Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Blueberry Amandine Tart

Blueberry Amandine Tart
A little over a week ago, the vegetarian turned 30. In his honor, I wanted to bake something. Now, as you know, I'm not much of a baker, so I needed something reliable and easy. But muffins are boring (and the only thing I bake with any frequency) so I wanted to find something more fun. And that would feel at least semi-seasonal. Something that, for better or for worse, I could feature here.

Searching for inspiration, my first stop was the freezer where I found some frozen blueberries from our frozen farm share. Great, I thought, I'll use blueberries. The next stop was the cookbook shelf, where I saw Clotilde's book, Chocolate & Zucchini. Like many, Chocolate & Zucchini was the first food blog I discovered. I was living alone in Paris, in a garret apartment in the 15th arrondissement. I was a student, studying abroad, and it was my first time living alone and being responsible for all my own meals. While I had neither the funds nor the resources to sample most of Clotilde's creations, I used to sit at my computer, reading about her delicacies while savoring my homemade eggs, lentils or pasta -- my three most regular meals in those days. This was, of course, before I moved to a real apartment in the 1st arrondissement, experimented in the kitchen and started my own blog. Six years and six apartments later (how time flies), cooking for someone who's never seen my Paris (though he was there many moons before we met) and is slowly being introduced into the world of food and expanding tastebuds, it seemed only fitting to return to Clotilde for advice.

The recipe I ultimately settled on was a Blueberry Amandine Tart. Since I don't trust myself as a baker enough to potchke with a tart recipe (and because I couldn't imagine what I would change), I left it exactly as printed in the book. Exact that I used a store-bought pate sablee.

So how was it? Delicious. My only complaint was that the center never quite firmed up. Perhaps this was because my crust was 9-inches, perhaps because my blueberries were frozen. Or maybe that's the way it was supposed to be. Anyway, the almonds were the perfect antidote to keep the tart from becoming too sweet (I thoroughly recommend buying them already blanched rather than doing it yourself. You can find the recipe on page. 188-189 of Chocolate and Zuccini. Enjoy!

Make it a meal: Whenever I make dessert, I want to ensure my diners save room for it! So I make a one-pot meal, usually pasta, to go with it. In this case, I made Spaghetti with Cheesy Tomato Sauce (tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella). And to drink, Champagne Cocktail for me and Electric Lemonade for the vegetarian. Bon appetit!

Links to other blueberry amandine tart noshes:

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