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Blueberries make a sensational tart

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Tarts and pies are basically in the same category, in that they are pastries that are very much alike. When you think of blueberry pastries, most of us think of blueberry pie. This is an American classic that's long been on the lists of baker's favorites for decades. It's about this time of year that we start thinking of the availability of fresh fruits and using them in homemade desserts.

Why not try taking blueberries and making a variation on a theme with them? Instead of blueberry pie, how about "Blueberry Almond Tart". This is much like a blueberry pie, but it contains the crunch of almonds with a mild lemon flavor. It's pretty to look at and definitely good eating! The fresh blueberries are becoming plentiful right now and if you can freeze some now for this winter, you'll be able to enjoy them in this recipe, as well as virtually any other recipe calling for them, anytime you like.

This tart begins with a pie shell, which you can make or purchase. If you purchase a pie crust, I strongly advise the "Pillsbury All-Ready Pie Crust", as this is as very close to homemade that you can get. Also, you will need a deep crust, since this recipe calls for a quart of blueberries. If you'd like to make a homemade crust, by all means do so! A good while back, I shared a recipe for "Egg Pastry", which will give you an ample supply of pastry to have on hand whenever you want to make a pie or a tart. Here's the link to the recipe so you can get it, which was part of an article I did on Eggland's Best eggs:

http://www.examiner.com/article/win-the-title-of-chief-egg-officer

To make the tart, you cream butter and sugar. This is followed by adding eggs, then whipping cream. After that comes lemon juice, lemon zest and blanched almonds. You then fold in these wonderful blueberries! This goes into the pie shell and is baked. When it comes from the oven and has cooled, a dusting of confectioner's sugar over the top gives it a decorative appearance and it's ready to enjoy.

When working with fresh blueberries, it's recommended to not wash them until ready to use. If you're freezing the berries, pack them in Ziploc bags and write a reminder on the bag to "wash before using". Blueberries have a protective coating on them and it's best to not remove this coating until just before they're being used. When you're ready to use those that you have frozen, simply place the frozen amount of berries in a colander and wash with cool water. Drain thoroughly and you're set to go!

Step out beyond plain blueberry pie with this refreshing and flavorful tart!

BLUEBERRY ALMOND TART

  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • zest of of 1 lemon (the colored part of the peel)
  • 3/4 cup blanched almonds, ground
  • 1 9-inch pie shell
  • confectioner's sugar to dust

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Beat in the cornstarch. Beat in the eggs, one by one, followed by the cream, lemon juice, lemon zest, and almonds. Gently wisk in the blueberries. Pour mixture into the pie shell. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until set and light brown. Dust with confectioner's sugar. Serve warm or cold. Yield: 6-8 servings.

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