We had a dinner guest last night, a former colleague and my former boss, in fact. We’ve both moved on in our careers since then, but I’m not above trying to impress the old boss, nor above trying to impress anyone who tastes my cooking for the first time, if truth be told. I wanted an impressive dessert, but I’ve been absolutely swamped with work this week, so it needed to be fairly easy to throw together. I had made Tai some fresh lime curd on Valentine’s Day, using my organic Texas limes and Rose Levy’s fruit curd recipe; I had some Jones Family Farms blueberries in the chest freezer, picked by Tai & I in sweltering August heat, that, during yesterday’s 16-degree morning, seemed like a distant dream; I had cream cheese in the fridge to make a quick batch of pastry dough. A blueberry tart with lime curd seemed just the thing: impressive, pretty, yummy, relatively quick & easy. Yet how to push it over the top from “yummy” to “outrageous?” With blueberry, lemon & chile jam, that’s how.
I made a small tart in my 7-inch ceramic tart dish (which I love, it’s the perfect size for 3 to 4 people, and the crust gets so much crisper and flakier than when I use my non-stick metal pans; however, I do realize that they can be hard to find, so I’ve included recipe amounts for a standard, 9 and 1/2-inch tart pan, as well) and used a 4-oz jar of my blueberry, lemon & chile jam, thinned with a couple tablespoons of dry white wine, to glaze the thawed berries. Result? Fan-freaking-tastic. My former boss called the berries “outrageous” and was shocked when I told him that they were from the summer and had been in the freezer for months. The berries were great, but the homemade jam glaze was what really made them sing. And? I emptied a jar. Let the victory dance begin!
Don’t have blueberry jam? Never fear: this recipe is easily adaptable to whatever berry/glaze/filling combination strikes your fancy. Citrus is still in season in the States, so if lime curd doesn’t strike your fancy, how about pink grapefruit, blood orange or passion fruit? You’ll find all those variations, including the lime, here. Strawberries in the freezer, but no blueberries? Try out a strawberry, raspberry or red currant jam or jelly for your glaze. Just scan the contents of your larder and go from there!
Adapted from Blueberry Tart with Lemon Curd in The Pie & Pastry Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum
Glazed Blueberry Tart with Lime Curd
- 1 recipe Rose’s Deluxe Flaky Pie Crust (I use the cream cheese version)
- 1 recipe fresh lime curd or 1, 8-0z jar canned lime curd (or frozen curd, thawed)
- 1 and 1/2 cups (for 7-inch tart) or 3 cups (for 9 and 1/2-inch tart) blueberries, fresh or frozen
- 1, 4-oz jar (for 7-inch tart) or 8-oz jar (for 9 and 1/2-inch tart) blueberry or blackberry jelly, jam or preserves
- 2 – 4 tbsp dry white wine, water, or other liqueur
- confectionary sugar for dusting (optional)
- ice cream or whipped cream for serving (optional)
- Make pastry dough. Allow to rest, refrigerated, at least 1 hour, ideally overnight.
- When ready to roll & shape dough, remove from refrigerator and allow to warm for about 15 to 20 minutes for easy rolling (when you push down on the dough circle with the heel of your hand, you should see little to no cracking at the edges of the dough). On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough out to 1/8-inch thickness; drape over your tart pan and gently shape the dough to the pan, pressing into the corners. Trim the excess with kitchen shears, leaving about 1/4-inch standing above the edge of the tart pan, to allow for shrinkage in baking. Double-wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate to rest the dough: at least 30 minutes, ideally overnight (Yes, two overnight rests. It’s not absolutely vital, but it does reward you with an extremely flaky, tender crust with minimal shrinkage. Recommended if you can plan ahead: I actually prefer it this way to break the tasks up over three days).
- Make the lime curd (or, smugly skip this step while you simply pop open a jar of your canned or frozen curd). Set aside at room temperature, or refrigerate if you are not using that day.
- Thaw berries, if frozen. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (400 degrees F convection).
- Pre-bake the tart: remove from refrigerator, line with parchment, and fill with pie weights (or dried beans, rice, pennies, etc. I use little stones that originally came in the bottom of a vase with flowers.). Bake for about 20 minutes (17 minutes convection) or until the edges begin to lightly brown. Remove parchment paper & weights, prick bottom of crust all over with a fork, then return to the oven and bake for another 4 – 7 minutes, or until the bottom is nicely tan. Protect the edges of the crust with a pie shield if they begin to over-brown. Remove crust from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes.
- Add curd. If your curd is refrigerated, thawed from frozen, or canned, whip it for a minute with a whisk or fork to yield a smooth consistency. Spread curd in a even layer into the tart shell while the shell is still slightly warm, up to about half the height of the rim (about 1/4-inch). If your curd is still warm and/or pourable, pour into the tart shell to the same height. Tap the tart pan gently to even the level, then bake in a 300 degree oven for 7 – 10 minutes to set the curd: do not let it color, but stop baking when the curd just barely moves when you tap the pan (you can also refrigerate the curd, in the tart shell, for at least 4 hours to set, if preparing ahead of time).
- Glaze berries. Add the jam or jelly to a small saucepan with the wine, water or other liquid. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to break up the gel and form a smooth sauce (if using a preserve with whole pieces of fruit, see Options below). Remove glaze from heat and add berries. Mix well, then transfer to a colander suspended over a bowl; drain away (but reserve) excess glaze.
- Assemble tart. Spoon glazed berries onto curd in a single layer, or to the top of your tart shell (spoon from the center out to the edges, to prevent smearing the pastry crust with glaze). If necessary, touch up any dry spots with extra glaze. At this point you can serve immediately or store refrigerated until serving. Serve cool or at room temperature. Dust with confectionary sugar, if you like, immediately before serving. Quite delicious with vanilla ice cream!
Serves 4 (7-inch tart) or 8 (9 and 1/2-inch tart).
- A lot of berry/glaze/filling options will work here. For preparing the glaze, a clear jelly, or preserve syrup (strained from the whole fruit), makes the prettiest glaze. In some cases, you may simply be able to use whole-fruit preserves straight from the jar, with any excess syrup drained away, or augment a jar of preserves with additional fresh or frozen fruit. The glaze I prepared was made with an opaque, somewhat chunky blueberry jam, which probably could have benefited from a spin in the food processor first: it made a slightly lumpy-looking glaze, but it was delicious all the same.
- The chile flavor in my blueberry, lemon & chile jam glaze was outstanding in this tart: if you have any kind of chile-scented preserve, I highly recommend it.
- If you don’t have a likely jam or jelly candidate, you can make a simple berry glaze by stirring together 1 tbsp of cornstarch with 1/3 cup of sugar in a small saucepan; add 1/2 tbsp of lemon juice and 1/2 cup of water and heat, stirring, to a full rolling boil until the mixture thickens (abaout 30 seconds from achieving full boil). Remove from heat and add blueberries; toss to coat then drain away excess glaze.
- If you are pastry-phobic, it seems to me that this would make an excellent parfait: layer of vanilla ice cream or stiff whipped cream, layer of curd, layer of glazed blueberries, repeat.
- I say this recipe was fairly quick & easy, yet there are 8 steps and 3 (or even 4!) different recipes to prepare. It can seem overwhelming, but trust me: each step is fairly short & easy, and spread out over a few days of way too much data analysis, they still did not seem like a burden. The end result was definitely worth it.
Refrigerated for up to 5 days; however, crust will start to soften and get soggy after 2 – 3 days.