Sunday, September 1, 2019

Blueberry Lime and Raspberry Lemonade Tartlets


I adore all things lemon. Probably have mentioned that before. Last year I turned my mom's lemon bars into portable little lemon bar tarts. This year I have added a couple new options to the list! I love that you can make up the components for these tarts a day or so ahead of time, then assemble and bake with little hassle the day you need them. The crusts are easy to work with and give two different textural options. For the blueberry lime especially, I recommend the "corn" shortcrust. It has just a little bit of gritty crunch from either fine cornmeal or fine millet meal like I use, and goes so well with the lime. Hubby prefers that crust. The original tart crust is also a nice shortcrust, not too sweet, and without grit. Eldest daughter prefers no grit in her crust. I love them both, though I am especially pleased with the blueberry/lime/"corn" combination right now! Millet, by the way, is a great substitute for cornmeal in baked goods because it tastes very similar and behaves similarly as well. I have made millet polenta for bread and millet based cornbread that would have fooled the family if I hadn't told them. My brother described the flavor as just a mild, more delicate corn flavor.

You can successfully freeze the crust and curd in between batches, the berry curds will want an extra minute of bake time if you do this. You can also use the curds for a full sized tart or Danish fillings, perhaps a babka or star twist loaf...


Blueberry Lime Curd
1 ½ cups blueberries
1 tbsp water
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ cup lime juice 
zest of one lime
4 tsp flour
6 tbsp softened butter

Add the blueberries and water to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over med-high heat.  Reduce the heat to med-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until most of the blueberries have burst, about 5 minutes.
Press the blueberry mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl to extract as much juice as possible.  Discard the solids.
Add the blueberry juice, and all remaining ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth and no butter grains show, about a minute. Pour into a saucepan and cook over low-med until thickened, stirring constantly.  If using a thermometer it should be done around 175ºF and will take around 5-8 minutes.  The mixture will thicken noticeably and coat the back of a spoon. 
Pour the blueberry curd into a container and set aside to cool while making the crust.

Raspberry Lemonade Curd
1 ½ cups raspberries
1 tbsp water
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ cup lemon juice 
zest of one lemon
4 tsp flour
6 tbsp softened butter

Add the blueberries and water to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over med-high heat.  Reduce the heat to med-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until most of the blueberries have burst, about 5 minutes.
Press the blueberry mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl to extract as much juice as possible.  Discard the solids.
Add the blueberry juice, and all remaining ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth and no butter grains show, about a minute. Pour into a saucepan and cook over low-med until thickened, stirring constantly.  If using a thermometer it should be done around 175ºF and will take around 5-8 minutes.  The mixture will thicken noticeably and coat the back of a spoon. 
Pour the blueberry curd into a container and set aside to cool while making the crust.

To make the "cornmeal" shortcrust:
1 cup butter, room temperature
½ cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp granulated sugar
zest of one lime
1 egg yolk
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ tsp baking powder 
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup fine ground millet, or you can use fine cornmeal

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.  Combine flour, millet, salt, and baking powder in a bowl and set aside.  In a mixing bowl or stand mixer, cream the butter, sugars, and lime zest.  Mix in the yolks.  Gradually add the flour until the dough comes together into a loose ball.  It should be firm enough to roll into balls without sticking to the hands.  If dough is still sticky, add flour by 2 tbsp until it is no longer sticky.

Plain shortcrust:
cups flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
1 cup butter
¼ cup sugar
½ cup powdered sugar
1 tsp lemon zest
2 egg yolks

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.  Combine flour, salt, soda, and cream of tartar in a bowl and set aside.  In a mixing bowl or stand mixer, cream the butter, sugars, and lemon zest.  Mix in the yolks.  Gradually add the flour until the dough comes together into a loose ball.  It should be firm enough to roll into balls without sticking to the hands. 

To make the tarts:
Line a mini muffin tin with paper liners.  Using a small cookie scoop, portion into scant tbsp sized balls and press into the liners.  I used the floured end of my marble pestle, it was perfectly sized.  You can use a wooden muddle, large wooden spoon handle, or there are tart tampers made for the purpose of pressing mini tarts though they work best without pan liners.  You can also just press down with your thumb.  Tamping instrument will need to be floured in between holes to prevent sticking.

Gently press with thumb to center.
Press down tamper and tilt around in a circle to create the hole.

Bake crusts for 10 minutes and remove from oven.  They will have puffed up a little.  Refresh the holes in the crust shells with the end of your tamper (don't use your thumb this time, they are hot), and fill with a generous teaspoon of blueberry curd.  With the berry curds, it is best to pipe the curd into the shells to get a nicely shaped top.  A simple sandwich bag with a hole cut at the end will suffice.  Return to the oven and bake for another 8 minutes.

Hot crusts may be refreshed without flouring the tamper.
Ready to fill and finish baking.

Powdered sugar drizzle
¾ cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp hot water (or if you really like things tart, use lime juice)

Whisk together the powdered sugar with enough water or lime juice to make a thicker glaze. Start with ½ tbsp juice and add by half teaspoons until drizzling consistency.  Transfer glaze into a sandwich bag and snip off just a tiny hole at the end.  Use to pipe over the cooled tarts or alternately drizzle over with a fork.


Approximate nutrition for one mini tart from a lined tin:



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