Continuing with all things mini and July being blueberry month…I made my famous blueberry tart – mini-sized!! Oh, I can’t believe how cute it came out. I prepared the tart dough, and then the next day – when I went to roll it out, I thought – WAIT!…I have miniature tart pans! Why not make tiny tarts instead of the usual normal sized tart?! And I’m so glad I did!!! Just looking at them makes me smile with miniature excitement… The tart dough recipe is adapted from the Classic Home Desserts cookbook, as is the blueberry tart recipe. In the shell list of ingredients, I went ahead and posted the amounts for 2 shells (in the parentheses) if you’re looking for a new pie/tart crust recipe for other pies. The directions below are for a normal 9-inch tart (serves about 8 ), but the 1 shell comes out perfect for about 22-24 mini tarts, and I reduced the amount of filling by half, and I was a few shells shy of filling – that’s ok because some of my mini tart shells weren’t greased properly so I couldn’t get the shell out of the pan. I plan to turn them into crumbly goodness atop some blueberry sorbet!! You could also opt to make the whole batch of filling, and use the remaining as a blueberry spread on scones or biscuits.. or toast.. or coconut ice cream.. or anything you can imagine to spread blueberries on!
1 shell (quantity for 2 shells):
1.5 (2.5) C buckwheat (for gluten-free) or AP flour
2 (4) TBSP sugar
pinch (1/4 tsp) salt
1/2 (1) C cold butter, cut into pieces
3 (5) TBSP ice water
Rich tart dough for 1 shell
3 pints fresh (or frozen if so inclined) blueberries, picked over
1/4 C cold water
2/3 C sugar, or less, depending on the berries’ sweetness
3 TBSP cornstarch
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1. Make the dough: If making the dough by hand, sift together the flour, sugar and salt into a large bowl. Cut in the butter with 2 knives, pastry cutter, or fingertips, until the mixture is the texture of crumbly meal. *This can also be done in a food processor – pulsing briefly until crumbly. Add the liquid gradually and process just until the dough begins to clump together.
2. Sprinkle 3 TBSP of the liquid over the flour mixture and toss with a fork until the pastry just comes together. Add more liquid if necessary, but do not moisten the dough too much. Gather the pastry together in a ball and flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic or wax paper and chill for at least 1 hour before rolling out.
3. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into a large circle about 1/8-inch thick. Fit it, without stretching, into a lightly buttered 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Trim off the excess dough, leaving 3/4-inch overhang. Tuck in the overhang, pressing the edges of the dough against the sides of the tart pan to form a high, smooth border. Chill the tart shell while you preheat the oven to 400 F.
4. Line the pastry with a sheet of lightly buttered foil, buttered side down. Weigh down the foil with dried beans, rice or pie weights (with the mini tart I didn’t have to weigh them down or cover them); place the tart pan on a heavy baking sheet. Bake on a center rack until the sides are set, 8-10 minutes. Carefully remove the weights and foil. Continue to bake the shell, pricking any air bubbles with a fork, until the dough is golden and baked through, 10-13 minutes longer. Cool the tart shell on a wire rack. For minis: Just bake uncovered for 8-10 minutes, then remove to cool.
5. Make the filling: Combine about 2 C of the blueberries with the cold water in a heavy nonreactive sacuepan. Cover and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, use a fork to stir together the sugar, cornstarch, and cinnamon. Use a zester or vegetable peeler to remove the zest from the lemon; reserve a few long, thin strands of zest for garnish. Finely chop the remaining zest and add it to the sugar mixture. Juice the lemon, and stir the juice into the sugar mixture; add this mixture to the berries. Boil gently, uncovered stirring constantly, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for about 10-15 minutes. You want it to not come back together immediately when you scrape the pan with a spoon….
6. Set aside about 1 C of the nicest looking blueberries. Stir the remaining uncooked berries into the cooled berry mixture. Pour the blueberry mixture into the tart shell, mounding it carefully. Top with an even layer of the reserved uncooked berries and garnish with a few strands of the reserved lemon zest. Chill covered with plastic wrap, if not serving immediately.
7. If the tart was chilled longer than 30 minutes, remove it from the fridge a few minutes before serving. Gently remove the tart from the rim of the pan. Top each slice (or mini-tart) with a sprinkling of powdered sugar.
**Note: Just be aware that if you use the buckwheat flour for gluten-free goodness, it’ll have a ‘healthier’ taste to the crust, than it would if it was an all-purpose flour. So if you’re wanting something that has that bad-for-you appeal, use AP…but if you want to feel like you’re doing your body some good by eating dessert, use buckwheat or even a whole wheat if you can have gluten!
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