Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tarte aux Myrtilles - a recipe for French Blueberry Tart

What's an Estonian girl to write about French blueberry tart? No real excuse, apart from the fact that I had a box of wild Estonian bilberries in my freezer and I wanted to make something that really highlight these delicious berries. The resulting cake was delicious and elegant in its simplicity, and I wanted to share the recipe with my blog friends :)

Bilberry or European blueberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L), is related to high-bush blueberries (Vaccinium Cyanococcus) mostly known and cultivated in the US. I must admit I always thought these two were the same thing - until I bought some cultivated blueberries in Scotland and were surprised to see that the berries where greenish-white inside, and not dark purple, as the berries I had always picked in Estonia. So now I know that when it's white inside, it's a blueberry, when it's purple inside, it's a bilberry.

Both work well in this lovely berry tart. Serve with a sprinkling of icing sugar, and some whipped cream or creme fraiche on the side.

French Blueberry Tart
(Prantsuse mustikapirukas)
Serves six to eight

300-350 g sweet shortcrust pastry (recipe below)

400 g blueberries or bilberries
75 g sugar
1 Tbsp potato starch or cornflour

icing sugar, to serve

For the pastry:
100 g cold unsalted butter
70 g sugar
1 small egg
1/3 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
170 g plain/all-purpose flour

To make the pastry, put all the ingredients into the food processor and process into small crumbs. Using your hands, press into a disk, and place to the fridge for 30 minutes to rest. Then roll out and line a 24-25 cm springform tin with it (incl. about 1 inch up the sides). (Or use your favourite sweet tart pastry or pâte sablée recipe - you need about 300-350 g).
For the filling, stir sugar and potato starch/cornflour into blueberries, pour onto the cake tin.
Bake in a pre-heated 200 C oven for about 30 minutes, until the pastry is golden and baked.
Cool completely before serving - otherwise the filling is a bit runny.


Alanna Kellogg said...

Ha -- now I'm wondering of the 'blueberries' we picked when I was a child, in the woods and bogs, fighting both mosquitoes and bears, were actually bilberries. Must figure that out! PS BEAUTIFUL tart, wish my oven were working!

farida said...

Blueberries are in full swing in California. They sell them everywhere:) I will save your recipe to try out one day. Look so colorful!

Lynda said...

This looks beautiful and simple in ingredients - the best way to make a fruit tart. There are blueberries everywhere right now in Denmark and I have to bring a dessert to a dinner tonight, so will make this. Thanks for the recipe!

thepassionatecook said...

i still reidly the discussions we had about bilberries/blueberries when you visited us in london! i miss bilberries, I wish they travelled... but they're impossible to get around here.
they also have amazing medicinal properties as I am finding out ;-)

juhan harm said...

i have to try your version. i have been doing it as a "fresh" blueberry tart.

i bake the crumb, add half of the blueberries directly to the baked crumb (i wait a little until the crumb has cooled) and the other half i turn into jam. i pour the jam over blueberries. in total i have been using about 1 l of blueberries. probably 3/4 would do fine

for jam i use 1 cup of sugar and 3 tbl spoons of potato starch. i cook the jam very lightly. as soon as i see bubbles i add starch (dissolved in little water) and let it simmer for few minutes.

Cook said...

I have tried this tart today- it is absolutely out of this world. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe!

Tony le frenchy said...

Nothing is better with French products, right?
I have found a really good shop on-line which sells French gourmet food and deliver right to your home!
It's amazing!! It is called

bye bye