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High Country Baking: Just berries blueberry tart

Vera Dawson
High Country Baking
Unfussy and delicious, this blueberry tart is simplicity as its best.
Photo by Vera Dawson

If you love blueberries, this tart has your name on it. It’s just berries in a crust, and there is nothing to detract from or compete with their splendor. Some of them are crushed with sugar and flour to thicken their juices and add sweetness, and the rest are piled on top before and after the tart is baked. It’s unfussy and delicious — simplicity at its best.

You choose the tart shell, and be sure to select a good one as it’s this dessert’s only other taste and texture. If you don’t have a favorite recipe for one, email me and I’ll send you mine. You also decide how much sugar to use; if your berries are really sweet use the lesser amount. Adding a glaze is up to you, too. It gives the berries a pretty shine, but they taste just fine without it. Don’t be tempted to use more berries than the recipe calls for; when I added extra berries to a tester I found that there were so many it made the tart hard to eat.

Just berries blueberry tart

Make in a shiny, metal 9-inch-tart pan with a removable bottom. This recipe works at any elevation.



Ingredients

  • Your favorite sweet tart shell, prebaked

Filling:

  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup superfine granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 4 to 4 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, divided

Glaze (optional):



  • 2 tablespoons seedless currant or raspberry jam
  • 1/2 teaspoon water or crème de cassis

Directions

  1. Optional: Bake your tart shell following the recipe’s directions. As soon as it comes out of the oven, brush the bottom and sides with a frothed egg white; you won’t need it all, just cover the inside of the shell with a thin coating. Place the pan back in the warm oven for a minute or two until the egg white dries. Cool the shell completely on a rack while leaving it in the pan. The egg white creates a barrier that prevents the crust from getting soggy once it’s filled.
  2. While the shell cools, preheat the oven to 400 degrees with a rack in the center position. Wash, dry and stem your blueberries. Give one or two a taste to determine their sweetness and decide how much sugar you’ll use.
  3. Add the sugar and flour to a mixing bowl and whisk to combine them well. Add 2 cups of the blueberries, stir to coat them with the dry ingredients, then smash them lightly until the dry ingredients are no longer visible and a thick paste with big chunks of berries forms.
  4. Scrape this into the cooled crust and level it. Distribute a cup of the remaining blueberries over the top. Place the pan on a baking sheet, cover the edge of the crust with strips of aluminum foil to prevent it from browning further and bake until the filling is bubbly; start checking at 30 minutes. Remove the tart from the oven, arrange the rest of the whole berries on top and let it cool.
  5. If you choose to glaze the berries, heat the jam in a microwave oven or on your stovetop until it liquifies. Stir in the water or crème de cassis, brush it on the berries and let it set. It thickens as it cools but will remain sticky. Store the tart in the refrigerator for several days. Serve it warm or at room temperature.

Editor’s Note: This filling recipe is a variation of one published by Taste of Home.

Vera Dawson

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