Now THIS is what I’m talking about, internet. This is the kind of recipe a girl like me can really get behind, philosophically speaking. Lemon curd, fresh blueberries, flaky tart crust. It’s all there, all wonderful, all working to return that sparkle to my baking eye.
And, it’s simple (relatively)! For some reason I was fretting about making lemon curd. I thought it was going to be really complex and I’d need to use a thermometer and there’d be all sorts of temperatures and paced whisking and long cooling periods. I was wrong. Basically you just whisk up some egg yolks with some lemon juice, butter, and sugar, and strain it through some lemon zest. It really wasn’t a big deal, and the result is really f’ing good. The kind of tart sweet that makes you smack your tongue a little and thank the sweet heavens for the creation of citrus.
Oh, and then you pour it into a flaky buttery tart crust and let it cool a bit. And then you cook up a quick glaze for about a million fresh blueberries. And you pour the blueberries on top and the bright blue and yellow colors make you feel alive inside. And then you bite into it and the crust kinda flakes tenderly off and you smack your tongue and the berries burst in your mouth and the heavens open up and birds sing arias and you wonder why you haven’t made this tart every damn day of your life until now.
Perhaps I exaggerate a smidge. But the flavor/texture combination on this one really is spot on. And it’s pretty to look at. So what else is there?
But maybe you’re not understanding me. Let me make myself clear. You need to make this. Now-ish. I am not even interested in hearing about how you’re swamped at work and you barely have time to work out and you’re stressed about your future and you’re taking finals and you’re trying to renovate your bathroom and you’re really consumed with all the gardening you’ve been doing and you’re not quite sure you know how to make a tart crust and you’re a little hesitant to commit an hour or two to baking. You. Your pie hole. Shut it. Make this.
You’re welcome. God.
Blueberry Tart with Lemon Curd
from the Pie and Pastry Bible
Basic Flaky Pie Crust for a 9 1/2-inch tart, prebaked and still warm
-8 tbsp unsalted butter, cold (I usually just take a bar out of the freezer)
-1 1/3 cups pastry flour or all-purpose flour
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/8 tsp baking powder (optional–if not using, double the salt)
-2 1/2 to 3 1/3 tbsps ice water
-1 1/2 tsps cider vinegar
1/2 large egg white, lightly beaten
1 recipe Classic Lemon Curd
-2 tsps finely grated lemon zest
-4 large egg yolks
-3/4 cup sugar
-6 tbsps freshly squeezed and strained lemon juice
-4 tbsps unsalted butter
-a pinch salt
3 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed and dried
1 tbsp arrowroot or cornstarch
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 tsps freshly squeezed lemon juice
Make the dough: (This is my abbreviated version, because I don’t feel like typing out Rose’s meticulous directions, and because this works just fine for me. If you want the long version, buy the cookbook. You should probably buy it anyway) If your butter isn’t frozen already, put it in the freezer while you whisk together the flour, salt and optional baking powder in the bowl of an electric mixer. When your butter is frozen, cut it into small cubes (1/2″ is good). Add the butter cubes to the flour mixture and, with the paddle attachment, mix on medium-low speed until the mixture resembles a coarse meal (this takes a few minutes). Add the lowest amount of ice water and the vinegar and mix together. Pinch a small amount of the mixture together between your fingers. If it does not hold together, add the remaining water and mix. Collect the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Flatten into a disc and refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour; preferably overnight.
Prebake the dough: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Roll out the dough to 1/8″ thickness and press into the tart pan. Refrigerate for 1/2 hour (I stuck mine in the freezer for like 7 minutes). Prick all over with a fork. Line with foil or parchment and fill with beans or pie weights. Bake for 20 minutes.
Make the lemon curd: Have ready near the range a strainer suspended over a medium bowl that contains the lemon zest. In a heavy nonreactive saucepan, beat the yolks and sugar until well blended. Stir in the lemon juice, butter, and salt. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thickened and resembles hollandaise sauce; it should thickly coat a wooden spoon but still be liquid enough to pour. Make sure it doesn’t boil, that will curdle it. Once it has thickened enough, pour over the lemon zest. Press with the back of a spoon until only the coarse residue remains. Discard the residue. Gently stir in the zest and allow it to cool.
Bake the tart: Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Spread the lemon curd smoothly into the prebaked tart shell and bake for 7 to 10 minutes. The curd should not begin to color, but should barely jiggle when the pan is moved gently from side to side. Cool on a rack.
Prepare the topping: Place the berries in a bowl. In a medium saucepan, stir together the arrowroot or cornstarch and sugar. Stir in the water and lemon juice and heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is clear and thickened. With arrowroot, this will happen before the boil; with cornstarch, the mixture must reach a full rolling boil and boil for 30 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat and add the blueberries all at once, tossing until coated with the glaze. The berries will turn a bright blue. Empty the berries into a colander or strainer suspended over a boil, to drain away any excess glaze. Gently spoon the berries evenly on top of the lemon curd. Cool completely. If there are any dry spots on the berries, touch them up with the reserved glaze.