Continuing my enjoyment of blueberries, I spotted a tart recipe while searching for a Blueberry Muffin recipe.
Meet the Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Tart.
I still had 250gm of blueberries left from the bags I bought at the Amberley Farmers Market. This tart recipe required a pound. By my math that’s 500gm. I was short. Despite blueberries being in season, they’re not cheap. It worries me slightly when I calculate the berries alone cost $16.00. This is not a cheap dessert. I’m going to have to start charging!
This recipe also didn’t turn out the same as the recipe I used. I think there’s a mis-interpretation of what “thick” is when it came to beating the eggs and sugar together, essentially creating a sponge, which is referred to as a custard in the recipe.
Because I had “thick custard”, the topping more than covered the blueberries. If you look at the recipe I followed you’ll see how our finished tarts look quite different. Which also meant eyeballing the tart while it was baking was different too. I could see the custard. Not that it helped me understand if it had baked properly. It started to brown so I placed a piece of tin foil over the cake tin. But then I made a bit of a boo-boo when I was lifting the tin foil off to check how the tart was baking. And I accidentally lifted part of the top. Which in some ways was lucky because I could clearly see that it hadn’t baked all the way through.
I’ve tried to cleverly take photos hiding the roughed up top as best I can, but now you know, you can see like the tart, I’m not perfect.
With my tart essentially being 3 distinct layers, cutting it cleanly wasn’t so simple either. I thought about trying to touch up this piece, but it seemed too fiddly. And sometimes when you try to fix something you end up making things worse. Believe me, I’ve been there. So I left well enough alone, and for that, here’s what this lovely fresh tasting tart with its slightly crunchy base looks like.
At first I thought it was pleasant enough, but then I found myself really enjoying it. The subtle taste of the lemon in it was just enough. Which is an odd thing for me to say, because I love citrus and would normally have said more is better. But the subtleness kept me coming back for more, it was almost a tease. Mr Fussy was warned that if he didn’t pick up the pace I’d be helping him clean his plate. He is a slow eater though. Or is it me that inhales my food? Actually it’s both, which makes both his slowness and my speed more pronounced.
Originally this recipe came from Rachel Ray, and it was for a Raspberry tart. But as is encouraged, variations are welcome. And so the recipe I followed was for blueberries, a very good variation.
I didn’t make any changes to the recipe, other than ending up with a thicker “custard” by comparison to the photos. The following is straight from Lick the bowl good’s blog.
- 3 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (1 pound)
- 1 stick plus 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup flour
- Zest and juice of 2 lemons (about 1/4 cup juice)
- Powdered sugar, for dusting
Drain the blueberries in a strainer set over a bowl. Preheat the oven to 400°.
For the shortbread crust: Using your fingers, combine the butter, 1/2 cup of the sugar and 11/2 cups of the flour and blend together until coarse crumbs form (I used a pastry blender to incorporate the ingredients, but a food processor works well too). Pour the mixture into an ungreased nonstick 9-inch springform or cake pan and press down evenly to form a crust. Bake the shortbread crust until lightly golden, about 20 minutes.
Remove the shortbread from the oven and reduce the temperature to 325°. Scatter the drained blueberries evenly over the baked shortbread.
For the lemon custard: Beat the eggs with the remaining 3/4 cup of sugar until thick and pale yellow. Whisk in the lemon zest, the lemon juice and a 1/4 cup of flour. Pour the lemon cream over the raspberries.
Bake the tart until the custard is set, about 30 minutes (My tart took about 50 minutes for the custard to set in the middle). Let cool completely, then dust with powdered sugar.
NOTE: The top of the custard doesn’t brown much so it’s hard to tell if it’s done, but it shouldn’t be wet and liquidy. The custard is done when it firms up in the center. This may take longer than 30 minutes.
My oven was set at 190 degrees Celsius for the shortbread and for the tart 160 degrees.
It may pay to put a baking tray on a lower shelf. My tart leaked toward the end which resulted in an unplanned oven clean.
Because my sponge top (or custard) was thick it created a layer on its own meaning it was clear to see if it was browning. You may need to cover the top of the cake pan with a piece of tin foil to prevent the top from over browning. Or don’t beat the egg/sugar mix thick, leave it runny so it just settles in around the fruit but doesn’t cover it.
My tart baked for 50 minutes like Monica from Lick the bowl good found.
I had Mum and my nephew over for dinner. Is it wrong that I was counting how many slices would be left and knew there was enough for dessert tonight?
Mum asked if I ever made any of the recipes a second time. I do. There’s several I’ve made twice, sometimes more. And this recipe will be another. Though I’ll be waiting until I see blueberries on sale.