The dough is a cinch to make, whirled around in a food processor to beat down the cold butter cubes into gravel-sized nuggets and is brought together with a drizzle of cold water. It's not the end of the world if you don't have a food processor - you can prepare the dough in a bowl with a pastry blender (or even your fingertips) and a sturdy wooden spoon - just work quickly to keep the butter cold and try not to overwork the pastry.
Divided into two discs, the dough needs time to rest in the refrigerator before you start working with it - 30 minutes should be enough, but you could also do this a day ahead of time (I did!) to get a head start. With "tart" in the name, you may think some fancy fluted baking tins are in order - however, you don't don't need them... a miniature muffin tin fits the bill just fine!
With the chilled discs of dough divided into twelve pieces each, the individual mounds are flattened out and snugly fit into each small well of the muffin tins. It's fine if you don't have two tins, just prepare one and then repeat the assembly process. The pans are now placed once again in the refrigerator to chill the butter in the dough, which will help the pastry keep its shape as it bakes.
As they chill, you'll be left with plenty of time to get the oven up to temperature and toss together the filling. Speaking of, the filling is not pre-cooked, in fact all it entails is throwing fresh blueberries into a bowl filled with a concoction of granulated sugar, cornstarch, fresh lemon juice, lemon zest and a pinch of salt to coat. Divided between the pastry-filled tins, the tarts are ready to bake until the crusts have browned and the berries release their juice, becoming bubbly and thick. The blueberries we used were fairly large and had to be piled high to get them all to fit... which looked nice as they went into the oven, but as they baked down, a little spillage was inevitable. Definitely not a big deal it all stayed on the pan (it wasn't overflowing or anything), but something to be aware of (and nothing a little hot soapy water won't cure!).
Crisp, golden buttery crusts, with a filling that has a bit of a sassy, tart attitude, these two-bite (or one, as Jeff just popped the whole shebang in) treats are just the right size to snack on without feeling too much guilt when you see only a crumb or two left behind on your plate. There is just enough sweetness in the center so you won't be puckering through your bites, but the blueberries still shine though, especially with the helping hand of the bright lemon zest and juice. They probably won't be winning any beauty awards, but that's no matter as taste wins every time - I may give them a dusting of confectioners' sugar before they go in tomorrow, just because I can't help myself!
Blueberry Mini Tarts