Blue’bs were on sale so I bought a flat of ’em, not knowing what I’d do but having faith in the universe to show me the way. That darn universe, always speaking to us, never listening (shakes fist in air a la Grandpa Simpson).
I took the recipe for the pate a foncer (tarte pie dough) from Michel Roux’s book Pastry, which I will include here by weighted measure.
- 250g flour
- 125g butter
- one medium egg
- 3g salt
- 6g sugar
- 2 tbsp cold water
I didn’t feel like mixing all that mess by hand, so I employed my stand mixer. Combine the egg, softened butter, salt and sugar, then add the flour in spoonfuls while the mixer is going. Be careful to not over-mix, which makes the dough tough. If you want a tough dough send it to reform school, but don’t be surprised that it picks up bad habits you wouldn’t expect, like swearing and dice. When it is close to homogenous add the water, and after another couple spins turn the mixer off and finish with a metal spoon. Then put in the fridge to allow to firm-up for, like, 20 minutes. If you try to roll it out straight away you are likely to have a mess on your hands because the butter will be quite soft and make for a sticky board, a tacky sheet pan and a slightly lower credit score.
For the filling gently combine:
- Quart+ blueberries – ripe, washed and pat dry
- half lemon – zest
- half lemon – juiced
- ~ 1 tbsp corn starch
- ~3 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Roll out the dough and, using a template (small bowl, lid or other round kitchen item), cut out circles. Re-roll the scrap and continue until all the dough is used, or do half and fridge the other half. It should keep for a week, or in the freezer for up to three months.
Whisk an egg and use a pastry brush to apply the wash – this will give them a lovely golden color and help the texture become crisp and delicate. Without the wash they won’t look as good and the pastry may dry out. Sprinkle sugar on top and say a small prayer to the pastry gods for good luck.
The thinner the pastry, the faster it will cook – I’d say mine were about 1/4″-1/3″ thick, and took about 35 minutes at 375. Next time I will be more careful to not let too much of the moisture from the blueberry mix get onto the pastry, and roll it out thinner, as well as aim for a single layer of berries. This go round was a bit thick but perfectly edible. The lemon zest gave them just a touch of acid, and all that was missing was ice cream, whip cream of some other fatty goodness which I was too lazy to procure for this project despite the grocery store being across the street. I will also buy a pastry brush, cause darn if a fork didn’t really work.