Finding My Thrill


There are few things so valuable as friends who have blueberry bushes. This week, as we have been coordinating travel plans to Slow Food’s Terra Madre in Torino this October (more on that in the coming weeks and months). Linda Chapman and Deryl Dale of Harvest Moon Flower Farm have stopped by a couple of times, always bearing blueberries.

These are perfect blueberries – fat and sweet, a little tart, bursting with flavor. Some of them have found their way into our cereal bowls and once for dessert I just poured heavy cream over them, sprinkled with them with sugar, and drifted away in a blueberry dream.

Twice I have baked those berries into a tart. Anyone who has read my food column knows I have a lead thumb when it comes to pastry making, so when I say I have found an easy tart recipe, you can believe that it is foolproof. It’s beautiful too, and drop-dead delicious – light, faintly lemony, full of berries and  n a rich shortbread crust. It comes from the July, 1990 issue of Gourmet, by way of (Recipe follows)


Blueberry Buttermilk Tart

[CB’s note: I stink at rolling out tart crusts and this rich dough did not make it easy for me. But I did my best and just patted the rest into the pan and it was fine. Foolproof, as I say, even from such fools as I.]

For the shell
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
1 large egg yolk, beaten with 2 tablespoons ice water
raw rice for weighting the shell

For the filling
1 cup buttermilk
3 large egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups picked over blueberries
confectioners’ sugar for sprinkling the tart
whipped cream for serving

Make the shell:
In a bowl stir together the flour, the sugar, and the salt, add the butter, and blend the mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Add the yolk mixture, toss the mixture until the liquid is incorporated, and form the dough into a ball. Dust the dough with flour and chill it, wrapped in plastic wrap, for 1 hour. Roll out the dough 1/8 inch thick on a floured surface, fit it into a 10-inch tart pan with a removable fluted rim, and chill the shell for at least 30 minutes or, covered, overnight. Line the shell with foil, fill the foil with the rice, and bake the shell in the middle of a preheated 350°F oven for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and rice carefully, bake the shell for 5 to 10 minutes more, or until it is pale golden, and let it cool in the pan on a rack.

Make the filling;
In a blender or food processor blend together the buttermilk, the yolks, the granulated sugar, the zest, the lemon juice, the butter, the vanilla, the salt, and the flour until the mixture is smooth, spread the blueberries evenly over the bottom of the shell, and pour the buttermilk mixture over them. Bake the tart in the middle of a preheated 350°F oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the filling is just set.

Let the tart cool completely in the pan on the rack, sprinkle it with the confectioners’ sugar, sifted, and serve it at room temperature or chilled with whipped cream.

From Gourmet July 1990

2 Comments Add yours

  1. scott says:

    I heard some nutritionist that you could completely sustain yourself on Grapenuts with blueberries and milk.


  2. looks gorgeous! yummy!


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