Right now I'm supposed to be doing the basic house jobs so I can make a batch of brownies then go down to the village to do the errands while the brownies are cooling. Buuuut, I want to tell you all about this gorgeous plate of sweetness. Blueberries. White chocolate. Creme patissiere. Crumbly shortbread like pastry. All good, all gorgeous and because of the fruit content, according to the Rules of Puddings, this doesn't count as pudding because it is one of your five-a-day. No really, Chrsitopher, my brother is the creator of the Rules of Puddings and this is one of the most important. The first one I was informed of was that a pudding is not a pudding unless it contains chocolate. However, the rule about it not counting if it has fruit in it trumps that one every time. I've practically begged Christopher to write these rules down and as soon as he listens to me I will obtain permission to share them with you. Or I might just share them anyway. I am the little sister after all so can get away with all sorts of stuff. I'm sat here with a mischievous grin on my face as I write this, just so you know!
In my last post for blackberry jam, I wrote a big long list for you of the fruit and veg that my parents have grown in the garden this year. Blueberries were mentioned somewhere and this is what I made from some of them. It wasn't a huge harvest but considering we only had about a dozen berries last year (the year the trees were planted) to get a batch of muffins and a tart out of them this year was pretty good going. Mum made the muffins after me nagging her for some time and I used up the second half for this. It was originally supposed to be a blueberry crumble tart but the night before I was going to make it I decided I wanted to have a go at creme patissiere an this idea was born. I spent a good half hour reading various recipes so I had it clear in my head what to do and what pitfalls to avoid and this gorgeously fruity tart was the result.
This recipe contained a lot of firsts for me so I was a little surprised that it was a success at all but thankfully it went down very well. We had it while watching GBBO on Tuesday night (any favourites for anyone yet?) or rather we sat down with a slice each in front of us waiting for it to come on then decided we couldn't wait that extra five minutes. The pate sablee pastry (from Tarts and Pies by Philippa Vanstone) is meltingly tender which couples wonderfully with the creamy richness of the creme patissiere. Then there is the almost jam like fruit topping which retains some of the blueberry tang, all finished with chocolate curls and chocolate on the outside of the pastry. I should mention that I'm not sure if I have the right name for the pastry, which I hadn't used before. The book calls it pate sablee but a quick Google search gave different results, some which I thought was pate sucree and some enriched with almonds which the book calls pate frolle. Whatever it's true name, it's gorgeous, I wasn't sure if the creme patissiere would work with semi-skimmed milk but there was no doubt that it did. On the final stage it went from liquid to thick and ready in a split second. I was whisking furiously so maybe that helped. At least it didn't curdle. I won that battle for sure! Finally the fruit bit. I was going for a compote but didn't know what to stop boiling. What I ended up with is what I'd call a soft set jam but I like it this way. It didn't fall all over the place and the blueberry flavour is retained perfecty. The only differences I'd make to the whole thing the next time would be to paint both sides of the pastry case rim and to double the creme patissiere layer. I only used half the recipe because I didn't know how much it would make so I'm very sorry Mr Blanc, I should have used your whole recipe. More creaminess can only be a good thing here.
Before I leave you with the recipe, let me note that I'm sharing this with the Calendar Cakes baking challenge, the creation of Rachel at Dolly Bakes and Laura at Laura Loves Cakes. The theme this month is Summer Lovin' so I'm entering this recipe because the blueberries are homegrown and seasonal. Go and have a look at their blogs, they're really good and contain lots of lovely recipes, some of which are being added to my ever-lengthening 'to bake' list. These baking challenges make me really excited because you get to see what loads of other people are up to. Check back here on September first when my own challenge goes live!
Blueberry and White Chocolate Tart
Sweet, crumbly pastry holding both a creamy and fruity layered filling finished off with the beauty of white chocolate.
IngredientsFor the pastry:
- 150g plain flour
- 50g icing sugar
- 80g butter, chilled and diced
- 2 egg yolks
- egg white
- Follow this recipe by Raymond Blanc. Use semi-skimmed milk if you prefer.
- 150g blueberries, rinsed
- 50g demerara sugar
- 100g white chocolate
1. First make the pastry case. Combine icing sugar an flour, rub in butter then mix in egg yolks to create a soft dough. Use a little mix if more fluid is needed. Roll out on a floured piece of baking parchment and use to line a 8" loose bottomed flan tin and prick the base with a fork. Chill in the fridge while the oven heats to 190C/170C fan.2. Place the flan tin on a baking sheet, line the case with baking parchment and filling with ceramic beans. Bake in the oven for 15 mins, remove the beans, bake for another five mins, brush with a little beaten egg white to seal and bake for two minutes more. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack, removing from the tin when it is safe to handle.3. Make the creme patissiere using this recipe. Leave to cool completely.4. Heat the blueberries with the sugar in a small pan over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Squash the berries a little to release the juice. Turn up the heat so the berries simmer and maintain, stirring occasionally for a few minutes. Pour into a clean bowl to cool.5. Break half the chocolate into small pieces and melt in a bowl set over a pan of steaming water. Stir occasionally until melted then remove the bowl and allow to cool to room temperature. Paint the outside and inside of the pastry case edge with the cooled chocolate, using thinner layers to build it up. Leave to set.6. Beat the creme patissiere and push through a sieve if needed to remove any lumps. Spread into the pastry case right to the edges. Stir the blueberry mixture to llosen then carefully spread on top of the creme patissiere without mixing.7. Use a vegetable peeler to make curls with the remaining chocolate and use to decorate before serving.