According to Thanksgiving lore, one of the many skills taught to the struggling Pilgrims by the Wampanoag was the process of drying blueberries in the summer sun to later be enjoyed during the hard New England winters. For our ode to blueberries, we paired slivers of dried pears with a dried blueberry, lemon, and gin-flavored filling. For more recipes using dried fruit, look to our September/October 2017 issue! Order it and any back issues you may be missing in our online store.
Juniper, Pear, and Blueberry Breton Tarts
- 4 large egg yolks (74 grams)
- ¾ cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
- ¾ cup (170 grams) unsalted butter, softened and cubed
- ¾ teaspoon (2.25 grams) kosher salt
- 1¾ cups (219 grams) all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup (75 grams) cake flour
- ⅓ cup (43 grams) diced dried pear
- 1½ tablespoons (22.5 grams) baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon (1.5 grams) ground juniper berries
- ½ teaspoon (1 gram) ground black pepper
- Lemon Blueberry Filling (recipe below)
- Toasty Brown Sugar Pastry Cream (recipe below)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat egg yolks and sugar at medium speed until pale yellow, 2 to 3 minutes. Add butter and salt, beating until combined.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, pear, baking powder, juniper berries, and pepper. Reduce mixer speed to low. Gradually add flour mixture to yolk mixture, beating just until combined. Turn out dough, and divide in half. Shape each half into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 325°F (170°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place 5 (2½-inch) round cutters on pan, and spray cutters and pan with baking spray with flour.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll half of dough to ¼-inch thickness. Using a 2½-inch round cutter, cut 5 rounds from dough. Place rounds in prepared ring molds. Reserve dough scraps, and keep refrigerated. Using a rounded teaspoon, press a slight indentation into center of each round.
- Bake until puffed and golden brown, about 15 minutes. Let cool completely. Carefully remove ring molds; transfer pastry to wire racks, and let cool completely. Repeat process with remaining dough, spraying rings with baking spray with flour before baking. Spoon 1½ teaspoons Lemon Blueberry Filling into each Breton crust. Pipe Toasty Brown Sugar Pastry Cream around edges of tarts in desired pattern. Serve immediately.
Lemon Blueberry Filling
Makes ½ cup
- ⅓ cup (43 grams) dried blueberries
- ¼ cup (80 grams) blueberry preserves
- ¼ cup (55 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons (10 grams) unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons (1 gram) lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon (5 grams) gin
- In a small saucepan, bring dried blueberries and water to cover by 1 inch to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low; cook until blueberries are softened, about 15 minutes. Drain blueberries, reserving 2 teaspoons (10 grams) cooking liquid.
- In the work bowl of a food processor, place warm blueberries, reserved 2 teaspoons (10 grams) cooking liquid, blueberry preserves, brown sugar, butter, zest, and gin; pulse until mixture has the texture of jam. Let cool completely. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Toasty Brown Sugar Pastry Cream
Makes about 2¾ cups
- 1½ cups (360 grams) heavy whipping cream
- ¾ cup (180 grams) whole milk
- 1 large egg (50 grams)
- 2 large egg yolks (37 grams)
- ⅓ cup (73 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
- 4½ tablespoons (36 grams) cornstarch
- 1½ tablespoons (21 grams) toasted sesame oil
- In a medium saucepan, bring cream and milk to a boil over medium heat.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together egg, egg yolks, brown sugar, and cornstarch. Whisking constantly, slowly add hot cream mixture to egg mixture. Return cream mixture to saucepan, and cook, whisking constantly, until thickened.
- Transfer to a medium bowl, and stir in oil. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto surface of pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for 1 hour.