Thursday, January 13, 2011

Blueberry Tart with Walnut Crust...

I have another recipe to share where we used the bounty of fresh North Carolina blueberries we were able to pick up from the market several weeks ago (I know, I'm saying that a lot recently... I'm working on a backlog of recipes!). We ended up with two grossly large pales, half of which were tossed in the freezer for smoothies, pancakes, muffins and to toss in yogurt, while the rest we used used in recipes or inhaled by the half-pint.

We actually made this Blueberry Tart with Walnut Crust shortly after we finished those intriguing mashed-potato laced Blueberry Cupcakes.

What caught my eye about this recipe, besides the blueberries, was the crust - graham cracker crumbs (we used cinnamon, but honey would be lovely) gave us a base to work with, but what made it pulse with vivacious energy was the handful of lightly toasted walnuts ground down with the crumbs. For a slightly lighter base, instead of several tablespoons of melted butter to bind the crust together, this recipe called for just a single tablespoon each of butter and canola oil, along with a large egg white to tighten the crust into a cohesive foundation.

The only baking that happens with the tart is the crust - after being mashed over the bottom and up the sides of a removable-bottom tart pan (easy access once complete!), it needs to bake for a few minutes to set the crust. It will smell exceptionally nutty, darken slightly around the edges and the center could be dry to the touch when done.

To finish out the tart, the filling is made by whipping together cream cheese and tangy sour cream with enough pure maple syrup to give the creamy mass with a robust sweetness without taking the the shining star off the fresh berries. When you spread this creamy fusion on the cooled crust, try not to be too overzealous - while I wouldn't call it brittle, it is fairy delicate. With the plump orbs artfully (or just scattered... don't get caught up in perfection!) arranged on the buoyant? filling, a couple extra tablespoons of maple syrup were drizzled over for a smashing glimmer on top?.

Let this set for at least an hour before you slice and serve - the filling firms up enough that you can pull out slices without much oozing, but is still more soft set than firm like a cheesecake would be. While going through pictures to get ready for the post, Jeff walked in and he immediately requested that this be the first treat we make as soon as we can get our hands on fresh blueberries this year - I think that's a good call!


  1. Joe,

    Did you like this as well as the strawberry almond cream tart that uses a cream cheese-based layer?

    I made that recipe twice over the summer and we loved it. The second time made it with an almond-based tart crust and it was even more amazing than the graham-cracker one.

  2. This looks heavenly - and we just so happen to have blueberries in our fridge - fate? I think so!

  3. My problem is, I never buy enough blueberries! I always end up eating them right out of the container before they even get into a recipe.

    Your pics, instructions and descriptions are wonderful!

  4. Now this almost makes me cry... there are NO blueberries in France. They have these itty bitty berries called myrtilles, but they pale by a light year compared to US blueberries. I think I WILL cry...

  5. My in-laws live in North Carolina and the blueberries are so delicious. I am going to forward this to my MIL. Thanks for the recipe!

  6. Michelle - Touch choice, I like things about both!

    Caroline - I think so too!

    Jan - I can definitely relate, which is why we ended up buying so many to begin with!

    Jen - Life without blueberries? Ack!

    Lisa - I can see why people rave about them here!

  7. It would be truly fantastic to have some in-season Maine wild blueberries for this dish.