Thursday, June 30, 2011

BLUE: Star Berries - July is National Blueberry Month!

Blueberries are in and you better get them while they are peak!!! These luscious little orbs are full of sweet flavor, vitamins, antioxidants and beneficial phytochemicals. One of the few fruits native to North America and one of the few true blue foods in existence, these berries are to be respected and enjoyed. Fresh, dried, frozen, juice, you name it these berries can do it. Many a year ago the Native Americans utilized just about every part of the blueberry bush, which they also called “star berries” for the five-pointed star that forms on the calyx of the berry. From making tea with the leaves, using the juice to treat coughs as well as a dye for fabrics, and of course the berries in every form and dish they could put them in. And we can thank the Native Americans for teaching the early European settlers how to cultivate this crop (as well as pretty much all the others!) so that we can still enjoy these killer little guys today!
Try some local blueberries out in this beautiful tart… I know they are available from a few different farms thanks to all the rain!

“Star Berry” Tart:
Yield: 1, 9-inch tart
1 ½ cups white whole wheat flour
¾ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
4 ounces butter, cold and cut into cubes
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons ice water
5 cups blueberries, divided
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Juice of 1 lemon
¼ cup honey
In a food processor combine the flour, salt, sugar, and lemon zest. Pulse until combined. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. With the machine running pour in the egg. If the dough sticks together when pinched it is done, if not add ice water, a little at a time, to make it so. Press this dough into an 11-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom and put in the fridge while you make the filling.
Heat your oven to 425°F. Toss 2 ½ cups of the berries with the cornstarch and sprinkle on the lemon juice. Spread these berries evenly into the chilled crust then drizzle the honey evenly over them. Put the tart pan on a sheet pan to catch any drippings and cook for 15 minutes, turn down the heat to 350°F and cook for an additional 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden. Remove from the oven and cool slightly on a rack. While the filling is still warm top with remaining 2 ½ cups of berries, star side up. Work from the outside edge and work your way in. If you don’t have the patience for this you can just evenly spread the other berries on top, I am a food stylist you know so I like pretty food!!! Serve at room temp. You can top with some powdered sugar or fresh whipped cream.


1 comment:

  1. V- you have no idea how much I miss blueberries! They are so expensive here and I have never seen them frozen. Seeing this post made my mouth water!
    Send me this tart in the mail, please!!