Sometimes I’ll bring you recipes that are classic, tried and true and generally based in my family history. Sometimes I’ll present you with something else entirely- a recipe that I’ve improvised out of what was on hand, a recipe that is neither tried nor true nor particularly well measured or thought out. Something for you to try at your own risk. This is one of those times.
I bought blueberries at the Farmer’s Market last week because my husband is a blueberry fiend. He’ll eat them by the handful until his lips, teeth and fingers are purple (which makes me wonder why they aren’t called purpleberries but I suppose that’s another post). Sadly, the ones that I purchased were a bit, um, tangy. Sour even. Not that this stopped my husband from trying to eat them all. He got a few handfuls in and then had to give up. Tart blueberries: 1, Husband: 0.
So I decided to take the ones that were left and sweeten them up a bit. I’d made this blueberry kuchen from Lady Gouda a few weeks ago and it was met with great delight at my house. I didn’t have enough blueberries to justify an entire tart. I also had in mind the peach blueberry crumble I posted about here. But I had no peaches. So I sort of mooshed those together in my mind and ended up with very small blueberry tarts with crumble topping. A nice cross between the two.
Crust (which is taken from Lady Gouda’s Blueberry Kuchen, I just halved it)
3/4 cup of flour
2 Tablespoons white sugar
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into smallish pieces
3/4 Tablespoon white vinegar
Blueberries (I probably had about half a pint)
Cane or white sugar (I think I used 3-4 tablespoons)
vanilla (I used about 1 Tablespoon)
cinnamon (just a dash or two)
1/4-1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/8 cup white sugar
4-6 tablespoons butter
Preheat oven to 350. Spray a muffin-tin lightly with Pam or some other nonstick spray (or use a nonstick tin, like I did).
Make the crust: in a food processor combine the flour and white sugar and maybe a pinch of salt, if you’re so inclined. Give it a few whirls. Then, add the butter and process until the butter is the size of peas. Add the vinegar and process again- at this point, it should be a sort of dry-ish dough. If you don’t have a food processor, never fear. You can combine the flour, sugar and salt in a bowl and then cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or some knives or your fingers. Once the butter is the size of peas, sprinkle in the vinegar and combine.
Press the crust into the muffin tins- you want enough to cover the bottom and a little bit up the sides of the tin. Bake in the oven for about 5 minutes or until slightly golden- not too much as these will bake again in a little bit. Set them aside to cool.
Make the filling: In a small saucepan, combine the blueberries, sugar and a few tablespoons of water. How much you add will depend on how many blueberries you have. I combined all of this and let it sort of melt and boil down. In the end, I had a sort of chunky syrup, not quite as thick as pie filling. You want it to boil down but not burn so keep an eye on it.
Make the topping: In a small bowl, combine all ingredients except the butter. Cut the butter into smallish pieces and use your fingers (or a pastry cutter) to break it up into roughly pea-size. For more details and photos, check out this post.
Spoon the filling into the baked crusts. Just a little bit- make it look kind of like a mini-tart. Sprinkle the topping over each one. I had lots of topping left over. Shucks. I’ll have to make something else this week that requires brown sugar/butter goodness. Darn.
Bake for about 5 minutes or until the topping is sort of bubbly and brown(er). Let them cool and be careful removing these as they are somewhat fragile.