It’s blueberry season! Seems like I just wrote about the pleasure of harvesting fresh berries for breakfast. There’s been a slog of frosty Maine winter since then, making the barefoot trek to the garden especially gratifying. The components of this dessert can be adapted to create other goodies; take liberties when taste and larder dictate. The base is a basic “Pate Sucree” or short sweet crust. It’s spread with a rich GF and dairy free pastry cream. Fresh blueberries, raspberries, peaches, and or slivered plums are laden on top and held in place by a drizzle of melted fruit jelly. Chill for an hour or so and serve solo or with a dollop of whipped cream.
Fresh Blueberry Tart (Serves 6-8)
SWEET PASTRY CRUST INGREDIENTS:
1 cup (4.75 oz.) tapioca flour (plus a little more for kneading)
1 cup (4.5 oz.) confectioners’ sugar (plus a little more for rolling out)
3/4 cup (4.25 oz.) cornstarch
3/8 cup (2.5 oz.) millet flour
1/4 cup (1 oz.) sweet rice flour
1 teaspoon xantham gum
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, well beaten
1 cup (8 oz.) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1. Combine the dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer – stir on low to blend.
2. With the motor on low, add the pieces of cold butter and continue on low until the mixture resembles corn meal.
3. Add the egg and continue mixing until the dough comes together.
4. Turn onto a GF/tapioca floured surface and quickly and lightly knead 8-10 times to incorporate about 1/8 cup flour (use more if the dough feels too sticky.) Form a ball. Cut the ball in half and pat into disks – one 1″ thick, the other 2″ thick. Wrap in waxed paper and chill for at least and hour and up to 24 hours. At this point the 2″ disk can be frozen for later use.
5. Preheat the oven to 375 F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
6. Dust a clean surface with 1-2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar and roll out the dough into an informal (10 inch) circle about 1/4 inch thick. Gently raise and crimp the edges. Chill the pre-baked crust for 10-15 minutes. Bake for 12-15 minute or until lightly browned. Set aside to cool.
PASTRY CREAM INGREDIENTS:
2 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup almond milk
1/4 cup (1 oz.) almond flour (substitute 1 ounce processed cashews or pinenuts)
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon almond extract or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pinch sea salt
1. Combine the yolks, cornstarch, and sugar in a heat proof bowl and whisk to blend well.
2. In a medium sauce pan heat the almond milk until steaming. Whisk into the egg mixture and return all to the sauce pan.
3. Cook over a medium heat until the sauce thickens (3-4 minutes – you’ll know.)
4. Remove from the heat and add the nut “flour”, coconut oil, almond extract, and salt. Whisk to blend well. Set aside to cool.
FRUIT TOPPING INGREDIENTS:
2-3 cups fresh blueberries (Other fresh fruit. If using raspberries make certain they’re dry before placing on top of the custard.)
1/4 cup fruit jam (blueberry, raspberry, apricot, even sweet marmalade)
1/4 cup apple, currant, or quince jelly
1. Transfer the cooled pastry crust to a flat serving plate. Spread the pastry cream over the crust using more at the edges to create a shallow well to hold the berries.
2. Place a line of berries in a ring around the outer most edge of the tart. Scatter and mound the rest of the fruit until the inside of the circle is covered.
3. Heat the jam and jelly in a small saucepan – whisk to blend as they melt. Remove from the heat and gently spoon/spread over the fruit layer, covering it all. Refrigerate for an hour before serving. This can be assembled in the morning and served that evening.
Serve with whipped heavy cream!