It’s blueberry season in Texas
Posted on May 28, 2012
I have been neglecting to share too many goodies with you. Work and house have interfered with important communicae involving homemade grapefruit curd slathered on whole grain shortbread with bits of carrot and apple baked inside. Zucchini casserole with just the right crispy top. Each are worthy of an entry and will get their day in the blog sun.
But then blueberry season just came at me out of nowhere. And the thing is, Texas blueberries are here one minute and gone the next. So I got a whole bunch of them, and after eating a little in my breakfast all week long, I figured out what to do with them.
I knew this recipe was a winner as soon as I read it. I made two changes: I used my own crust recipe (the original was very complicated, and I don’t like a sweet crust), and I lowered the sugar content in the custard (the berries are very sweet, and I used a few extra).
Sweet blueberries baked until they pop, lemony custard, and a nutty tender crust. It is this combination that should officially begin summer. Well, I know blueberries come later in other places, so humor me. Now you have a plan for when they do show up. And although it presents fancy, it is super easy.
The crust was spread a little thin (I forgot to make a little extra for the 10 inch tart pan). And I baked it slightly too long, it was a little dark– but I actually loved the nutty taste it gave. Made me consider making this with actual nuts in the crust next time– some ground almonds or walnuts.
There are a couple versions of the tart floating around the blogosphere. Most notably on the New York Times Dining and Wine archives. But that one has 1/3 cup confectioners sugar in the crust, and 1 whole cup of sugar in the custard. It would be outrageously sweet– why bother with the fresh fruit? The others use either corn starch, gelatin, or tapioca– but with 3 egg yolks this seemed unnecessary (the custard set up very nicely with only a little help from flour and eggs). Considering every brand of non-organic buttermilk has artificial thickeners in it, I suppose if you want your tart to be rubbery you could add more thickeners, but it just isn’t necessary. I used organic low-fat buttermilk, but I prefer the full fat when I can get it organic.
Blueberry Buttermilk Tart
adapted from Gourmet, July 1990
1 ten inch tart crust, blind baked ( I use David Lebovitz’s French recipe)
2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, picked over
1 cup organic buttermilk
1/4 cup sugar plus 2 tablespoons
3 egg yolks
zest of one lemon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the tart crust in its mold onto a baking sheet. This makes it easier to handle. Spread the berries evenly in the tart crust. Blend buttermilk and all remaining ingredients together with a whisk until thoroughly combined. Pour over berries. Carefully transfer to the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Allow to cool about 15-20 minutes before removing tart from mold. Serve with fresh whipped cream. Note: a ten inch tart cut into 6 large pieces has about 350 calories per piece. Not bad for dessert!