This universe is vast and full of mysteries, replete with bosons, gluons, quarks and other micro-matter. So Steve understands that, possibly on some subatomic level, there could exist a condition known as “too much pie.” This theoretical event horizon, however, exists beyond any pie plate Steve might find himself within reach of. Not that Steve will eat an entire pie in one sitting—that would be gluttonous (besides Steve has usually stuffed himself on savories by the time dessert rolls around). But excess pie (along with crumble, cake and countless other good things) can expose one of the scientific controversies of Gourmandistan: the half-life of leftovers.
Michelle may stand for one reheated “second serving” of pies or crumbles, believing the pastry, fruit and other components can’t match their just-from-the-oven excellence. Steve, on the other hand, can enjoy a cobbler for days—the soggy bits of pastry, soppy juices and deflated bits of fruit eaten as extra desserts, late night snacks or yogurt topping. He will usually not push the envelope of eatability too far, so we still see (in Steve’s mind, at least) too many good things go to the chickens. The solution? Shrink a classic French tart and give it a twist with some blueberries (you froze some last summer, didn’t you?), almonds and a sassy hit of almond liqueur. These little babies are big enough to split, yet small enough to eat out of hand when they’re a day or two old—at least, if you’re Steve and believe affinage pastry can be just about as good as fresh-baked.
BLUEBERRY ALMOND TARTS
- Pie crust dough for a one-crust pie (such as this pâte brisée recipe)
- 1 large egg
- 5 TB sugar
- 1/2 c. crème fraîche
- 1/4 c. heavy cream
- 1 t. vanilla extract
- 1-1/2 TB Amaretto or other almond liqueur
- 1/4 c. finely ground almonds
- 2 c. blueberries
- Confectioners’ sugar (optional)
Equipment needed: four 4-1/2″ tart pans with removable bottoms. (NOTE: You can make this recipe into one 10″ or 10-1/2″ tart. Add a few more blueberries, and increase cooking time accordingly.)
Preheat oven to 375°.
Divide pie crust dough into four equal parts and shape into disks. After chilling in refrigerator, roll out one disk on a lightly floured sheet of waxed paper, to a circle a couple of inches larger than the tart pan you are using. Transfer the rolled-out dough to a tart pan, patting into the corners and loosely up the sides. Trim the overhang, leaving about 1/2″ to 3/4″ outside the pan circumference. Fold over and push the dough into the sides of the pan, making sure that the dough sides are slightly higher than the rim of the pan. Prick the crust with the tines of a fork and refrigerate or freeze. Continue with the remaining three dough disks.
Line the pie crusts loosely with aluminum foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Place them on a cookie sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes. Remove foil and weights and continue to bake for 8-10 minutes more, until the crusts are lightly browned all over. Remove from oven and cool on a rack.
Whisk egg, sugar, crème fraîche, cream, vanilla and Amaretto together in a bowl.
Arrange the blueberries in the partially-baked crusts. Pour the filling mixture over.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes in the middle of the oven, until filling is set and crusts are browned. Cool on a rack. When cool, remove tart rings.
Sift confectioners’ sugar over before serving, if desired.
Those absolutely delightful! I love little tarts! I bought myself some small tart cases yesterday actually – I shall be posting something with them next week 😀
Thanks, Frugal. Looking forward to seeing what sorts of tarts you come up with!
Love the size of these, really cute!
I am someday going to try all the teeny little tart pans I have in a drawer. But they don’t have removable bottoms, and I’m sort of frightened of them. Thanks for stopping by.
I’d like to play a little game. How many can I pick up… with my mouth!
Too much pie = impossible.
Cute little tarts = pure bliss.
Well said, Jama!
Those look excellent!!
Poor Steve. He takes such a beating. Lovely tart. ken
If so, he has only himself to blame. He writes this stuff. 🙂
Ha! You sound like my wife. Ken
We are so wise.
I have an affinity for anyone who likes left-overs.. especially desserts! I can always find some sort of redeeming quality or half flavor to make the calories worthwhile:) Love the idea of a handful of pie.. especially this one!
I know, I know. I’m strange. Luckily, I have Steve and the chickens. They save me from feeling too guilty about my wasteful nature!
I love making mini or smaller-sized desserts. It is a good way to control portion size and they’re so cute, like your tarts. I love this combo of flavors.
Thanks! I should remember to make small ones more often. They’re only a tiny bit more fiddly to make and, as you say, have a number of advantages.
Seeing the words “almond” and “tart” in this post’s title got an immediate “like” without reading any further. A fruit or berry tart just isn’t right unless there’s a little almond thrown into the mix. Best of all is their size. Perfect. I knew those 3 lbs. of blueberries in my freezer would come in handy for something other than ice cream 🙂
Thank goodness for the freezer! And, of course, the foresight to buy extra in the summer.
Quite divine, i am desperately trying to grow blueberries.. but they don’t seem to like my soil.. wonderful little tarts! c
They don’t grow for us either. I think you need acid soil, and ours is really alkaline. (Or something like that.)
I am with Steve on both the aged pastry and the extra desserts. I’m also on the little-pie bandwagon, with thin-rolled crust to compensate for the higher ratio of crust to filling. (Why yes, I have given this topic a good deal of thought.) Mmm, pie.
I can tell you have given it thought! And you’re exactly right. Also, it does (possibly) prevent one from sitting down and eating half a (big) pie at one sitting.
I don’t have blueberries but I do have frozen red fruits and some frozen small, pate brisee tarts that I made recently. Thanks to you they’re getting married today:)
I have made variations of this with just about every possible fruit. Hope your red fruits turned out well.
Wow, these are beautiful! Looks delicious.
Thanks so much!
You are making me miss my American & South African kitchens!!! We don’t have an oven here and I’m dying to try this recipe. It sounds delicious!!!! 🙂
No oven? Oh dear! We had a rental house for a month in France once and it didn’t have an oven (much to my surprise). I about lost my mind!
Here, a kitchen comes with a sink and (if you’re lucky) a small counter (think butcher-block size) and some cupboards (maybe 8, max). Not my ideal cooking space by a long shot!
Those are beautiful little tarts – I bet they taste good too!
Thanks, Mad Dog!
Blueberries and almonds are a nice combination. I will save this recipe for when we are back in Maine for the summer and I can pick wild blueberries.
Oh, those lovely little lowbush berries. Lucky!
Love these. I rarely make custard tarts, for no particularly good reason, since they are so delicious. I love the creme fraiche frangipane thing in this recipe. I also like and approve of Steve’s “smaller tarts = finger food” rationale.
I bet I’ve made a variation of these with just about every fruit there is! Plum and blueberry are my favorites, though.
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Very nice looking tarts, I wish I was your neighbor so I can ask for some of those lovely treats
There’s about 10 acres available right next to us. 🙂
I do not understand “big enough to split” 😉
Looks amazing as usual! I am not the biggest dessert person, but I cannot resist pie. I. Love. Pie. Which is why it’s never in the house. Because I would be so gluttonous!
In none of those multiple languages you know?! 🙂
I’m not a big fan of seconds but we have just adopted some chickens which hubby adores so he happily gives the leftovers to them. Have a wonderful Christmas. Alli
Isn’t it great having chickens? One almost never has to feel bad about throwing something out. Merry Christmas to you, too.
These look so good I can’t wait to give them a try!
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So cute! I will have to try this out one day.