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Friday, June 4, 2010

Easy Blueberry Tarts

I asked Michael recently what kind of pie he'd like and he decided on blueberry. While I was at the store the other day I found a small container of blueberries and decided to pick it up with the intention of making a pie.

As fate would have it, I never got around to the pie but this afternoon decided to use a bit of my frozen puff pastry and do a few little blueberry tarts in different configurations.

The great thing about these is that they're really great tasting and impressive on the plate but are super quick and easy. Of course, like most things you can make this as complicated as you want. If you really want to spend a day on desserts you can start by making your own puff pastry, then grind up some blanched almonds to make an almond creme or frangipane to use as the base for the tart.

Or you can knock this out in under an hour with these simple shortcuts. You'll want to start with 1 sheet of frozen puff pastry and cut it into 4 sections. You may also be able to find pre-cut small squares in specialty stores. That's what I used this afternoon.

This can also be used with any fruit you wish. I chose blueberry, but you could use any berry or even apricots, lemon curd or orange marmalade!




Frozen puff pastry (1 sheet thawed but cold)
Blueberry Preserves
Fresh Blueberries
2 tbs. melted butter
sugar to dust pastry
apricot glaze (optional)

Egg Wash
1 large egg
pinch salt
1 tsp. water

Mix together with fork and brush on pastry.

Preheat oven to 425°.

To make the twisted version, you'll start with one square. Place pastry on parchment lined baking sheet. Make a straight cut about 1/2 to 1 inch from the edge using a ruler. You're going to be making two opposing "V" cuts on the corners. Make sure you don't cut out the center square you're making. You want two of the corners to remain attached to the border.

Then fold the edges one through the other and press lightly. Brush with egg wash but make sure not to get wash on edges of pastry. (It won't puff up if you seal the edges with the wash.) Spoon blueberry preserves into center square and top with fresh blueberries. Brush blueberries with melted butter and dust with sugar. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Remove from oven and brush with apricot glaze if desired or brush with melted butter and sprinkle with more sugar.

To make the round tartlet version take a square of the pastry and cut out a circle. (I used a 3" fluted cookie cutter but you can use whatever you like - 3" to 5" are the best sizes.) Dock the dough with a fork to within 1/2" of the edge of the pastry the undocked edge will rise to form the sides. Brush with egg wash being careful not to get wash on edges of pastry.

Spoon blueberry preserves into center of circle and top with fresh blueberries. Bake at 425° for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and brush with apricot glaze, if desired, or melted butter and sprinkle with sugar.

To make the blueberry turnover version. Take a square of pastry and brush with egg wash and melted butter. Spoon blueberry preserves diagonally down center of dough, leaving enough border so it can be folded over and sealed. Add a few fresh blueberries and fold the dough to form a triangle. Press down edges lightly and using a fork, seal the edges. Brush outside with egg wash and sprinkle with a little sugar. Bake at 425° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

Remove from oven and brush with apricot glaze or melted butter and sprinkle with a little sugar.

Note: If you do the round tartlet and find you have square dough with a hole in it, you can take this scrap and fold over the edges in the center and press lightly. Brush with egg wash and melted butter and sprinkle liberally with sugar. Bake at 425° for 15 to 20 minutes or until puffed and golden brown.

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