Low Fat Blueberry Tartlets

blueberry tartelettes tf  Posted by Lynda Balslev

Go ahead, indulge yourself. These gorgeous blueberry tartlets are rich and creamy, fragrant with lemon, bursting with fruit and not-too-decadent. Why? The luscious filling is 100 percent yogurt, not cream cheese or mascarpone. The trick is to choose a full fat Greek-style yogurt. It’s thick and silky, with a tang that perfectly offsets mellow, inky blueberries. The crust is a traditional graham cracker crust, which, yes, has brown sugar and butter (as any self respecting graham cracker crust should). So these tarts are just a little bit wicked, but it’s a dessert after all, and what’s wrong with being a little wicked anyway?

Blueberry Tartlets with Yogurt and Lemon

Makes 1 (10-inch) tart or 6 to 8 individual tartlets

Crust:
10 ounces graham crackers (or sweet digestive biscuits)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

Filling:
2 cups whole milk Greek-style yogurt
3 tablespoons granulated sugar (or honey)
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 cups blueberries
Lemon zest for garnish

Heat oven to 350°F (180°C). Combine the graham crackers, sugar, cinnamon and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Process until crumbly. Add butter and pulse until the crust is blended and beginning to stick. If using a tart pan, dump the crumbs into a 10-inch tart pan, pressing with fingers evenly over the bottom and up the sides. If using individual tart dishes or ramekins, divide the crumbs between 6 to 8 ramekins and press the crumbs evenly over the bottoms and up the sides. Transfer to a baking sheet. Bake in oven until crust begins to turn golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove and cool completely on a rack.

While the crust is cooling, whisk the yogurt, sugar and lemon zest in a bowl. Pour the yogurt into the cooled crust, smoothing the top. Dot the yogurt with blueberries. Garnish with lemon zest. Refrigerate until serving, up to 4 hours.

Pear, Plum and Blueberry Crisp with Walnut Streusel

Plum Pear Blueberry Crisp

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Nothing says summer better than a fruit crisp which effortlessly absorbs the season’s bounty. Let the market dictate your choice of fruit. Then fold the ripest gems – winey plums, tender pears, juicy blueberries – into your well loved and slightly worn ceramic dishes. Sprinkle with a little sugar and spice and crown it with a nutty streusel topping.

Plums Market

For this fruit crisp, I let the St. Helena farmers’ market do the talking.

Pears market

and ended up with this:

Pear, Plum and Blueberry Crisp with Walnut Streusel
and Armagnac Whipped Cream 

Serves 8 to 10

Streusel:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, chilled
1/2 cup walnuts, lightly toasted and chopped

Armagnac Whipped Cream:
2 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons Armagnac

Filling:
1 pint blueberries, divided
6 ripe but not too soft pears, such as Bartlett or Anjou, cut in 1-inch chunks
6 plums, pitted, cut in 1-inch chunks
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Prepare the streusel:
In a large bowl, whisk together all the ingredients except the butter and walnuts. Add butter and work into the topping with your fingertips until the it resembles coarse meal. Stir in the walnuts. Cover and refrigerate until use.

Prepare the whipped cream:
Beat cream in bowl of electric mixer with a wire whisk until thickened. Add sugar and armagnac. Continue to beat until soft peaks form. Refrigerate until use. (May be made up to 4 hours in advance.)

Prepare the crumble:
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C) Butter a 9 by 13-inch baking dish.
Place half of the blueberries and the remaining filling ingredients in a large bowl. Gently stir to combine. Pour into the baking dish. Scatter the remaining blueberries over the filling. Spoon the streusel evenly over the top. Bake in the oven until the crisp is bubbly, the pears are soft, and the topping is golden brown, about 50 minutes. Remove and cool slightly. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature with whipped cream.

Blueberry Tartlets with Yogurt and Lemon

Blueberry Tartlets with Yogurt and Lemon

Blueberry Tartlets with Yogurt and Lemon – recipe by Lynda Balslev

Go ahead, indulge yourself. These gorgeous blueberry tartlets are rich and creamy, fragrant with lemon, bursting with fruit and not-too-decadent. Why? The luscious filling is 100 percent yogurt, not cream cheese or mascarpone. The trick is to choose a full fat Greek-style yogurt. It’s thick and silky, with a tang that perfectly offsets mellow, inky blueberries. The crust is a traditional graham cracker crust, which, yes, has brown sugar and butter (as any self respecting graham cracker crust should). So these tarts are just a little bit wicked, but it’s a dessert after all, and what’s wrong with being a little wicked anyway?

Blueberry Tartlets with Yogurt and Lemon

Makes 1 (10-inch) tart or 6 to 8 individual tartlets

Crust:
10 ounces graham crackers (or sweet digestive biscuits)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

Filling:
2 cups whole milk Greek-style yogurt
3 tablespoons granulated sugar (or honey)
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 cups blueberries
Lemon zest for garnish

Heat oven to 350°F (180°C). Combine the graham crackers, sugar, cinnamon and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Process until crumbly. Add butter and pulse until the crust is blended and beginning to stick. If using a tart pan, dump the crumbs into a 10-inch tart pan, pressing with fingers evenly over the bottom and up the sides. If using individual tart dishes or ramekins, divide the crumbs between 6 to 8 ramekins and press the crumbs evenly over the bottoms and up the sides. Transfer to a baking sheet. Bake in oven until crust begins to turn golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove and cool completely on a rack.

While the crust is cooling, whisk the yogurt, sugar and lemon zest in a bowl. Pour the yogurt into the cooled crust, smoothing the top. Dot the yogurt with blueberries. Garnish with lemon zest. Refrigerate until serving, up to 4 hours.

Black and Blueberry Clafoutis

Black and Blueberry Clafoutis

~ Blackberry Clafoutis ~

Here’s a riddle: What do a basket of berries and 3 eggs have in common? A light and simple dessert called clafoutis. Clafoutis is a baked French dessert similar to flan, consisting of fresh fruit smothered in a lightly sweetened egg batter. The result is a pudding-like concoction redolent with seasonal fruit.

Berries are everywhere now, lining the tables at the farmers market and teetering on shelves at our local store. Never one to hold back, I pile them into my basket and head home, nibbling on my purchases while thoughts of tarts, jams and fools run through my mind. Sometimes, when time is short, I know I will make  a clafoutis.


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Clafoutis is remarkably quick and easy to prepare with a short list of ingredients. The result is rustic yet elegant, generously showcasing the season’s fruit. Bake the clafoutis in a gratin dish or cast-iron skillet. If you would like to fiddle with presentation, divide the batter between individual ramekins. I had a little extra batter left over and filled asian soup spoons for a dessert inspired amuse-bouche.

~ Blueberry Clafoutis ~

Black and Blueberry Clafoutis

Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 to 55 minutes
Makes 8 (6-ounce) or 1 (10-inch) clafoutis

Unsalted softened butter for greasing the pans
1 tablespoon plus 1/3 cup granulated sugar
6 ounces fresh blueberries
6 ounces fresh blackberries
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/4 cups half and half
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, plus extra for garnish
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
Powdered sugar for garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter 8 (6-ounce) shallow ramekins (or 1 (10-inch) ceramic tart pan). Sprinkle the ramekins with the 1 tablespoon granulated sugar and tap out any excess. Place the ramekins on a baking tray. Arrange the berries in one layer in the ramekins.
2. Beat the eggs and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. On low speed, mix in the half and half, flour, lemon zest, vanilla extract, almond extract, and salt until just combined.
3. Pour the mixture over fruit. Transfer the clafoutis to the oven and bake until the top is tinged golden brown and the custard is set, about 25 minutes for the ramekins (or 35 to 40 minutes for the tart pan). Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.
4. Before serving, sprinkle the clafoutis with powdered sugar and garnish with additional lemon zest. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

Summer Berry Tian

Summer Berry Tian

~ Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries: summer in a dish ~

This berry tian highlights the ease of summer in its simplicity of ingredients and preparation. The season’s best fruit – strawberries, blueberries and raspberries -are blanketed with a cardamom-infused custard and baked, resulting in a refreshing and delightful dessert. Tian is a french word for a shallow earthenware casserole, often gratineed, an appropriately simple and elegant name for this dish. Enjoy warm or chilled.

~
Summer Berry Tians (Clafoutis)

Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 to 55 minutes
Makes 8 (6-ounce) tians

Unsalted softened butter for greasing the tians
1 tablespoon plus 1/3 cup granulated sugar
12 ounces mixed berries, such as blueberries, raspberries, quartered strawberries
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/4 cups half and half
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, plus extra for garnish
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
Powdered sugar for garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter 8 (6-ounce) shallow ramekins (or 1 (10-inch) ceramic tart pan). Sprinkle the ramekins with the 1 tablespoon granulated sugar and tap out any excess. Place the ramekins on a baking tray. Arrange the berries in one layer in the ramekins.
2. Beat the eggs and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. On low speed, mix in the half and half, flour, lemon zest, vanilla extract, almond extract, and salt until just combined.
3. Pour the mixture over fruit. Transfer the tians to the oven and bake until the tops are tinged golden brown and the custard is set, about 25 minutes for the ramekins (or 35 to 40 minutes for the tart pan). Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.
4. Before serving, sprinkle the tians with powdered sugar and garnish with additional lemon zest. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

Blueberry Crumble Bars

Blueberry Crumble Bars

Simple, sweet and oozing with fruit, Blueberry Crumble Bars are dessert’s answer to comfort food. I was in the mood for something just like this – an unfussy, child-friendly dessert that would please all ages. Prompted by a bag of blueberries in my freezer – a lingering souvenir from last summer – I thought of a blueberry cookie bar. After a quick scan of the web for inspiration, I spied a recipe at Smitten Kitchen, by way of allrecipes. This was exactly the kind of dessert I wanted to  make: A recipe passed from kitchen to kitchen, tweaked with each rendition and then handed off to the next home cook. So, now I pass this recipe on to you – with just a few more tweaks. There is nothing complicated about this recipe, except the challenge of not eating too many in one go.

Blueberry Crumble Bars
Makes 16 – 20 bars

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 large egg
Zest and juice of one lemon
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 375 F. (190 C.) Butter an 8 inch square baking pan. Line with parchment and butter parchment.
Combine flour, 3/4 cup sugar, baking powder and salt in bowl of food processor. Pulse to blend. Add butter and egg. Pulse until dough resembles coarse crumbs. Pulse in lemon zest.
Whisk 1/4 cup sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch and cinnamon together in a bowl. Add blueberries and stir to combine.
Evenly spread half of the dough in the prepared pan. Spread blueberries evenly over the dough. Top with remaining dough. Bake until golden brown and bubbly, 45 minutes. Remove and cool to allow the flavors to develop and the bars to firm up.

Pear Plum and Blueberry Crisp with Hazelnut Streusel

Pear Plum and Blueberry Crisp with Hazelnut Streusel

Pear Crisp tf

When I have a lot of fruit lying about, I make a crisp. It’s an efficient way to use up ripe fruit, and a perfect expression of the season’s ingredients. Not only that, it’s a great way to serve dessert to a crowd. Unfussy to prepare, the assembled crisp may be refrigerated up to 3 hours before baking. For a dinner party I’ll pop it in the oven when we sit down to eat the main course. Then it’s ready and piping hot when it’s time for dessert.

Feel free to combine several fruits in a crisp. I like to mix 2-3 types of fruit, choosing for a variety of colors and textures as well as a balance between sweetness and tartness in flavor.  Pears are prominent at the farmer’s market now as well as late season plums and berries. For this crisp I combined softly sweet bosc pears with spiced plums and tart blueberries.

Pear Plum and Blueberry Crisp with Hazelnut Streusel

Serves 10-12

For the topping:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, chilled, cut in 1/2″ cubes
1/2 cup toasted, skinned and chopped hazelnuts

For the filling:
6 large Bosc pears, about 3 pounds, peeled cored, cut in 1″ chunks
6 plums, halved, each half quartered
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
zest from one lemon
1 pint blueberries

Prepare topping:
Mix flour, sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt together in a medium bowl. Add butter and rub in with fingers until topping resembles coarse meal. Mix in hazelnuts. (Topping may be prepared up to one day in advance. Refrigerate until use.)

Prepare filling:
Preheat oven to 375 F. (190 C.)
Combine all of the ingredients except the blueberries in a large bowl. Toss to combine. Spread in a rectangular baking dish. Scatter blueberries over the filling. Cover the filling evenly with the topping.
Bake until bubbly and golden brown on top, about 50 minutes. Remove and serve warm or at room temperature with vanilla or cinnamon ice cream.