Friday, June 18, 2010

Sweet: Blueberry Lime Tart

Blueberry and lime are like unknowing lovers destined to be together, who keep missing each other due to circumstances beyond their control. One is sweet, the other sour. Like all great love stories opposites attract, come together with great passion, and merge into one. Tart, that is.

I've had blueberry lime desserts floating around in my head for months now. I wanted to do a pie but never can get the juices to manage themselves properly - blueberry pies are messy by nature because of the fruit's high juice content. When cooked, blueberries yield tremendous volumes of juice, which in turn run all over the place. The only way to manage them is with a thickener like corn starch or meringue powder, and I hate adding stuff like that unless absolutely necessary.

A betty or slump or other deconstructed cake was also on my list of ideas, but I wanted something with a little more finish, to showcase it a bit. And then I sat down with my best friend and fellow baker Debbie. And she came up with the idea of a tart. Brilliant - the blueberries don't need to be baked, so less mess. The lime flavors burst from the lime curd and crust. And the best thing about this tart is that once you've made the lime curd and crust, it comes together in less than 10 minutes. It looks impressive, tastes great, and lends a real sense of occasion to any event.

Some suggestions for this recipe:
  • Consider using wild blueberries if you can find them. They are smaller, a little more tart, and make a charming presentation.
  • Be patient with the lime curd. It takes a while, truly 12 - 15 minutes, to come together. Like whipped cream, you'll know it when you see it. And btw, lime curd is yellow. Because egg yolks are the main ingredient.  Don't let it throw you off.
  • Don't use any bowls or pans made with reactive materials, like copper. It doesn't do well with acids.
  • If you want to go really nuts, make blueberry lime curd. Heat about 1/2 cup of blueberries with 1/8 cup sugar in a small pan. Let the juices burst from the berries. Strain, cool, and reserve the syrup. Swirl into the lime curd. Add to tart shell after removing foil and weights.
  • If you want to go completely over the top, add 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tbsp of lime zest to 1 cup heavy cream, and whip.  Fold whipped cream into the lime card , then swirl in the blueberry syrup, then add to tart shell after removing foil and weights. No need to top with blueberries, although you can serve them on the side. Fabulous.
This is food for lovers, not small children.  Tuck them into bed, light a few candles, and come together to enjoy a terrific day end finale.  Enjoy every nibble.

1/2 cup of butter (1 stick)
2 tbsp finely grated lime zest
1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 pinch of salt

Lime curd
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup lime juice
3 tbsp lime zest
Pinch of salt
6 egg yolks

3 pints of blueberries
1/4 cup red current jelly

Make the crust:
  • Melt butter in sauce pan over medium heat.  Add 1 tbsp zest and let stand for 5 minutes. 
  • Mix the flour, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl.
  • Pour the butter into the bowl slowly, stirring with a fork as you go. When dough comes together, transfer to a tart pan and press it in evenly. Prick with a fork throughout. 
  • Cover with foil and pie weights/beans, and bake for 2o minutes. Remove foil and weights, and then bake for another 10 - 20 minutes, until light brown.  Remove and cool on a rack.

Make the lime curd:
  • Melt butter on medium in a saucepan.
  • Remove from heat and add sugar, lime juice, lime zest, and salt.  Whisk, and then whisk in yolks until smooth.
  • Cook on low heat, whisking constantly.  This takes about 12 - 15 minutes.  It is ready when it has thickened enough to leave a trail on the back of a wooden spoon.  You will feel it thickening as you whisk. Do not allow this to boil.  
  • Strain immediately.  Cool to room temperature and then chill. 

Put it all together:
  • Heat red currant jelly on low heat in a small sauce pan, until liquefied. Remove from heat and reserve.
  • Pour the lime curd into the cooled tart. Scatter blueberries across the top of the lime curd. Brush blueberries with red currant jelly. Chill and serve.

1 comment:

  1. Beautifully done. I'm dying for this. Seems like two great tastes that deserve to taste great together.