French Blueberry Tart

French Blueberry Tart
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French blueberry tart
This tart comes with its own sauce!

Sometimes, everything just comes together as if preordained. Such as with this tart. We had several pints of blueberries sitting in the refrigerator, we knew we’d be picking up a log of goat cheese from the CSA, and, we were browsing Eric Lanlard’s new book, Afternoon Tea, and saw this recipe. We felt we were fated to make this tart. And, now that you’re reading this, perhaps you’re fated to make this tart, too. Don’t worry, we’ll help.

First off, we admit to changing the recipe to use goat cheese (it actually called for 150g or 5 1/2 ounces of crème fraîche). Now, we usually just make the crème fraîche (it’s basically our homemade sour cream), but, we figured that goat cheese would be close enough. Finally, note that all the ingredients are listed in grams first; we recommend you weigh them if you can, but, if not, we’ve provided approximate conversions for you.

French Blueberry Tart

Yield: one 9-inch tart

French Blueberry Tart

Ingredients

    For the crust
  • 200 g (1 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 85 g (6 Tbs) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for greasing
  • 60 g (1/2 cup + 1 Tbs) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • For the filling
  • 500g (1 1/2 dry pints) blueberries
  • 2 Tbs crème de cassis (optional)
  • 125 g (1/2 cup + 2 Tbs) granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • 170 g (6 oz) fresh goat cheese (or crème fraîche)

Abbreviated Instructions

For the crust

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium speed until smooth and glossy, about 1 minute. Slowly add sugar and beat on medium until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg and beat in, 1 minute.

Add flour mixture and pulse mixer to start incorporating. Beat on low until completely combined, 30 seconds.

Transfer to work surface and smear several times with the heal of your hand to ensure the flour is thoroughly incorporated. Shape into a 6-inch disk, wrap with plastic, and refrigerate at least 1 hour, or, preferably, overnight.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Butter a 9-inch fluted tart pan.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll dough into an 11-inch circle and press into tart pan. Line with baking parchment and fill with pie weights. Place tart pan on a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove paper and weights and continue to bake until dry and lightly golden, 10 minutes more. Remove from oven and let cool.

Lower oven temperature to 325°F.

For the filling

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine blueberries, crème de cassis, if using, and about half the sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until about half the berries have burst and the sugar is dissolved into the released liquid. Remove from heat.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together remaining sugar, eggs, and goat cheese until smooth.

With a slotted spoon, scoop berries, allowing the liquid to drain back into the pan, into tart shell. Pour cheese mixture over the top and smooth.

Strain remaining berry juice through a fine mesh strainer to use as a coulis for serving.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until filling is set and lightly golden. Let cool 20 minutes before removing from pan and serving drizzled with coulis.

http://scratchinit.halversen.com/2016/08/french-blueberry-tart/

Ingredient discussion:

We weren’t sure what crème de cassis was, so we looked it up: it’s a liqueur made from black currants. As we expected, we didn’t have any, so we didn’t use any. For the goat cheese, we always use Black Mesa Ranch goat cheese because it doesn’t taste goat-y, and it’s sort of local, and they take good care of their animals. For the eggs, we get those from a rancher (Josh of Josh’s Foraging Fowls) who lets his hens peck and scratch in the grass, moving them to new pasture regularly. It’s the way hens should be raised, and we’re lucky to be able to support him. You probably can (and should) find similar suppliers where you live.

Procedure in detail:

For the crust:
dry ingredients
If you don’t want pockets of cinnamon, take the time to whisk together the dry ingredients.

Mix dry ingredients. No pockets of cinnamon for us, so, in a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, and salt until uniform and set aside.

creaming butter and sugar
We add the sugar about as fast as it gets incorporated into the butter, then we beat it until pale and fluffy.

Cream butter and sugar. Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until smooth and glossy. It should only take a minute; if it’s taking longer, your butter’s not warm enough. Wait and try again in about 10 minutes. Once glossy, slowly add the granulated sugar — we like to add it at the rate it’s incorporated into the butter — and continue to beat until the sugar mixture is pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Stop the mixer periodically and scrape down the sides of the bowl.

beating in egg
After the egg is beaten in, the mixture might look curdled, or broken, but it’s okay.

Beat in egg. Add egg and beat in on medium speed. The mixture will look slightly curdled, but continue beating until it’s pretty well mixed in, about 1 minute. The mixture may still look curdled, but it’s okay.

adding flour mixture
To prevent flour mixture from spewing out, we usually start mixing it by hand with a spatula.
mixed tart crust
In about 30 seconds, all the flour mixture should be incorporated.
smearing dough
Smear the dough a few times with the heel of your hand, just to make sure all the flour mixture is incorporated into the dough.

Mix in flour. Add the flour mixture, and either pulse the mixer to start combining, or use a rubber spatula to cut in the flour mixture, then mix on low until just combined, 30 seconds. Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface, and, with the heel of your hand, smear the dough several times, folding it back up as needed, to ensure that there are no pockets of dry ingredients.

Refrigerate.  Shape the dough into a 6-inch disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least an hour, but preferably overnight. This rest allows the gluten to relax and the flour to become fully hydrated so it’ll be easier to roll out.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9-inch tart fluted tart pan with removable bottom. If you don’t have a tart pan, you can use a quiche pan or even a pie pan. It’ll taste the same, but the baking times might be slightly different.

crust fitted to tart pan
The dough is pretty easy to handle, so you should be able to get a nice-looking crust. Scraps can be re-rolled to make chef’s snacks.

Roll crust. Roll out the crust into a circle about 11 inches in diameter. Transfer to the prepared tart pan and press into place, Trim the edges smooth so the tart will look nice. If you wish, you can re-roll the scraps and fit into small tart pans or pie plates and make a couple mini tarts as chef’s snacks.

blind baking
We have pie weights, but we’ve used rice and dried beans in the past.

Blind bake crust. Line the tart crust with parchment and fill with pie weights — use dried beans or rice, or even clean pea gravel, if that’s what you have — and bake on a baking sheet to catch any leaks for about 25 minutes, or until the crust is fully set. Remove the weights and parchment and bake until the surface is dry and lightly golden in color, about 10 minutes more.

blind baked crusts
Once baked, the crust will have shrunk slightly, pulling away from the sides of the pan.

Cool crust. Place the crust on a rack to cool. Lower the oven temperature to 325°F for baking the filled tart.

For the filling:
cooking blueberries
It might look as if the sugar won’t dissolve, but it will.

Cook blueberries. In medium saucepan over medium heat, combine blueberries,  crème de cassis, if using, and about half the sugar. If you’re weighing the ingredients, use about 65 grams of sugar, or just estimate. The exact amount isn’t critical. Cook, occasionally stirring gently, until about half the berries have burst and the sugar has dissolved into the released juices. Remove from heat.

goat cheese custard
A bit of brisk whisking and your custard will be smooth.

Make custard. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together remaining sugar, eggs, and goat cheese until smooth. This will be the custard that surrounds the blueberries.

berries in tart pans
Drain the berries as you scoop them into the tart crust. The liquid will make a nice berry coulis for serving.
tarts ready for the oven
We always bake our tarts on rimmed baking sheets; the first time one leaks or overflows onto the floor of the oven, you’ll do the same.

Fill tart shell. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the berries to the tart shell, allowing the juice to drain back into the pan. Pour the custard over the berries and smooth with a spatula.

draining berry coulis
With minimal extra effort, you’ll have a nice sauce for drizzling on your tart slices.

Make coulis. Strain the remaining juice through a fine mesh strainer and reserve as a berry coulis for serving. We really like the fact that you get a nice little accent for serving, without any additional work!

Bake. Place the tart on a baking sheet to catch leaks or overflow and bake until the custard sets and becomes lightly golden in a few spots, about 25 to 30 minutes.

cooling French blueberry tart
Let the tart stand for about 20 minutes to firm up before trying to get it out of the tart pan.
plated French blueberry tart
Thank goodness for tart pans with removable bottoms. It makes us look as if we know what we’re doing!

Cool. Cool the tart on a rack for about 20 minutes before trying to remove from the tart pan and plating.

Serve. Serve slices of tart, drizzled with the reserved coulis.

While we were making this, we thought the crust had too much cinnamon. We were wrong. It paired up nicely with the blueberries, making the tart taste as if the crust were made from cinnamon graham crackers, or, perhaps even better, cinnamon toast. The crust is also nice and crisp, similar to a crisp cookie, while the custard is smooth and slightly tangy from the goat cheese. This is an easy five stars, especially since it’s an easy tart to make.

Worth the trouble?

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