A terrific way to showcase fresh blueberries is in this beautiful and simple blueberry tart. Flaky pastry crust stuffed with a fluffy cream cheese filling and topped with blueberries.
We’ve had some lovely warm weather here in San Diego. After a rainy November and December it was nice to feel the warm So-Cal sun. Yes, we are a spoiled here. The weather did make me miss our carefree summers, where the kids and I live with no real schedule. Our local grocer was practically giving away sweet blueberries, too, for $⅙oz. I stocked up.
I haven’t been baking much since the holidays ended. Everyone wants to eat healthy. But, we have a large family and we are always having guests over for dinner. As I always do, I have the dessert decided before the dinner menu.
I made this simple blueberry tart for my in-laws when they came over one night. I saw this get prepared on one of those cooking shows and fell in love. Lucky for me, I was stocked up on blueberries.
Sweet and flaky crust for tarts
Making a tart is so much easier than making a pie. You still have to make a crust, but you only have to press it into a tart pan and you’ll produce a beautiful crust. No fumbling with transferring the crust into a pie pan or figuring out how to make the crimp the dough just right to make it look fancy schmancy.
Of course, I didn’t realize until I pulled out my tart pan from the cupboard that it was small, maybe 6-inches round and not 9-inches like the recipe dictated. I rolled my eyes and just piled on the blueberries. But let’s get back to the tart crust.
This is a butter based crust. I now bake most exclusively with olive oil, but I wasn’t in the experimental mood, so I followed the recipe exactly. Except for the wrong pan size, of course. DOH!
Butter is creamed with sugar then eggs are mixed in. Flour is added until a soft and pliable dough is formed. Don’t let pie or tart dough intimidate you. It’s much easier to assemble a tart than a pie. First of all, there’s no edging that needs prettied up.
Using a rolling pin, life the flat dough and gently lay it over your tart pan. Press the dough into the center of the pan and gently work your way to the edges. Press the dough into the sides of the pan and into the grooves. Use a sharp knife or rolling pin to cut the excess dough and voila! Your dough is in the tart pan!
Pre-bake your crust
This blueberry tart does require you to pre-bake your crust. This helps keep your crust flaky and crispy and not soggy. You can use pie weights or dry beans during this bake. I had a bag of mixed beans, so I used that – they are colorful, right?!
Prick the bottom of your crust with a fork then place large piece of foil over your crust. Add in your beans or pie weights and spread it evenly into the shell of your tart pan. This keeps your dough from poofing up too much.
Once baked, the crust turns a lovely golden color. Remove the beans or pie weights and let the crust cool to room temperature. To seal the shell use a pastry brush to paint the base with an egg white. This keeps your shell from soaking any moisture from the filling and turning soggy.
Cream cheese filling
I love cream cheese, so I was thrilled that this blueberry tart had a fluffy cream cheese filling. This filling isn’t over sweet and those blueberries were sweet and perfect, even better because it was piled mile high with fruit.
Cream cheese is mixed with sugar, creme fraiche and vanilla extract – super simple, but that’s what made it so perfect and delicious. Which is why I fell in love with it when I first saw on the tv.
For the berry topping, blueberries are gently cooked with sugar, water and cornstarch. This creates a slurry like blueberry jam-like topping. The cornstarch keeps it all together and it’s not a gooey mess like a full on blueberry pie.
My only complaint was that the portions were small, which was my fault for using a 6-inch pan.
Last week I bought a 9-inch tart pan. Problem solved.
I’m ready for summer.
- ½ cup butter, unsalted, room temperature
- 2 TBS granulated sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 egg white
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup creme fraiche
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cup blueberries, divided
- ¼ cup water
- 2 TBS cornstarch, dissolved in 2 TBS water
- Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
- Beat in egg yolks until combined.
- Quickly add the flour and mix to incorporate.
- Wrap the dough in plastic and chill one hour
- Preheat oven to 400º F.
- Roll out dough and gently place over a 9-inch tart shell. Carefully press dough into bottom of the pan. Use your finger tips to press dough into the side of the pan. Gently cover the dough with aluminum foil. Pour dried beans, pie weights or metal spoons right over the foil.
- Bake 20 minutes.
- Remove the beans and foil and return the tart to the oven until lightly golden and completely cooked.
- Remove the tart shell from the oven. Cool to room temperature, about 1 hour.
- To seal the shell use a pastry brush to paint the base with an egg white.
- Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment mix cream cheese and sugar together until smooth.
- Mix in creme fraiche and vanilla extract.
- Spread the mixture over the base of the cooled shell.
- In a small non-stick saucepan over medium heat and add 1 cup of the blueberries, water, sugar and cornstarch slurry.
- Bring to a boil and simmer until juicy and thick.
- Pour into a small bowl and toss with remaining blueberries.
- Spread over the cream base.
- Chill for 1 hour until ready to serve.
Serving Suggestions: Serve alone, with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
Cooking Tips: Great with strawberries and blackberries, too. You can also substitute creme fraiche with sour cream.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 414Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 114mgSodium: 113mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 2gSugar: 24gProtein: 5g
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