Fresh berries are in abundance in the markets during the summer months and the rainbow of colors is nothing short of inspirational. My excitement often gets away from me at the farmer’s market and I come home with a truckload of fruit. Blueberries are one of my husband’s favorites so and they’re in season, so I loaded up! We ate blueberries on waffles, blueberries on oatmeal, tossed blueberries in salads and still I had blueberries! Before their better days were behind them, I decided blueberries in a tart would make good use of what remained.
Years ago I began making rustic fruit tarts instead of a more rigid fruit pie. The basics for a rustic tart, sometimes called a galette, are the same as a pie. There is something simple but elegant about these tarts, the way the pastry is filled with luscious fruit, then shaped by hand and baked on parchment paper. No pie dishes, no forming fancy pie edges, just the crust and filling, the way it was meant to be.
Pie or pastry dough is intimidating for even the most accomplished bakers. I’ve worked my way through dozens of pastry dough recipes but this method is my favorite. The results are a slightly sweet crust that’s crisp and flaky and provides the perfect vessel for any fruit.
This recipe allows you to make the pastry, then add the fruit and bake, no chilling required before rolling out the dough. The secret to tender pastry crust is very cold butter and a delicate hand, overworking the dough will guarantee a tough crust.
You can replace the blueberries with apples, peaches, blackberries, or any fruit you like. It’s wonderful warm from the oven and every bit as good the next day. This one won’t disappoint!
Rustic Blueberry Tart
For the pastry:
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling out the dough
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
¾ cup unsalted butter, 1-1/2 sticks
1/3 cup cold water
1 tablespoon milk
Cut the butter into cubes and chill in the freezer for about 30 minutes.
Combine the flour, kosher salt and sugar in a food processor, mix for about 5-10 seconds. Scatter the cold butter cubes on top of the flour and pulse about 10 times, just until the butter is the size of peas.
Add the cold water and process about 5-10 seconds, or just until the water is blended into the flour and butter. You’re not looking for the dough to gather into a ball. Don’t over process or your pastry will be tough.
Turn out the mixture on a lightly floured surface and lightly dust your hands with flour.
Gently pull the dough together and press into a disc. Roll out the dough into a round about 15”-16”, turning occasionally so the dough doesn’t stick to the surface. Gently roll the dough around the rolling pin and unroll onto a parchment lined baking sheet, which has been lightly sprayed with a cooking spray.
For the filling:
2-1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
½ cup sugar, plus extra for glazing the crust
1-1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the cornstarch and sugar together. Add the blueberries and lemon juice and gently toss together to combine and coat the berries, being careful not to break them. Using your hands is the easiest way to do this.
Pile the berries in the center of the pastry dough. Turn the dough up over the edge of the berries, folding as you go.
Whisk together the egg and 1 tablespoon milk. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the egg wash over the pastry dough, and then sprinkle with sugar.
Bake the tart at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Let it cool slightly before slicing to allow the juices to set.