Everybody likes pop. You might be a hip downtown aesthete, a strangely-haired Hoosier, a B-girl, a King or perhaps just a jiggly pile of dough. At least for last week, “pop” in Gourmandistan simply referred to Blueberry Lemon Tart.
As we near the end of local blueberry season, Michelle felt like making at least one last blueberry dessert. She turned to a recipe from Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse Fruit, remembering how she liked this combination of blueberry and lemon curd.
Once the tart was done, we remarked again that what makes it so special is the pop of fresh blueberries, put at the last minute into the quick jam-like topping. Bright and lively, they add to the already delicious combination of blueberry and lemon and seem to keep the tart tasting fresh for several days. (While Steve has been known to sneak “chicken portions,” Michelle usually gives up on a tart after a day or two.)
If there are still blueberries where you are and you’re looking for a come-up, you may want to check it out.
BLUEBERRY LEMON TART
(adapted from Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse Fruit)
- 1 pre-baked 9-1/2″ pâte sucrée or other sweet tart shell*
- Grated zest of 2 lemons
- 6 TB lemon juice
- 3 TB water
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 1 stick (4 oz.) butter
- Pinch of salt
- 3 whole eggs
- 3 egg yolks
Put lemon zest, lemon juice, water, sugar, butter and salt in a heavy saucepan. Heat over low heat, stirring, until sugar is dissolved and butter is melted.
Whisk eggs and yolks together in a bowl. Slowly add the hot lemon mixture to the eggs, whisking all the time. Then, return the mixture to the saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. (This should take around 5 minutes.)
Strain the curd through a fine-meshed sieve. Pour into prepared crust.
- 3 c. blueberries
- 1/4 c. sugar
- 2 TB water
Put half the blueberries in a small saucepan along with the sugar and water. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, smashing the berries with a potato masher. Stir in remaining berries (leaving them whole). After about 30 seconds, remove from heat. Spoon blueberry mixture over lemon curd in the tart.
* Sweet doughs can be difficult to work with, particularly in hot weather. After an unsuccessful stab at a real pâte sucrée, we returned to Alice Medrich’s wonderfully easy and delicious crust recipe. It uses melted butter and you just pat it into the pan rather than rolling it out.