I had no idea that blueberries and almonds were a match made in heaven! But that is why we adore Martha, isn’t it? Her foodie wisdom is endless.
Many of you have requested I share more recipes with you so this post is for you! Who better to recipe test than Martha Stewart from her new book Martha’s Entertaining, published by Random House of Canada?
Hopefully you have noticed the “Print Friendly” button I have added to all my posts to help make printing recipes easier. My posts have a lot of photographs to help show you how things look as you make the recipe but if you want to print it, make sure to select “Remove Images” so all you are left with is the text.
Almond Shortcrust Pastry
The recipe calls for 1/3 cup of whole blanched almonds but I had sliced blanched almonds which I used instead. I finely ground them in a food processor and then added 1 1/2 cup of flour, 1 tbsp sugar and 1/2 tsp of salt. I pulsed together.
Then I added 1/2 cup of cold unsalted butter cut into small pieces.
I pulsed everything until it looked like coarse meal.
I added 1 large egg yolk (I like to separate them in my hands and yes, my hands are freakishly small) and added 1 tbsp of ice water. Then pulsed and the dough did not come together. Too dry!
I had to keep adding quite a bit of water, as usual, for the dough to come together. I stop at this point, knowing everything will stick together without over processing. I put plastic wrap on my counter, add the dough and used the plastic to press the dough into the shape of a disk. It just needs to chill 30 minutes but I took a longer break. I had to pace myself.
The Tart Shells
If you have 3 or 3 1/4″ tart pans then roll out the dough into 12 4 1/2″ rounds that are 1/8″ thick. I used a muffin tin which is why I used a 3″ cutter to make my tart shells. I put them in the muffin tin, pressing firmly to the bottom and up the sides, making sure they were quite flushed with the rim.
I ended up using 2 6-cup muffin tins and docked the bottom of the tarts all over with a fork. Then I froze them for 15 minutes.
With an electric mixer or whisk, whisk together 2 large eggs and 1/2 cup of sugar until pale and fluffy. Then fold in 1/4 cup flour, 3 tbsp finely ground almonds and 1/4 tsp of salt.
Baking the Tart Shells
I preheated the oven to 375F. “Line each tartlet shell with parchment…” Umm…??? How do I do that Martha? Should they be round? How big should they be? Ugh! More info here would have been nice. I just used scraps that I had but realized after they came out that I could have used cupcake liners. Doh!
You are supposed to fill with pie weight or beans. I like to reuse brown rice because I loathe it so much and never want to eat it again. I used an ice cream scoop to do so to avoid things getting all messy.
Bringing it altogether
After the tart shells have cooled completely, spread 1 1/2 tsp of blueberry jam into each shell. Add 1/2 cup of “fresh wild blueberries” divided on top of the jam. I used frozen wild organic blueberries. Press berries into the jam lightly with a fork.
Top each with 2 tbsp of batter and top with sliced almonds and a sprinkle of sugar. Bake in a preheated 375F oven for 16-18 minutes until the tops have risen and turned golden.
What a ton of work! This seriously took me all day, mostly because I had to rest in between steps.
Was it worth it? Absolutely!!!
I adore blueberries and love baking with them and to have a completely new flavour combination that works so perfectly, I highly recommend this recipe for the patient baker who has a day to have fun in the kitchen. You can really taste the almonds throughout. I love the texture it gives the crust in particular which was perfect. I was amazed the almonds did not overwhelmed the blueberries which were delicious, as always.
I must admit that I was shocked to see Martha allowed me to use blueberry jam and not emphasize that it be homemade, LOL. Considering the time involved to make just 12 tarts, using a good store-bought jam is forgivable but make sure it is a quality jam. You do not want to go to all this effort for mediocre tarts.
Martha, as usual, was right. She said that these could be stored for only one day and I did not believe her. Almost all recipes say to eat right away but in this case, it is true, you really do not want them getting soggy. I wish I had put half of them in the freezer now!
How much did I like them?
I was sitting in my crafts room drinking tea and watching a video on YouTube when I started eating one. I could not believe how good the tart was! As soon I was finished, I had to go have another one. I NEVER do that. I only allow myself one treat a day but not with these tarts. They were made for me and I had a hard time not eating them all myself!
If you love blueberries and dream of a High Tea treat, you will love these. I give them five out of five wooden spoons even though they took so damn long to make. Reg liked them a lot but soon afterwards was asking if we had something chocolatey to eat, LOL. Back to chocolate I go!