Lemon Tartlets with Blueberry Sauce

It seems like spring has finally decided to show up here in Vancouver. We've had quite a few sunny days and this has tricked my mind into thinking that summer is right around the corner, which it most certainly is not. 

In any case, instead of the warm, comforting, chocolatey desserts, I am craving bright flavours! Rhubarb! Strawberries! Lemon! Lemon is the perfect taste of spring to me. A little sweet, a little tart, and a whole lotta bright, just like the sunshine that everyone has so desperately missed. 

I can picture myself eating a few of these bad boys on my tiny balcony with a glass of strawberry lemonade in hand.

I actually tried to eat these on my balcony, but it was way too cold. I've made a note to do that when it does become warmer, though. If you happen to live at a lower (=warmer) latitude than Vancouver, which most people do, you could probably go on your balcony and not start freeze your butt off. Try it out!

This recipe was originally for a 9 inch tart, but I changed it up a wee little bit. If you are intending to make one big tart, you'll only need to change one thing. Once the filling has gone into the tart and it's back in the oven, bake it for 35 to 40 minutes instead of 15. That's it!

The blueberry sauce would also be fantastic on pancakes, scones, ice cream, or anything, really. It's super tasty.

It's a bit easier to make one big tart instead of lots of little ones but I find tartlets to be so much cuter. Small things are always much cuter. 

Lemon Tartlets with Blueberry Sauce
Lemon Tart recipe adapted from Food of France
Blueberry Sauce recipe from Bon Appetit

Sweet Pastry
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
small pinch of salt
150 g unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup icing (powdered) sugar
2 free range, organic eggs, beaten

Lemon Filling
4 free range organic eggs
2 free range organic egg yolks
1 1/4 cups superfine (caster) sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, about 6 lemons
finely grated zest of 3 lemons

Blueberry Sauce
3 cups fresh blueberries or frozen and thawed (about 13 to 14 ounces)
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
pinch of salt

To start, make the pastry. Sift the flour and salt directly onto a work surface or into a large bowl. Cut the butter into the flour with a pastry knife or use your fingers. The pieces of butter should be  the size of peas. Add the sugar and mix together. 

Make a well in the flour mixture and pour the eggs in. Using a fork, slowly incorporate the flour into the eggs until you cannot mix with a fork anymore. Using your hands, gently knead the dough until it comes together to make a smooth and slightly sticky dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least one hour.

Take the pastry out of the fridge. Dust a work surface with flour. Roll out the dough to line 10 tartlet shells, or as many as you happen to have. I made 11 tartlets. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

While the tartlets are chilling, make the filling. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, and sugar. Add the cream, whisking constantly, then add the lemon juice and zest. Strain into a vessel with a spout to make it easier to pour.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line the pastry shells with crumpled pieces of parchment paper and fill with pie weights, dried rice, or beans. Blind bake the pastry for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, take out the parchment and weights, and return to the oven for another 3 to 5 minutes. The pastry should be pale but just cooked. Remove from the oven and reduce the temperature to 300 degrees.

Put the tartlet shells on a baking sheet and carefully pour in the filling. Return to the oven and bake for 13 to 15 minutes, or until the filling has set. Leave to cool completely.

For the blueberry sauce, combine 1 1/2 cup of the blueberries in a saucepan with the rest of the ingredients. Dissolve the sugar over medium heat, stirring often. Decrease the heat to medium-low and cook until the berries are softened and the liquid has a syrup-like consistency. Remove from heat and add the remaining blueberries. Gently press some of the blueberries against the sides of the saucepan to crush them. 

You can serve the blueberry sauce hot or cold on the tartlets. Enjoy!

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