This is not an ordinary blueberry tart…
… This is a berry blueberry tart.
It’s not made with the I-don’t-know-what’s-in-there store-bought blueberry jam but it’s made with real, whole blueberries.
Store-bought jams are excellent on bread, but they are way too sweet for me. So, as I still have some frozen blueberries, I decided to make some real-fruits blueberry tarts.
3-cm tart shells
Using the same dough recipe for my apple pie, I opted to make mini tarts instead of one big tart. I made them in two sizes – 3-cm and 4-cm (measured at the base of the tarts). Using the same recipe (for both the crust and blueberry mixture), you can also make a blueberry pie (which, I believe, will taste insanely delicious!)
4-cm tart shells
For the blueberry filling, I played around with two methods. For the first method, I filled the tarts with the blueberry filling directly. For the second, I cooked the blueberry filling until the blueberries soften and release liquid; and became a syrupy blueberry jam.
The first method!
The first method will definitely work better if you are making a blueberry pie instead of a tart – it’s tougher to pile the blueberries in the tart; it’s harder to estimate how many blueberries should go into each tart; and most of the time, you will end up over-filling the tarts, resulting in the filling to bubble violently until the sides of the tarts are stained. If you are baking a blueberry pie, all the blueberry juices will be kept nicely inside the pie.
Looks ugly, isn't it? ):
But... tasty nonetheless (:
The second method requires a little effort (which is not difficult at all!), but you get a more consistent result – the blueberry filling will not overflow, and your tarts will stay nice and pretty. (:
I will share the recipe below; for step-by-step photos in making the tart crust, refer to the apple pie recipe! And again, I am submitting this to Aspiring Bakers #10: Easy as Pie (August 2011), hosted by Janine of Not the Kitchen Sink!
Berry Blueberry Tarts (makes a 60-70 3-cm tarts or 30-40 4-cm tarts)
adapted from 500 Pies & Tarts
For the dough:
280 grams plain flour
⅛ teaspoon salt
225 grams cold good quality unsalted butter
1 large egg
2 teaspoon white vinegar
2 tablespoon ice-cold water
For the filling:
600 grams blueberries, fresh or frozen
115 grams light brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon cinnamon
The steps seemed really long and tedious to read, but I'm trying to make the steps as detailed as possible, so don't be put off by the length of the steps! (:
For step-by-step photos of the crust-making, refer to the apple pie recipe! (:
Making the dough:
Combine the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Cut the butter into small chunks and add the chunks into the flour mixture.
Use a pastry blender or a fork, cut the butter into the flour mixture. Alternatively, use two knives in a criss-crossing motion. Work fast and try not to let the butter melt. Blend the butter into the flour mixture until it has a consistency of damp sand, with a few pea-sized pieces of butter remaining.
In a separate small bowl, beat the egg with the vinegar and water together with a fork or a wire whisk. Slowly pour the egg mixture over the flour, stirring the mixture with a fork until the mixture is moist. The dough should stick together and hold the form of a small ball.
Wrap the dough with plastic wrap and flatten it (either by hand or with a rolling pin) so it forms a flat disc that fills the corners of the plastic wrap. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for a minimum half an hour.
Prepare the filling while the dough is refrigerating.
At this point, you can choose to finish making the tarts another day. The dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen for 3 months.
Making the filling:
Place the blueberries, sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon in a saucepan. Place the saucepan over medium heat and warm the blueberries mixture.
Soon, the blueberries will start to soften and release juices. Gently mash the blueberries and cook the mixture until it begins to boil. The mixture will be thick and syrupy. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature before using.
The blueberry jam filling can be kept in a container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
Rolling out the dough and lining the tart pans:Remove the dough from the fridge (if the dough has been chilled for a long time, soften it lightly by letting it rest at the room temperature for a couple of minutes before it's soft enough to work with).
Place a large piece of parchment paper (or baking paper) on the table top. Sprinkle the top of the parchment paper with plain flour. Unwrap the dough (remove the plastic wrap) and place the dough on top of the flour. Sprinkle the top of the dough with more flour. Dust the rolling pin with flour and roll out the dough from the centre of the disc to the edge, until the crust is the desired thickness, which is usually about ⅛-inch (3mm) thick, and at least 1 inch wider than the pie dish. Keep dusting the rolling pin while rolling to prevent the dough from sticking on to the rolling pin.
Use a 5-cm ring mould and cut out rounds.
Use a 6-cm ring mould and cut out rounds.
Transfer the rounds into the tart pans and press the dough in gently. Gather the scraps together, re-roll the dough and repeat until you have used up all the dough.
Assembly, baking and serving:
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
Using a spoon, fill the tarts with the blueberry filling. Fill it until ⅔-full. Do not fill more than that! Otherwise the filling will overflow and the tarts won't look as pretty.
Place the tarts in the centre rack.
3-cm tartsBake for 10 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius. Lower the temperature to 190 degrees Celsius and continue to bake for 8-10 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.
Bake for 10 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius. Lower the temperature to 195 degrees Celsius and continue to bake for 10-12 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.
Cool the tarts completely on a wire rack. Remove the tarts from the tart pans and serve.
If you'd like to bake a blueberry pie instead:
- Divide the dough into 2 before refrigerating.
- Roll out one dough disc and line a 9-inch pie dish.
- Combine the blueberries, sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon and 28 grams plain flour in a mixing bowl and tumble them into the pie dish. Dot with 1 tablespoon unsalted butter.
- Roll out the other dough disc and put it on top of the pie, crimping the edges. Make 4-6 slits in the crust to allow steam to escape.
- Bake at 220 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes. Lower the temperature to 175 degrees Celsius and continue baking for 35-40 minutes until the crust is golden brown. Cool on a wire rack and serve.
I've not tried this version, so I'm not sure whether the baking times are accurate! (:
- Use only the best-quality butter you can find for the pie crust. And cold butter is a must!
- If you like vegetable shortening in the crust, use 115 grams vegetable shortening and 115 grams of unsalted butter.
- If you have a food processor, by all means use it to make the dough! Combine the flour, salt and butter in the food processor; pulse several times until the mixture resembles damp sand. Don't overdo it!
- Do flour the table top / counter top, dough, and the rolling pin well before rolling to prevent sticking. If the dough does stick to the table top, use a spatula / palette knife to gently ease the dough.
- Store the baked pie in an air-tight container in a fridge. Reheat in a 150 degrees Celsius oven for 15 minutes when you want to eat it.