Caffeinated Baking: Blueberry Coffee Tart
On a quick 2-day trip to Michigan I kept driving past all these signs and billboards for u-pick blueberry farms. I resisted until the drive home and made a last minute stop. I didn’t have enough time to pick my own, but I did have enough cash to pick up a 5 lb bucket of blueberries. The first dessert to come of the blueberry bounty was this mildly sweet tart. If you’ve had bad luck with crusts before, fear not, I’ll walk you through a (nearly) fool-proof way to make a light and fluffy crust. Or if you just don’t care or aren’t up to the task, feel free to substitute store-bought pie crust.
Blueberry Coffee Tart
Serves 4-8 depending on how greedy you are.
For the crust:
- 1 1/4 cup flour
- 1 stick of cold salted butter (or use unsalted butter plus 1/4 tsp salt)
- 1/3 cup very cold water
For the filling:
- 1 cup (8 oz) mascarpone cheese (sub ricotta if you can’t get mascarpone)
- 1/8 tsp almond extract
- 2 Tbs honey
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tsp espresso powder (or 1 packet of Starbucks Via)
- 2 cups fresh blueberries, washed and dried
For the crust:
(A quick note: it is important that the ingredients of the crust stay very cold at all times right up until you pop it in the oven. If at any time the butter starts to melt or the dough feels sticky, put everything in the freezer for several minutes until it firms up again. Read through the instructions before starting so you can move quickly and minimize the time that the crust is out of the freezer.)
- Cut the chilled butter into cubes. Place it in a food processor with the flour and pulse a few times until it is crumbly, leaving a few large chunks of butter. If you don’t have a food processor, use two forks to smash the butter into the flour until it is crumbly. Put the flour mixture a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add the cold water one tablespoon at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon until just combined. The dough should hold together but not be sticky. Place the dough on a piece of parchment paper, fold the paper over the dough, and press it quickly into a circle about 3/4″-thick. Fold the parchment around the dough. Place it in the freezer for 20 minutes. (In the meantime, you can start the coffee filling).
- Preheat the oven to 425F. Remove the dough from the freezer. Unfold the parchment envelope and place a second piece of parchment over the dough. Roll the dough out, with a rolling pin, in between the two pieces of parchment. Roll it until it is roughly 1″ bigger than your tart pan (place the tart pan over the dough to measure). Leaving the dough in between the parchment, return it to the freezer for 15 minutes.
- Remove the dough from the freezer and peel the parchment from it, one side at a time. It should pull away pretty easily (if not, return it to the freezer until you can easily pull the paper away). Lay the circle of dough in the tart pan and press it down and along the sides, being careful not the break the dough. Remove any overhanging dough and throw it away.
- Place a piece of parchment paper over the dough and fill it with baking weights or dried beans (this will keep the crust from puffing up too much or shrinking). Bake it in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Carefully remove the beans and parchment and let the crust cool in the tart pan on a cooling rack.
For the filling:
- Place all of the filling ingredients except for the blueberries in a large bowl. Beat together with a large wooden spoon or in a stand mixer with a paddle until smooth and well combined. Spread into the cooled pie crust. Top with the blueberries spread into a single layer. Eat immediately, or store in a cool place for up to 8 hours.