I don't believe you can be a good cook and a good baker. The two are so diametrically opposed. Cooking is creative, you can always improvise and add a little of this or that; baking is precise...and I mean Precise with a capital P. Mess around with a crust recipe and you will be very, very sorry. If you have the talent for one, it is difficult to excel at the other. For that reason, when it comes to making desserts I avoid baking like the plague and try to find recipes that don't involve making a crust. My solution for pies are crumbles which are really a pie without a crust.
Every once in a while I find a pie or tart recipe that doesn't involve a complicated crust and when I do, I am in heaven. This tart is from Tyler Florence who is quickly becoming one of my favorite network food stars, together with Bobby Flay, Ina Garten and Giadda de Laurentis. Three of my favorites, Ming Tsai, Mario Batali and Lidia Bastianich have moved on and I sorely miss them!
The tart in this recipe is really a no brainer...I can make this! It doesn't involve all that rolling and folding that I see in pie recipes. It is really easy and to the point, so I encourage you to try it! The results will be very rewarding.
I know I have recently posted another recipe with blueberries, the Jordan Marsh muffins, but I firmly believe in taking advantage of what is fresh and in season and summer to me is all about berries, fresh lemons, melons and very soon, peaches! Peaches and blueberries are the quintessential summer dessert and pretty soon I will be posting my crumble. So hang in there...blueberry season has a long way to go!
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch kosher salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold, in chunks
1 large egg, separated
2 tablespoons ice water
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup fresh lemon juice (about 5 lemons)
1/4 cup heavy cream
Zest of 1 lemon
Pinch kosher salt
1 pint blueberries
To make the pastry, pulse the flour, sugar, and salt together in a food processor. Add the butter and pulse until the dough resembles cornmeal. Add the egg yolk and ice water and pulse again until the dough pulls together. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface into a 12-inch circle. Roll the dough up onto the pin and lay it inside a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the dough into the edges of the pan and fold the excess dough inside to reinforce the rim. Cover the tart pan with plastic wrap and put it into the refrigerator for another 30 minutes to rest.
To bake the shell, heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Put the tart pan on a baking sheet and prick the bottom of the dough with a fork. Cover the shell with a piece of parchment paper and fill it with pie weights or dry beans. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove the parchment and weights. Lightly beat the egg white with 1 teaspoon water and brush it onto the bottom and sides of the tart shell; set aside to cool.
Whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon juice, cream, zest, and salt. Add the blueberries to the cooled tart shell and pour the filling over the blueberries. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. The curd should jiggle slightly when done. Cool to room temperature, remove from the tart ring, and serve.