
8 Tbsp (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
6 cups (6 1/2 pint containers) fresh blueberries, rinsed and dried
2 Tbsp cornstarch
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2/3 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
Preheat oven 375 degrees (F). In a food processor, combine flour, sugar, salt, and butter; process until large moist crumbs form (dough should hold together when squeezed).
Transfer dough to a 9-inch round tart pan with a removable bottom; with floured fingers, press evenly into bottom and up sides. Freeze until firm, about 15 minutes; prick bottom of dough all over with a fork. Bake until golden, 20-25 minutes; cool completely.
Meanwhile, reserve 1 cup of the prettiest blueberries for topping. In a medium saucepan, bring 1/4 cup water and 1 1/2 cups berries to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat; simmer, stirring occasionally, until berries begin to break down, 3 to 4 minutes.
In a small bowl, mix cornstarch with 2 Tbsp water; stir into berries in pan (slowly!). Add lemon zest and juice, sugar, and salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Stir in remaining 3 1/2 cups fresh berries. Immediately pour hot berry mixture into cooled tart shell, and smooth with a spatula.
Scatter reserve berries on top, pressing down lightly to help them adhere. Refrigerate until cool, about 30 minutes and up to overnight.
July 14 2010