While strawberries have sadly disappeared from most farmers’ markets, thankfully I can assuage my sadness with the arrival of blueberries. Oh, blueberries. The only trouble comes when my enthusiasm outpaces my ability to consume them. Lucky for me, I had some extra pastry dough lying around the fridge. Throw a little maple syrup infused with vanilla bean into the mix, and I was in business. You can make these little tartes the morning, or even the night, before you plan to serve them. I topped mine with unsweetened Greek yogurt, but whipped cream or chocolate ice would work well too.
Crust Ingredients: I am not a baker, so here I adapted the pâte sucrée recipe from Le Cordon Bleu Complete Cooking Techniques cookbook. The recipe yields one pound of dough.
- 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ½ cup unsalted butter, diced and very cold
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons water (approximately)
Crust procedure: Crust can be made a day ahead, and stored in the fridge. For longer storage, move to the freezer.
Using a sieve, sift flour into a large bowl. (This step really does make the end product better). Add salt and sugar.
With your fingers, rub the (very cold) butter into the flour mixture. Do so until all the butter has been incorporated and you have a texture, as the French say, “like sand.”
In a small bowl, beat the egg, then make a well in the middle of your flour mixture and pour in the beaten egg.
Using a pastry scraper (any flat utensil will do), work the mixture. Add water one tablespoon at a time, until the dough starts to hold together.
On a cold surface, use your hands to roll the dough into a ball. Don’t overwork, or you will end up with tough pastry.
Chill dough in plastic for at least one hour.
Yields two individual pies
- 1 heaping carton of fresh blueberries
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- ½ tablespoons sugar
- ¼ cup vanilla bean maple syrup
Wash blueberries. When they are completely dry, toss with cornstarch in a small bowl.
On medium-high, heat butter, sugar and maple syrup. Stir lightly to incorporate sugar. When it starts to bubble, add blueberries. Stir only minimally until the mixture is syrupy, about five minutes. Set aside to cool.
Roll out the dough into individual tart or pie shells. Empty cooled filling into the shells, and either cover completely with dough (make sure to poke holes) or with strips of dough.
Bake for about 25 minutes at 375°F. Pies should be bubbling and crust should be golden brown.
Serve with Greek yogurt, whipped cream, or ice cream.