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It was already 83 degrees at 10:00 in the morning, but I was thinking about food. I was looking forward to a nice, relaxing Sunday afternoon and a dinner cooked outside on the grill. My mind drifted to the cool glass of rose I would pour to start the evening. Eight hours to go. I’d run to the store in search of a fish to put on the barbecue.
As I left, I sent my husband off to the local farmers market to “see what looks good and buy it”. I was hoping to score some Jersey Fresh blueberries. When they finally arrive at our farm stands, it magically starts to feel like summer. I love eating them by the handful and I look forward to those several weeks in July and August when I can do this with utter abandon.
Even so, I didn’t expect him to walk in the door with more than a gallon of blueberries -all at once. I was hoping for several pints so I could make my first batch of blueberry muffins and a rainbow hued summer fruit salad with melons and berries. Now I would have to jump into action. I mentally divided up the crate into “for munching”, “for breakfast smoothies”, and “for baked goods”.
We were having a simple Sunday night dinner of Jersey tomatoes sprinkled with feta cheese, grilled green beans, cauliflower (all from the farm stand!) and wild Alaskan salmon (not local to New Jersey; but more about that another day). Perhaps a nice blueberry tart would add to the kaliodscope of colors I had already planned. I didn’t want to work too hard or spend too long in the kitchen. But I wanted to create something new that we could all look forward to trying.
I used my basic Pie Crust recipe. It’s fast and so easy and I can make it in my sleep. And the filling? Because I wanted an open tart, I knew I would want to mash up some of the blueberries and dissolve the sugar to create a smooth filling; then I would stir in the thickener, flavoring and a touch of butter to create a velvety texture. It didn’t take long to make and it baked up beautifully. I served with it a small scoop of creamy Greek Yogurt. Even though we ate more than we should have, I was already planning to hide the leftovers so I could eat them for breakfast. Ok, I know it’s not the healthiest way to start the day, even if I eat it with more yogurt. But blueberry season flies by, and I want to make the best of it. Stay tuned for the next blueberry creation! Only 7/8 of a bucket to go!
Food Philosopher’s® Gluten-Free
Makes one 9-inch tart
One unbaked Traditional Pie Crust in a metal 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom
5 cups fresh blueberries, washed and picked over
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (or butter substitute)
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Position rack in center of oven and parbake tart crust for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
- Put three cups of blueberries in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
- Combine remaining two cups of blueberries, sugar and water in a medium sized, heavy saucepan. Coarsely mash blueberries with a potato masher and cook over medium-high heat until they break down a bit and the sugar dissolves (about three minutes). Stir in cornstarch, cinnamon, lemon juice and butter. Spoon blueberry mixture into large mixing bowl containing blueberries and stir until well combined. Pour into parbaked tart shell.
- Bake in center of oven for about 40 minutes until filling is bubbling in the center and slightly golden. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Place pan on top of a broad glass and carefully push down sides. Place tart on a serving plate (it will be easier to slide it off the metal bottom when it is very cool). Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Tart can be made a head and refrigerated for up to three days (cover tightly with plastic wrap).
Food Philosopher’s® Gluten-Free
TRADITIONAL PIE CRUST
From Gluten-Free Baking Classics
This recipe also appears on Foodphilosopher.com
Makes one 8- or 9-inch pie crust or one 10-inch tart crust.
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons Brown Rice Flour Mix*
2 tablespoons sweet rice flour (I recommend Authentic Foods Sweet rice flour)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces (or butter subsititue)
1 large egg
2 teaspoons orange juice or lemon juice
- Spray 9-inch pie pan or tart pan (with removable bottom) with cooking spray. Generously dust with rice flour.
- Mix flours, sugar, xanthan gum, and salt in large bowl of electric mixer. Add butter and mix until crumbly and resembling coarse meal.
- Add egg and orange juice. Mix on low speed until dough holds together; it should not be sticky. Form dough into a ball, using your hands, and place on a sheet of wax paper. Top with a second sheet of wax paper and flatten dough to 1 -inch thickness. Dough can be frozen at this point for up to 1 month; wrap in plastic wrap and then use foil as an outer wrap.
- Roll out dough between the 2 sheets of wax paper. If dough seems tacky, refrigerate for 15 minutes before proceeding. Remove top sheet of wax paper and invert dough into pie/tart pan. Remove remaining sheet of wax paper, and crimp edges for single-crust pie. Dough can also be frozen at this point for up to 1 month; line pie shell with wax paper, wrap in plastic wrap, and use foil as an outer wrap.
*Find the Brown Rice Flour Mix under Guide to Flour Mixes on this blog.
Take note: When you prebake or parbake this crust, do so at a lower temperature than is commonly used for pie crusts made with wheat (see directions below). This is to make sure the dough cooks before it browns. If you notice the crust rising in the middle while it is baking, open the oven quickly and prick it once with the point of a sharp knife or press the crust down lightly. Partially bake this pie crust whenever you are making a fruit pie or quiche.
To partially bake (parbake) a bottom pie crust:
Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake pastry for 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Fill and bake as per recipe.
To prebake a bottom pie crust:
Preheat oven to 375°F. Gently prick pastry in 3 or 4 places with a fork. Bake pastry for about 25 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack. Prebaked pie shells can be stored in airtight plastic containers or plastic wrap in refrigerator for 3 days. For longer storage, wrap in plastic wrap and then in foil, and store in freezer for up to 2 weeks.