Fresh Blueberry & Apricot Tart with Vanilla Cream

Fresh Blueberry & Apricot Tart with Vanilla Cream Watch out everyone!  A purple kitchen towel is hanging in the kitchen! That can only mean one thing “blueberry season has arrived!”Literally speaking, I grew up with blueberries. My father and grandfathers...

Fresh Blueberry & Apricot Tart with Vanilla Cream
Fresh Blueberry & Apricot Tart with Vanilla Cream

Watch out everyone!  A purple kitchen towel is hanging in the kitchen! That can only mean one thing “blueberry season has arrived!”Literally speaking, I grew up with blueberries. My father and grandfathers were really keen on hiking and our forests had an abundance of blueberry bushes.  When blueberry season arrived, we had tons of blueberries at home.  Consequently my mum and grandmas were constantly inventing new ways to prepare them. Blueberry cakes, blueberry marmalade, stewed blueberries, and frozen blueberries so we could have blueberry cake through the winter. Funny but true.  The bonus was when I got older and found out how healthy they were, what a beneficial habit!

The sad thing about eating blueberry cake is you can’t eat it in secret!   Purple lips, teeth, tongues, (even fingers and in some cases, clothing) would reveal that sweet tooth. It’s the reason blueberry cake is not a popular dessert at formal occasions. Just imagine having a beautiful wedding, amazing weather, great people, delicious food and when the time comes to take the all-important photos, everybody would have a “purple smile“.   Definitely one of those stories you’d tell your grandchildren, but still most people would rather avoid such situations.

I combined blueberries with apricots to lighten the strong flavour of the blueberries.  Both fruits are left with no or only a subtle amount of sugar in contrast to the sweet pastry cream. Let´s all agree, pastry cream with any fruit is a classic that pleases most peoples’ taste buds. Crispy crust can be made either with short dough or puff pastry.  If using a puff pastry keep in mind it’s best to eat it the same day, as the next day the puff pastry will have absorbed the moisture from its filling and is no longer crispy.  Although I don´t think it´s about to spend much time on your kitchen shelf.   Enjoy!

Martina

Fresh Blueberry & Apricot Tart with Vanilla Cream

Ingredients:

  • 250 g puff pastry
  • 300 ml milk
  • 50 g sugar
  • 30 g cornstarch
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 egg white
  • ½ a vanilla pod
  • 5 apricots, stewed or blanched

Filling: 150g blueberries, 2 tablespoons of cornstarch, 2 tablespoons of table sugar, 150ml of water Topping: handful of all-purpose flour, handful of table sugar, 30g butter, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Preparation:

  1. Preheat an oven to 200 °C.
  2. Roll out the puff pastry, fit in a round mold, pierce the bottom with fork, place pie weights on top of the pastry and blind bake (pre-bake) for 10 minutes. (See more about blind baking in my Quiche Lorraine recipe of June 27th.)

    Ready to bake
    Ready to bake

  3. Remove from oven; remove the baking weights, brush with egg white and bake for additional 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile prepare the pastry cream. In a bowl mix together egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch until smooth.
  5. In a sauce pan mix milk and vanilla pod seeds scraped out and bring to the boiling point, stirring constantly.
  6. Remove from heat and gradually pour and incorporate the milk mixture into the egg mixture, mixing until smooth. Pour all back into the pot and over medium heat bring to the boil, stirring constantly until the “pastry cream” thickens. Immediately remove from heat and cover with foil to prevent a thick coating from forming.
  7. For the blueberry filling, mix together in a sauce pan, the blueberries, cornstarch, sugar and water. Stirring, bring to boil, when the sauce thickens remove from heat.
  8. Fill the pre-baked crust with the pastry cream, then the halved blanched apricots and to it up with the blueberry filling.

    Vanilla Cream Filling
    Vanilla Cream Filling

  9. Finally mix together the flour, sugar, butter and cinnamon for the topping and sprinkle on the top of the tart.
  10. Put in a hot oven (or under broiler) for additional 10 minutes to make the topping crispy.
  11. Let cool completely and serve.

A single slice of the tart
A single slice of the tart

Why you get blue from blueberries and much more

Blueberries
Blueberries

Blueberries are blue because of the high content of anthocyanin - a water soluble pigment, with colors ranging from blue to shades of red.

  • have their origin in Northern America
  • the season of blueberries lasts from May to August depending on the local climate
  • their nutritional value is not deteriorated by freezing(it is useful to freeze fresh blueberries before adding to batter as they do not give away so much colorant while incorporating)
  • are one of the world´s healthiest foods due to their antioxidant content
  • are said to improve memory, stabilize levels of blood sugar and even prevent depression all thanks to their content of minerals of vitamin K, C , magnesium and fiber.

Basic species Low bush (wild) – smaller berry, with intense colour and flavour High bush(cultivated)- bigger berry