Just what do you blog about when you’re suffering from a writer’s block? I didn’t want to inflict mindless drivel in a form of a written running commentary on what I did today.
Eat nutella on toast.
Got the recipe wrong. Used too much butter.
Scrape runny pastry off the bottom of the oven.
Swear and generally be unkind.
Blame my parents.
It was pretty much that.
Oh, and I taught The Small Shouty One the principles of driving. She now knows what a clutch pedal does.
It’s the sort of day where I find Slaveboy’s guitar playing annoying and it’s the sort of day which somehow makes Slaveboy more inclined to play slide on his loudest acoustic guitar.
And messing up the basic pastry recipe just irked me big time. I hate wasting butter that way. I desperately wanted to make a lemon and blueberry tart which involved cooking the blueberries. I didn’t want to just scatter raw blueberries on top of a lemon curd filled tart as my cluster phobia just simply wouldn’t permit it.
By now, you guys must be wondering what the deal is with this cluster phobia. I don’t like repetitive cluster patterns. Think honeycomb. Nope. So don’t be sending me those lovely jars of acacia honey with a cut honeycomb in it. Bubbles in bottles. I swear that must be the driving motivation for me to delay bottle feeding my babies and persist with the breastfeeding. The phobia is not to do with the round circles. It’s to do with the void in between the round circles. My skin crawls just thinking about it.
This tart is pretty straightforward to make. You can make it in three stages – the tart case, the lemon curd and the cooked blueberries. Do try to make the pastry case, it’s a good recipe and if you keep to the process, it will work out alright. Just remember, after making your pastry dough, chill it. Then roll it out and line your pastry tin. Then chill it again. I leave the excess dough overlapping the side of the tin while its chilling. I then run a rolling pin over the edge to trim off the excess dough. The theory behind this is that you reduce pastry shrinkage. I fork the surface of the pastry. Once I’ve done this, I line the pastry case with aluminium foil, making sure its shiny side down and covering the sides and top. Pop the tart tin on a baking tray before putting it in the oven. I don’t put any baking beans in mine as I find that I don’t need to if I line it tightly with aluminium foil. You, of course can use whichever method you a comfortable with.
By the way, have you ever scrambled the eggs in the process of making lemon curd? You seriously don’t want to. The smell itself took me back to when I came too close to my Grandad’s chicken coup.
Once you have made the lemon curd, place it in the fridge to chill. You can now prepare the blueberries.
The 7th Wonder is into the summer berries at the moment. Her favourite is definitely blueberries and poor Lalla is being Washerwoman Extraordinaire with her Vanish powder, removing the blueberry stains from her clothings.
Chill the cooked blueberries in the fridge. If the lemon curd is cool enough by now, you are then ready to fill the pastry case. I would get the case out of the tin and set it on the platter you wish serve your tart on. If you find that there are some cracks in your pastry case, don’t despair. Just spread a little bit of lemon curd into and over the cracks with your index finger, that way you won’t end up with filling seeping out of the cracks.
Gently spread the lemon curd and chill the tart again. Once the curd has set a little and the cooked blueberries have gone cold, carefully spoon the blueberries on top of the lemon curd filling with a spoon. How much of the lemon curd filling you cover is your choice but I like to leave some lemon curd showing.
Lemon & Blueberry Tart
Sweet Tart Dough
Preheat oven to 210C (200C if fan assisted)
190g plain flour
190g salted butter
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp cold water
I use a tabletop mixer. Just put the flour and butter and pulse til you get a coarse grain. Add egg yolk and water and mix til it forms a dough. Gather together into a disc and wrap in cling film. Follow my lengthy ramble about pastry making above.
This dough will be enough for a 10inch tart tin. Roll to around 2-3mm and bake blind (or covered with foil following my method) for 8 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 8 minutes. You need to make sure that the tart case is properly cooked as this tart doesn’t require further baking once it is filled.
Recipe adapted from Former Chef
– In a saucepan, mix together the egg yolks and sugar.
– Pour in the lemon juice and mix well.
– On a medium heat, cook the mixture until it thickens.
– Take it off the heat and add the butter.
– Add the lemon zest.
3 cups fresh English blueberries
1 tbsp corn flour
– Put 2/3 of blueberries with the sugar in a pan.
– Mix the corn flour with the water to make a paste and add to the pan.
– Cook over medium heat, stirring until the sauce thickens. The berries will become soft but you don’t want to allow it to go mushy. This will take little time.
– Take it off the heat and add the remaining fresh berries. Stir gently and using a sieve, strain the cooked blueberries. Set the blueberries aside in a clean old bowl and return the blueberry liquid (if any) to the pan and cook gently for a few more minutes until it turns syrupy.
– Pour the blueberry syrup into the bowl with the cooked blueberries.