HI, GUYS! I’ve missed you so much. I know I’ve been M.I.A., but I’ll be around a lot more now, because yesterday, I turned in my cookbook manuscript! It’s been an insane few weeks, and we still have a long way to go (editing, photography, design, promotion), but turning in the manuscript is giant, massive weight off my shoulders. And I can now finally get back to all the stuff I’ve been pushing to the back burner for weeks, like cleaning my house, making pickles (we have so many cucumbers in the fridge) and cooking delicious things for you guys.
We have an absolute ton of desserts in the house right now because of the last round of cookbook recipe testing (thankfully, all of them are freezer friendly), but I couldn’t resist making yet another dessert to help celebrate yesterday’s accomplishment. Because in my world, something big happening = an excuse to make something with sugar. And drink. But that’s a different post for a different time.
Of course, celebration wasn’t my only motivation for making this blueberry-based dessert. I’m also looking for ways to use up some of this beautiful bounty…
Last week, I broke away from the keyboard for a few hours to head out blueberry picking with Craig. We’ve been having some amazing berry weather here this season, and the u-pick blueberry farms around us are bursting with berries.
Just like with the strawberries, we have plans in the future to have tons of our own fruit, but our blueberry bushes are still establishing themselves, and we were after quantity, so we had to go out elsewhere. There are a few u-pick blueberry spots in our area, but we decided to hit up one that only deals in blueberries, and it was an awesome experience. The price was right, the people were friendly, and they had tons of varieties that were all so delicious!
It was an beautiful day, and the picking went pretty quickly. We ended up taking home just shy of 30 pounds of berries. I really wanted more than that, but we were both starving—and the handful after overflowing handful of blueberries we ate while picking weren’t doing it. So we checked out and headed home to get some food. But 30 pounds still is a pretty awesome haul.
The vast majority of the blueberries went straight into the freezer. Blueberries are seriously the best things in the world for freezing. No prep at all! Just toss them into a freezer bag and you’re done. That’s my kind of preserving. But we did reserve a few for fresh eating and fun dishes like these cute little tarts.
These tartlets are pretty much the easiest fruit dessert you could ever make. They take about five minutes to come together and bake in about 20. I got these little tart pans a few years back at a local kitchen supply store (and I love them, they are perfect for single-serving treats), but you could easily make it in a large tart pan, too. This recipe is sized for two small tarts, but if you want to make a large (11 inch or so) tart pan, just triple the recipe.
The thing that makes these tarts so simple is that the filling is made while the tart is baking in the oven. So basically, whole blueberries go in the oven, and gooey, warm, sweet blueberry jam comes out. It’s like magic. Delicious, delicious magic.
Okay, so it isn’t magic. It’s pectin! Blueberries are naturally high in pectin (the stuff you add to some jellies and jams to make them thicken and gel) and when that pectin is heated with just a touch of sugar and flour, you get perfect tart filling. Theoretically, this method could work with any high-pectin fruits (apples, grapes, cranberries), but I’ve never tried it with those. Although, we will be going apple picking in the next few weeks, so I might have to test it out.
It feels so good to be back. Enjoy!
Other Blueberry Recipes