Blueberry tart is a summertime favourite. When the season is right and the bushes in the forests are exploding with the dark and delicious berries one can only pick, bake and repeat. Blueberry picking in the forest is seriously almost a therapy, it’s so relaxing. Baking is another stress reliever to me. Just get me a bowl, some flour and sugar and I will instantly feel better. Making blueberry pie is the perfect finish after a relaxing walk in the woods, when you come back with a bucket full of the delicious little fruits.
Just like last year, we are swarmed with blueberries these weeks. One can’t just go for a walk without kneeling down and picking some. And just like last year I have rediscovered how much I love picking blueberries. It’s all about that calming feeling it gives you: you are close to nature and you get back home with a bucket full of vitamins. Moreover, this gets me creative in the kitchen, as I like to turn my berries into pie fillings. It was last year that I tried my very first Swedish recipe, Swedish blueberry pie. This year I got lazier and just made a simple tart using the usual shortcrust recipe I turn to for pies. Normally, I make two open-faced pies with one batch of shortcrust dough, but this time I decided to use it all to make a crumbly topping over the blueberries, too.
Blueberry tart with a crumbly top:
- 350 g flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 5 tbsp sugar
- 220 g margarine
- 1/2 glass of cold water
Combine the margarine, flour, salt and sugar in a bowl. With a hand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachments mix at high speed until mixture resembles grated parmesan and there are no larger lumps. Get the mixer at low speed and start adding the cold water. You may not need to use it all: stop when the flour mix turns into a homogeneous dough that gathers into a single ball. Cut off 1/3 of the dough and momentarily store it in the fridge. Roll out the rest of the dough over the bottom and sides of a tart pan.
Preheat the oven to 180°C, prick the bottom of the shortcrust with a fork and chill it in the fridge until the oven has reached the desired temperature. In the meantime, get the blueberries ready.
Blueberry tart filling
- 500 g blueberries
- 150 g sugar
- 2 tbsp potato starch
- 2 tbsp breadcrumbs
Pour the blueberries into a large bowl, sprinkle them with about half of the sugar and the starch and toss until they’re all coated. Next, take the unused dough out of the fridge and shred it into crumbles. If the dough is not dry enough for this operation, mix the crumbles with 1 or 2 tbsp of extra flour and shred it some more.
When the oven has reached 180°C, bake the shortcrust base for 10 minutes. Open the oven door and quickly prick it with a fork some more if it starts to grow, as you want to keep it flat. After 10 minutes, take it out of the oven and sprinkle the breadcrumbs all over the bottom, then distribute the blueberries over it evenly. The breadcrumbs will absorb the blueberry juice and keep the pie bottom nicely crunchy. Sprinkle the rest of the sugar over the blueberries. Lastly, sprinkle the dough crumble on top of the fruits. Return the pie to the oven for about 35 more minutes.
I left the pie out on the kichen counter all night to cool down and firm up. The cooked blueberry filling may be a little unstable at first, just like a runny jam, so it’s best to let it sit for some time and let it firm up. After some hours (the whole night in the case of my blueberry tart) it will be much easier to portion.
If using frozen blueberries – which is what I do when blueberry season is over and I have lots of blueberry supplies stored in the freezer for later – I do not recommend following the same procedure as when using fresh blueberries. I generally prefer to cook the blueberries and the sugar and reduce them into a jam before pouring them onto the crust. This makes the filling much more stable ad avoids potential disasters. If turning the blueberries into a jam before use you can still follow the same quantities as per this recipe, but skip the starch and the breadcrumbs. The pectin naturally contained in the blueberries and the reduction that occurs with cooking will alone do the trick.
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