Pie

Fresh Blueberry Tart

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Once upon a time when I was a younger person who doesn’t know anything about baking, I lived in a building where they hold a yearly BBQ/potluck. The lady who lived opposite to me brought these amazing blueberry tarts. They were beautiful to look at, they tasted amazing. I didn’t think it is something I can make, cuz I couldn’t even get a basic sponge cake right.

But it is different now.

I have changed.

I can now read instructions properly! And I know what some of the jargon mean! I have the power of the internet to help explain things! So that is exactly what I am going to do since it is blueberries season now. So interestingly enough, when I was researching on recipes to use for this and this particular built of fruit tarts that consist of shell + custard + fruit only ever calls for berries and sometimes sliced peaches or kiwi. Cherry tarts, doesn’t seem to get done this way traditionally. Rather, they all seems to need a different base and baked. I am not sure why, but I was slightly disappointed that I couldn’t slice some cherries to add to the tart. I mean, I could, but I didn’t want to screw this up just in case the addition of cherries would destroy the universe or something.

This actually ended up a lot simpler than I thought. I already have a perfect tart dough. All I need is figure out that filling, and add them fruits. There are many different fillings, lemon cheesy cream is very popular. Also mascarpone based cream(I realize this is also cheese). I wanted to go for something really simple though, so I found the simplest version of crème pâttisière and decided that is what I am going to make.

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It looks very edible, and it is. But it is actually a little heavier than it looks.

Crème pâttisière sounds so fancy! (Look, I went to look up how to type all of these accents for you to be accurate) But it is just a fancy word for pastry cream, which is a fancy… well not really fancy soft custard. You already know I love custard, so. The recipe I ended up using is a touch on the sweet side for my taste, because my blueberries are also very sweet. So I’d recommend cutting down on the sugar a bit, or, use raspberries/blackberries instead of blueberries. Or, change nothing about it, it is still really good.

I realized most of the time fresh fruit tart also calls for a apricot jam glaze. Why apricot jam? It makes a nearly colourless glaze from what I read. If you use something that is darker like raspberry jam it will tint your fruit red or something. I can’t tell you for sure since I have not tried it myself. I also don’t have any jam at home so I opted for a dusting of icing sugar instead. Probably didn’t help with the sweetness. … if it is a problem for you. :>

Just realized I have now done two recipes in a row that require only egg yolks. Meaning, I now have at least 10 egg white sitting in the freezer. I think it’s high time we do something meringue-y, eh? 😀

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Doing these tart doughs take patience, but really isn’t difficult.

To make the French tart dough, see the recipe here. You can make ahead and make sure they are left to cool completely.

For the Crème pâttisière:
5 Egg Yolks
125g Granulated Sugar (try adjusting to 100g for a bit less sweet)
25g AP Flour
25g Corn Starch
500ml Milk
1 Vanilla Bean or 1 Tsp of Vanilla Extract

1. Beat the yolks and sugar in a bowl until it is a bit pale and thickened. You can beat it by hand it doesn’t need a lot of beating.

2. Whisk flour + corn starch + vanilla extract into the yolk mixture. If using a vanilla bean, split the pod and scrape out the seeds.

3. In a small sauce pan, heat the milk till it simmers. If using a vanilla pod, add the seeds and the pod in with the milk. Once the milk is heated up, remove the vanilla pod.

4. Pour half of the hot milk into the yolk+flour batter, keep whisking while you’re doing so. Once it is completely mixed in, add the rest of the milk. Do not stop whisking.

5. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and gently heat the mixture till it thickens up. Keep stirring the whole time or else it will clump up. Once it starts thickening up it will happen very fast so DO NOT STOP STIRRING. Or you can use a whisk, either way is fine.

6. Once the mixture has thicken to a gloopy consistency, remove from heat and strain it into a bowl. Now you have a couple options here, you can either add a few small blocks of butter to make this a richer custard, or whip up some whipping cream and fold some into the mixture for a lighter cream. Now since I did none of these things I won’t be able to tell you how much to use. Just want you to know this is an option.

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It may look funny but it is an important step!

7. Cover the custard with clingfilm pressed directly onto the surface of the cream to prevent a skin from forming.

8. Let Chill in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.

To Assemble the tart:
Some blueberries, or whatever berries you see fit (some, because it really depends on how packed you like your tarts)
Apparently not cherries though, for some reason

1.  Once the pastry cream is completely chilled, you can either pipe it into the tart shells, or spoon it. It really doesn’t matter because you are gonna cover the cream with a layer of fruit.

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I don’t take the tarts out from the tin until I am ready to serve them.

2. Pile on as much, or as little fruit as you like on the tart. If you keep the pastry cream level low so the fruit would stay level with the tart shell it might be easier to keep your fruit arrangement from crushing each other if you stack them in a box like I do. But if they don’t need to be transported, feel free to pile them as high as you like!

3. If you want to glaze them, you can get 1 Tsp or so apricot jam, heat it up slightly so it becomes liquid, strain out the bits, then brush it on the fruit to give it a nice glossy shine. Otherwise, just dust some icing sugar on the tarts and they will look just as nice! Now, bring them out to impress people!

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The icing sugar does bring a certain finishing touch to it you must admit. :>

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