The arrival of blueberries at the market (and the farm) signals the start of summer for me. I know they aren't the first fruit to show up to the party, but something about their patriotic hue screams picnics and bbqs, and hot, lazy nights. Where I live, blueberries are plentiful and cheap so I turn to them often for fun, summer treats like these tartlets.
I baked these little beauties last week on a 90+ degree day when, in a fit of heat induced crazy, I decided to crank up the oven and turn on the stovetop at the same time. What can I say, the blueberries in the fridge were calling and I had to answer despite my assertion that I would not turn the oven on during the heatwave...oops.
I like the combination of fresh and barely-sweetened, cooked fruit here, but if you aren't feeling up to the task of cooking three different components just use fresh berries, any kind you like or maybe some sliced stone fruit. For something a bit sweeter I imagine a dollop of jam would make a fine topping too. I guess what I am saying is that when you have sweet summer fruit at your disposal, you pretty much can't go wrong.
And can we talk about this Greek yogurt cream for a second? It is cool and smooth and just slightly tart which makes it a perfect foil for any fruit you have laying around and nearly impossible to resist eating straight from the fridge. I am already imagining making these little tarts again later this summer, topped with some bourbon spiked peaches.
Blueberry Buckwheat Tartlets with Greek Yogurt Cream
For the Buckwheat Tart Shells
adapted from Desserts for Breakfast
yield, 6 tartlets or 1, 9'' tart
5 1/2 ounces all purpose flour
3 1/2 ounces buckwheat flour
2 ounces sugar
1 egg yolk
4 ounces cold butter
2-3 ounces iced water
1. In a large bowl, stir together the flours, sugar and salt. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut in the butter until it is the size of small peas.
2. Add in the egg yolk and stir gently until it is evenly distributed, then slowly stream in the water until the dough will hold together when you press it with your fingers. Turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap and press it into a disk. Refrigerate for one hour. (While the dough is chilling you can prepare the pastry cream, recipe below)
3. To bake the tart shells: Preheat oven to 425ºF and lightly butter 6 removable-bottom tartlet pans.
4. Remove the dough from the fridge and cut it into 6 pieces. Press the dough evenly into the prepared pans and prick the bottoms with a fork. If the dough has softened, refrigerate or freeze it for a few minutes or until it is firm again. Line each tartlet pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans.
5. Bake the tart shells for 13-15 minutes or until the edges begin to brown. Remove the pie weights or beans and return to the oven to bake for 3-5 minutes more, or until the crust is completely golden brown. Let the shells cool completely before filling and serving.
Greek Yogurt Pastry Cream
8 ounces whole milk
3 egg yolks
1 3/4 ounces sugar
3/4 ounce cornstarch
1/2 vanilla bean, scraped or 1t vanilla extract
1 ounce cold butter
6 ounces plain greek yogurt (non-fat, low-fat or full-fat will all work)
1. Bring the milk to a simmer in a small saucepan with the scraped vanilla bean and pod
2. In another saucepan, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch until well blended. While whisking, slowly stream in about 1/4c of the hot milk to temper the egg mixture. Continue whisking and pour in the remainder of the hot milk. Remove the vanilla bean pod and reserve for another use.
3. Put the pan over medium heat and whisk vigorously, making sure to get into the bottom and sides of the pan. Bring the mixture to a low simmer and cook until thick, about 1-2 minutes. If you are using vanilla extract, now's the time to whisk it in.
4. Add in the butter and whisk the cream until smooth, transfer to a bowl and press a layer of plastic wrap directly on the surface. Refrigerate until cold and set.
5. After the cream has thoroughly chilled, whisk in the greek yogurt until smooth and evenly combined. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator until ready to use.
12 ounces blueberries, divided
2T Gran Marnier (optional)
Zest and juice of 1/2 orange
1. Combine 1/2 of the blueberries, honey, Gran Marnier (if desired) and orange juice and zest in a medium skillet. Warm the berries on medium low heat until they begin to burst and release their juices. 2. Turn the heat up to medium and gently simmer the berries until they are thick and syrupy, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in the remaining fresh blueberries, reserving a few to garnish the tops of the tarts. Refrigerate the mixture until cold.
Divide the Greek Yogurt Pastry Cream between the tart shells, top with a heaping spoonful of the Blueberry Filling and top with additional fresh blueberries and a zip of orange zest of desired (not pictured). Serve immediately for crisp tart shells. The assembled tarts can also be refrigerated for an hour or so before you serve them, but as they sit in the refrigerator the shells will soften.
The extra blueberry mixture can be enjoyed on the top of yogurt, ice cream, oatmeal, toast or on its own.