Saturday, November 15, 2008

Serendipitous

blueberry tart

I originally bought these blueberries for a college photography assignment. It was all about human element, but other than that, we had completely free reign over what we could do. As with many of my assignments, food managed to sneak into it, I can’t seem to help it. When looking through my portfolio, I think the examiners will probably get hungry!

While thinking about what I could do with them, I remembered this recipe that I had bookmarked in one of my old Gourmet Traveller magazines. I totally fell for the photo, it was just wonderful, but when I saw the source of the recipe, I remembered the wonderful Bathers Pavillion frangpiane tart I had enjoyed so much recently at the Food and Wine Fair. Some events just seem serendipitous!

These tiny tartlets would be perfect to serve at a spring picnic or a girly afternoon tea; both are things I am planning at the moment. I loved the nuttiness of the frangpiane, and though it seemed to have a different personality entirely from their berries and cream variation, I loved it all the same.

I will say, though, that this vanilla custard recipe gave me some grief. I have made custard many times and never had a problem, but it took a dozen eggs before I managed to get this one right. I can’t be sure, but maybe it’s because the sugar was mixed with the milk rather than the eggs like other recipes I’ve used?

The egg yolks went stiff when mixed with the flour and cornflour, even when only whisking for a few seconds, and are hard to mix in completely to the milk mixture, leaving lumpy eggy bits floating around. Even when I strained it, it still didn’t seem silky smooth. If you have a favourite custard recipe, I’d say go ahead and use it here. This one is delicious, yes, but it isn’t worth wasting so many ingredients on if things go wrong!

Blueberry and Vanilla Frangipane Tart
Adapted from Bathers’ Pavillion Menus and Recipes by Serge Danserau
Serves 8

Note: You will need to start this recipe the day before you plan to serve it.

Frangipane
• 100g unsalted butter
• 100g caster sugar
• 3 eggs
• 40g plain flour
• 125g ground almonds

Pastry
• 225g unsalted butter
• 100g caster sugar
• 1 egg, beaten
• 350g plain flour

Vanilla Custard
• 1 litre (4 cups) milk
• 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
• 250g white sugar
• 6 egg yolks
• 40g plain flour
• 40g cornflour

To Serve
• 3-4 punnets ripe blueberries, rinsed and towel dried
• Icing sugar, to dust

1. To make frangipane filling, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer for 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating slowly after each addition until well combined. Stop the mixer. Sift the flour and ground almonds and add to the butter mixture. Beat for 1 minute, transfer to a bowl and refrigerate overnight covered with plastic wrap.
2. To make the pastry, cream butter and sugar together until very pale, and then beat in the egg. Gradually add the flour and mix to a smooth paste. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours. Roll out the pastry to 3mm thickness and use to line 8 individual tartlet tins. Chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
3. Preheat the oven to 180ÂșC and blind bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven, add a tablespoon of frangipane filling to each tart and bake for a further 10 minutes or until golden brown.
4. In the meantime, make the vanilla custard. Bring the milk, vanilla beans and sugar to the boil slowly. Cream egg yolks flour and cornflour together in a separate bowl and then pour the milk into the egg mixture. Mix well. Return mixture to the saucepan.
5. On medium heat, stir until it starts to thicken. Continue to mix on low heat for a further 5 minutes. Pass through a sieve and place into a bowl with some baking paper o top to stop a skin forming. When the mixture has cooled to room temperature, spoon a level amount of custard into each cooked pastry tart.
6. Place blueberries tightly packed on top of the custard, dust with icing sugar and serve.

23 comments:

Chocolate Shavings said...

That tart looks wonderful - I always pick out blueberries from fruit tarts and eat them first... so a tart full of blueberries would suit me perfectly!

The photo is beautiful too.

Lorraine E said...

That looks amazing Lisa-just begging to be eaten. Thanks for the tip about the custard too, using a dozen for a custard would provide me with a bit too much anxiety!

Katie said...

That is GORGEOUS!

Reemski said...

That looks divine. I've been gorging on bluebs recently while they've been reletively cheap!
BTW I have tagged you! Just visit to check out the rules!

Manggy said...

Beautifully done, Lisa! I'm not a girl at *all* but can I still partake of the tart? ;) Sorry to hear about the custard. That's the second time in two days of messed-up custards. Definitely Whisking the cornstarch with egg yolks and sugar is the best, if not only appropriate, way to go.

lalaine said...

love how the blueberries picked up the color of your dress!

the projectivist said...

those blueberries look HUGE!
and the pastry, thin and delicate, as though it would crumble instantly under the touch of my eager fork!
yum!
great picture.

Karen said...

That looks so beautiful. There's something so gorgeous about berries and pastry. Especially when it's the deep blue-violet colour of blueberries. Yum!

Doh, Reemski tagged you, she beat me to it!

Y said...

Beautiful in blue ! :) I haven't found cheap blueberries around yet, but I can't wait! Usually I just end up eating them by the handful. I've been wanting to make a tart with berries though.

Not sure why the lumpy bits would have occured. Sometimes you can try processing or whisking it after it's been cooked and strained, to smooth the mixture out.

Elle said...

That is beautiful! And the berries are huge, too!

Becky said...

yum! this looks so delicious!

Dawn said...

Those are some huge blueberries or are my eyes bad?
That looks way too pretty to eat Lisa.

Lori said...

Love that photo. The crisp white on blue. Very sharp and elegant. I love love love blueberries. So funny you all in your summer and us in our winter. I will live vicariously through you. The only blues I have are in the freezer. Not quite the same.

Lisa said...

Chocolate Shavings, I love fruit tarts! This is probably my first real attempt at one actually. I forsee more in the future :)

Lorraine, Dorie Greenspan's pastry cream recipe has never given me any problems, so I think I'll stick with that one from now on!

Katie, thank you!

Reemski, I love summer berries, and I'm totally looking forward to playing with them for the next few months. I will do the tag in my next post!

Mark, of course you can have some tart! I'll definitely keep that tip in mind for next time, thanks!

Lalaine, I actually got my mother to hand model for me, the top she was wearing was the perfect colour :)

The Projectivist, yeah they were decent size blueberries! thanks

Karen, I love all kinds of berries but I have a special fondness for blueberries. I can't wait til summer officially starts!

Y, I eat berries by the handful too, but I wanted to do something special with them this time :)

Elle, they are pretty large! thanks :)

Becky, it totally was delicious, yes indeed.

Dawn, no it's not your eyes! thank you!

Lori, I often have seasonal envy. Some days I want a scarf and a hot chocolate but we're sweltering in 35 degree heat! So maybe I can live vicariously through you too ;)

FAMILY FIRST said...

I love to see bakes with blueberries! I have never baked one cos these berries are sooo expensive over here.

Miss Honey said...

Ooo yum! Love looking at your pics:)

Brilynn said...

Gorgeous!
Those blueberries look fantastic!

Katie said...

That looks really delicious - I love blueberries.

Lisa said...

family first, blueberries are just coming into season now, at any other time of the year they are pretty expensive! I love baking with them :)

miss honey, thank you!

brilynn, thank you, they were delicious. I can't wait to buy more :)

katie, you and me both! summer fruit is so delicious.

Annie said...

This looks stunning - I love blueberries! And I must say that you take the most gorgeous photos!

Christie @ fig & cherry said...

Gorgeous presentation! Those blueberries look so fresh!

Joyce said...

Your pictures are so beautiful.
And the food looks delicious

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