A simple, summery crowd-pleaser that everyone will think came straight from the bakery.
One of my best friends is pregnant right now and she swears that all she’s been craving is fruit, salad, and the occasional ice cream. (As you might guess, she’s one of those women that only shows in her belly and basically looks like a model in a maternity store ad. Ugh.)
I, on the other hand, am certainly not pregnant but woke up about a week ago with an intense need for sweet, jammy blueberries and a crumb topping. Could it be that my tastebuds were retaliating for my recent no-dessert diet? Maybe. Regardless of the reason, I couldn’t shake the craving. Thus, the blueberry crumb tart was born.
For the blueberry compote
- 2 1/2 cups of blueberries (fresh or frozen)
- Juice of half a lemon
- 1/3 cup of sugar
- 3 TBS of water
- 2 TBS of cornstarch
For the crust (from Baking a Moment)
- 1 1/2 cups of AP flour
- 1/3 cup of powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1 stick of butter, cubed and cold
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 teaspoons of heavy cream (or half and half)
- 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
For the crumb topping (adapted from Cooking Classy)
- 1 cup + 2 TBS of AP flour
- 1/3 cup of brown sugar, packed
- 1/3 cup of sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1 stick of butter, melted
For the icing (optional)
- 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, plus more for dusting
- 1 TBS of lemon juice (depending on desired consistency)
- a splash of milk (optional)
In a medium saucepan, combine 2 cups of blueberries, lemon juice, water, and sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture starts to boil and the blueberries are bursting (approximately 10 minutes). In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with a splash of water to make a slurry. Add the cornstarch and remaining blueberries into the blueberry mixture, and let everything simmer together for 2 more minutes. Remove from the heat and let it cool in a heat-safe container. (This compote will keep for a few weeks in an airtight container in the fridge.)
While the compote is cooling, it’s time to make the tart crust.
Grease a 9″ tart pan with cooking spray, and set it aside. In a food processor combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the butter and pulse the mixture until it resembles wet sand. You should see pea-sized bits of butter throughout.
In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg yolk, vanilla, and cream. With the food processor on, drizzle in the wet ingredients, and pulse everything together until a dough forms. (You can also make the dough in a large bowl with a pastry cutter if you don’t have a food processor.)
Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and gather it into a disk. Wrap it in plastic, and place it in the fridge to chill for about 45 minutes. While the dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 375°F.
Once the dough has chilled, roll it out on a floured surface to about a 1/4″ thickness. Place the dough into the tart pan, and lightly press it into the crevices of the mold. Trim away any excess dough with a knife. Use a fork to poke holes into the bottom of the crust, then line the crust with parchment paper and fill it with dried beans or pie weights. (I had neither—brown rice to the rescue!) Bake the crust for 12-15 minutes. It should be just barely starting to get some color on the edges. Remove the crust and let it cool while you make the crumb topping.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugars and salt. Pour in the melted butter, and stir everything together with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula. Add in the flour in small additions, stirring the mixture until fully incorporated.
Now, it’s time to assemble the tart!
Spread the compote into an even layer over the cooled crust. Then use your hands to sprinkle the crumb mixture over the top. For optimal crumb topping, make sure you leave some large clumps in the mixture—don’t crumble it all up into dust! Also, it may seem like more crumb mixture than you need, but USE ALL THE CRUMBS. You can thank me later.
Put the tart back in the oven for about 30-40 minutes. I like my crumbs to stay soft, so I pulled this out of the oven as soon as I saw them start to brown. Let the tart cool in the pan.
Once it’s cooled, whisk the powdered sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl. Add a splash of milk (or water or more lemon juice) if the mixture is too thick. Drizzle the icing over the top, and let it set. This step is totally optional—the tart would be delicious without it, but along with my cravings for this dessert I was also having visions, and in my mind, this blueberry crumb tart had to have icing.
Finally, dust the top with powdered sugar. This step is also optional, but I just think crumbs look a little naked without it. Plus, the powdered sugar is what gives this dessert that decadent, straight-from-the-bakery look.
I know there are a bunch of steps to make this guy, but I promise, the result is SO worth it. With that crisp but tender, almost cookie-like crust and perfectly tart blueberry filling piled high with buttery crumbs—this was just what I needed to satisfy my craving. And the diet will start again another day…