These days I find myself wishing for warmer weather. Wanting to take my monthly road trip to Short Sands beach in Maine. I will always be an island girl at heart, the beach will always call my name. Yes, I am an island girl living the American dream now. I reside in the frozen tundra of New Hampshire. Which means Summer is a luxury that needs to be enjoyed and appreciated.
I was born and raised in Trinidad spending almost 28 years of my life on the small island.
The weekends in Trinidad & Tobago included driving to Maracas Bay and spending time swimming in the warm Caribbean waters and then laying on the warm sand.
These memories are forever in my mind. In the New England Summer days, I normally set up myself on the shores of Short Sands beach in Maine. I place myself alongside the seagulls and dig my toes into the sand. I love to watch the waves roll in, and have the feel of the crisp ocean breeze hit my face. This is truly all I need to feel a bit of relief when I get homesick.
But during this pandemic, the uncertainty of returning to Maine's beaches still remains unknown.
Apart from the beautiful beaches of Maine, did you know their signature product is the Wild Blueberry?
Maine's blueberry history dates back almost 10,000 years ago and these wild blueberries were used by Native Americans.
The Native Americans used the wild blueberries for nutrition and healing qualities and were known for burning the bushes after the season was complete.
The peak season for blueberry picking is in fact during the summertime, which makes this a perfect dessert for the warmer months.
With that being said, I introduce to you the wonderful blueberry tart.
Why blueberries Shelly-Anne?
Have you watched Willy Wonka a bit too many times this past week? The answer is yes! Yes, I have.
Watching Violet turn into a blueberry reminded me that I shouldn't eat junk food to comfort myself during this quarantine. I am sure I will definitely be an immobile giant blueberry myself at the end of this lockdown. A fresh blueberry tart will definitely be a nice alternative in between the wine and chocolate.
Also, every time I enter a market I see loads of blueberries that are very diverse for cooking breakfasts, jellies, and desserts alike.
Since I can't get to a local farm quite yet to support them, I will recommend using the fresh blueberries at the market. Now please do not, I repeat, do not use the frozen blueberries as you will need fresh ones to top this recipe at the end.
Still here? Okay good.
What you will need for this recipe starting with the filling.
Blueberry Tart Filling
4 cups fresh blueberries
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon zest of lemon
Tart Shell Recipe
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
We will start by washing the blueberries and set them aside.
We will now prepare our tart tin for the crust as we will have to move a bit quickly with the blueberry filling.
In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, salt, and butter. Cut the butter into the flour with a pastry blender, until you get large crumbs starting to form and the dough slowly comes together when you hold it. *You can also place into a food processor should you have one.
Place the dough into a 9" inch round tart pan with a removable bottom. This will make life easier for removal and placing on a serving dish.
Press the dough evenly into the tart pan. Using a flat-edged knife, run your knife over the top to clear off any excess tart dough.
You will need a fork to prick the base of the tart shell.
Put the tart tin into the fridge immediately.
Set your oven to 400F.
In about 10 minutes take a clean medium-sized bowl, mix half of the blueberries with the sugar, flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, and zest and combine the ingredients.
Remove the tart from the fridge. Place the berry mixture into the tart shell.
Bake at 400F for 50-55 minutes.
Once the edges have turned an amber-brown you can remove the tart and let it sit and cool. Whilst it is resting take the remaining half of the blueberries and place them on top. Garnish with mint or lemon zest.
So when you're feeling blue maybe make a blueberry tart to cheer you up. With the cookie texture on the bottom and tart sweetness on top, you can't go wrong.