Friday, August 1, 2008

Blueberry Tart

I wasn't planning on making a blueberry tart, but when I went to my local market, they were selling two pounds of blueberries for six dollars. Who can pass that up? A good tart dough recipe is key to a good tart and I think I've found a good one from Once Upon A Tart, a great cookbook from the bakery in New York. In most cases, I like to fully bake the tart shell so I can make the filling on the stove top and add it to the crust as the final step.

Blueberry Tart Filling

6 cups blueberries divided
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar

Add 3 cups blueberries, sugar and water to a medium saucepan and simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. The blueberries will begin to break down and the mixture will turn into a wonderful, syrupy blueberry mess. After about 15 minutes, remove from heat and let cool. Place filling into fully baked tart crust (recipe to follow) and top with remaining blueberries in concentric circles. Melt jam in a saucepan on the stove and brush jam over blueberries. Chill until ready to serve.

Tart Crust
Adapted from Once Upon A Tart
Makes two tart crusts (freeze the second for your next tart)

2 1/2 cups flour
1 T sugar
1 t salt
3/4 cup butter cold, sliced into 1/4 inch pads
5 T shortening
3 - 6 T ice water

Add flour, sugar and salt to a food processor fitted with the metal blade and pulse once or twice to make sure it's well mixed. Add butter and shortening and pulse until small balls start to form within the dough. Dump mixture into a large mixing bowl and sprinkle with 3 T ice water. Use a wooden spoon to pull half the dough together into a ball, adding additional Ts of water one at a time until the dough comes together. Repeat with remaining half dough. you can use your hands in place of the spoon, but the heat from your hand may cause the butter in the dough to melt which is a big no no when making tart crust. Pat each ball into a small disc, wrap with plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400*

Remove one dough disc from the fridge and roll out to an 11 inch circle. I slide the removable bottom from the tart pan under the dough to help transfer it to the tart pan. Shape the dough to fit the pan and cut off extra dough. Fit a piece of aluminum foil to the dough and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake in oven for 10 minutes then remove foil and pie weights. Continuing baking for 15 more minutes until the crust is golden. Let cool and then fill with desired topping.