Friday, July 8, 2011

Exquisite Blueberry Tart - A Taste of Paris!

I am so excited to share this recipe for an exquisitely delicious Blueberry Tart with you all.  One bite of this dessert transported me right back to the boulangeries in Paris, France, with their shelves and shelves of gorgeous tarts and other expertly-made decadent desserts.  Each one beckoning you to try a bite!  But wait...They are almost too pretty to eat!

A pic from our trip to Paris in 2009...This boulangerie was right down the street from our hotel.

Check out those gorgeous tarts!  Don't you want one?

The flavor of this Blueberry Tart is exceptional...I'm at a loss of words to even describe it to you!  Between the fresh orange zest, vanilla beans and nutmeg...I am speechless!

Suzanne and Maranne made this tart for me while they were here a few weeks ago.  I knew something special was in the works with one look into the kitchen.  They were hard at work kneading, mixing and stirring.  I was so impressed with the job they did!  They used fresh blueberries from the farmer's market, which just made the flavor even more vibrant.

There's a reason this tart is so amazing.  We found this recipe over on Zoe Bakes, and Zoe says:  "The tart shell and pastry cream are from Linda Dannenberg’s Paris Boulangerie-Pâtisserie. Linda got the pastry cream recipe from Stohrer, the oldest pâtisserie in Paris. The tart shell (pâte sablée) is from Gérard Mulot, another Paris favorite." 

Be sure to visit Zoe's blog...She's got some really great step-by-step photos for each part of the recipe.

If you make one tart this year, make sure it's this one!  This tart gets 5 stars in my book!
Bon Appetit!!!***


Check out those vanilla beans and orange zest in the pastry cream!

Blueberry Tart
Adapted from:  Zoe Bakes

Tart Shell:
1 3/4 sticks (200 g) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup (90 g) confectioners sugar
1 large egg beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons ground almonds 

To make the crust:  
This makes a very soft/sticky dough, which makes it more difficult to work with. It is well worth the little bit of extra effort. 

Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the egg and make sure it is well blended. Add the salt and vanilla, mix until incorporated. Add the flour and almond meal, mix together until there are no more dry patches of flour.

Divide the dough into two equal disks and wrap well in plastic. Refrigerate for at least an hour. If you are only making one tart then freeze the other packet of dough for the next time you want a treat in a hurry.

Take one disk of dough out of the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes. This will soften the dough just enough so that it won’t crack when you are rolling it out.

Roll it out (preferably on a silpat or other silicon baking sheet) until it is about 1/16″ thick and the right size to fit into a 9-inch tart pan.

If the dough is very sticky and will not easily peel off of the silpat, throw the silpat and dough right into the freezer for about 5 minutes.  When you remove the silpat/dough from the freezer you should be able to peel the dough easily.

Place the silpat/dough over the tart pan and gently peel the silpat away.  If the dough is frozen, give it a minute to become supple, then you will need to push the dough down into the pan, it might crack a bit, but don’t worry!  You can just press it back together.

Using a knife or metal spatula trim off the excess dough from the pan.

Preheat your oven to 350° and place the tart pan in the freezer while you wait for the oven to heat up.  Once the oven is up to temperature, take the tart shell out of the freezer and line with foil.  Fill the foil with beans and/or pie weights.

Bake the shell for 25 minutes with the pie weights. Lift the foil/weights out of the shell and continue baking until the tart shell is golden brown, about 10 more minutes.

Cool the shell on a cooling rack while you prepare the fillings for the tart. 

Pastry cream:
1 cup milk (doesn’t seem to matter what kind)
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (cold)
Pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 large egg yolks
Zest from 1/4 orange
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon crème fraîche (optional) 

To Make the Pastry Cream:
Bring the milk, 1/8 cup of the sugar, butter, salt and vanilla bean to a gentle boil in a medium saucepan.

Remove from heat.

Whisk together the cornstarch and the remaining 1/8 cup of sugar. Add the egg yolks to the cornstarch and mix into a smooth paste.

Slowly, and in small amounts, whisk a little of the hot milk into a the egg mixture. This is called tempering the eggs, which you need to do to get them to the same temperature of the hot milk in the pan, so they won’t curdle.

Once the egg mixture is warm to the touch, pour it back into the milk in the pan.

Return the custard to the stove and bring to a boil, whisking continuously for 2 to 3 minutes. The pastry cream will thicken almost immediately but it is important to cook out the starch so that it isn’t grainy and so your pastry cream won’t separate. (separating pastry cream is when the liquid releases from the cream, easily prevented by cooking for 2-3 minutes!)  

When the pastry cream is done it will be smooth and glossy.  

Cover with plastic wrap pressed directly on the surface of the cream to prevent a skin from forming. Set the container in the freezer for 15 minutes (this cools down the eggs quickly) and then refrigerate for up to a few days.
Stir the chilled pastry cream to make it spreadable and add the zest, nutmeg and crème fraîche. Fill the prepared tart shell with the pastry cream.

Blueberry filling 
2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
scant 1/2 cup raspberry or blueberry juice 
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch, mixed with 2 tablespoons water.
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
pinch of salt 

Prepare the blueberry filling:
If you are using wild blueberries, put them in a bowl of cold water so that the leaves and small hard berries will float to the top, where you can easily remove them. Pick the stems off and drain the water.

In a medium sauce pan, bring 1/2 cup of the blueberries, the juice and sugar to a boil.  While vigorously whisking add the cornstarch slurry to the pot. Add the vanilla, lemon zest and salt.

Continue to cook and whisk until the mixture is very thick and glossy, about 2 minutes. 

Remove from heat.  Quickly fold in the fresh blueberries.  Quickly add the berries to the tart shell, on top of the pastry cream. Spread them into an even layer.  Chill until set, about an hour.

Serve as is or with a dollop of crème fraîche.


Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

You have made my mouth water with your photos :-)

Anonymous said...

How much sugar on the filling?

Celeste said...

1/4 cup of sugar