Chamomile Blueberry Tart

Chamomile Blueberry Tart
 

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I’ve always said I hated baking. I don’t have a sweet tooth, and I’d rather eat my pinky toe than have a slice of birthday cake that’s loaded with food coloring and drier than the carpet of Dave n Busters. One time I tried making boxed brownies and ended up accidentally deep frying them (too much Pam). I’ve always believed myself to be too much of an improviser to be a baker. I cook to make something of my own, and following recipes is for the uninspired…right? 

Working with doughs- both sweet and savory- each week at has taught me how to imprint my tastes into dessert. I’ve become infatuated with learning the ever-changing states of flour. Add butter and it becomes flaky. Add water and it becomes elastic. Dessert doesn’t have to be sweet. It can be funky. Steep chamomile in the milk. Make hibiscus salted caramel. Put lots of Maldon on it! Sweet and salty FTW! 

I had this tart in tow (as well as a fresh sourdough boule) at family's Father's Day celebration on Sunday. My sister and I went blueberry picking the week before at Deep Spring Farm, and we had 2 gallons of blueberries burning a hole in the fridge. I recently bought some organic chamomile from the Farmer's market, and my sister suggested I make blueberry chamomile ice cream. While that ice cream flavor definitely sounds like something I'd like to attempt in the future, ice cream is a little hard to transport, and I wanted to bring a show stopper to my grandfather's house. It's made with a buttery short crust and an easy crème patissière that I adapted from a Bon Appétit recipe. 

 

Ingredients

Short crust

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  • 400 g APW
  • 200 g cold butter
  • 50 g sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 T ice water


Chamomile Crème Patissière

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 T chamomile
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • 3 T unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Blueberry Topping 

  • ~1 pint of blueberries 
  • 1 T Jelly (whatever you have in your fridge will work) 
  • Garnish: Chamomile flowers 

Recipe

  1. Make short crust: pulse flour, salt, and cold butter in a food processor until butter becomes incorporated and pea sized. Drizzle in ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until flour unclings from the sides of the processor (it might take more than 2 tablespoons depending on your environment). Remove dough from processor and bring it together with your hands. Don't overwork, but it should be uniform and not crumbly. Form into a disk and wrap in plastic and cool in fridge for at least an hour and up to 24. Preheat oven to 350˚ F and roll out dough into pie shell. Fork the bottom of the shell, place parchment paper and dry beans on top, and bake shell until fully cooked through (around 30-40 mins). Leftover dough will keep in freezer for a month.
  2. Chamomile Crème Patissière: While dough is chilling, make the chamomile crème patissière. Scald milk with chamomile by bringing it almost to a boil. Turn off heat and let chamomile steep for at least 15 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks, sugar, corn starch, and salt in a medium sized bowl. Eggs should be become pale yellow and sugar should begin dissolving. Strain out chamomile and bring milk back up to a simmer. Temper egg mixture by whisking in the hot milk, a little at a time, and whisking constantly to make sure that the eggs do not scramble. Pour everything back into the pot and bring to a boil, whisking the whole time for about 3 minutes, until thickened. Stir in 1 tablespoon of butter at a time until fully incorporated. Place cream in a container and put some plastic wrap directly on top in order to prevent a skin from forming. Let cool completely and place in fridge. Can be made 3 days ahead and stored in fridge. 
  3. Assemble pie: Heat jelly (I used blueberry jam) in a bowl for 20 seconds, until melted enough to coat blueberries. Add blueberries to the bowl and stir to adequately coat. This will make the blueberries shiny and enticing. Fill baked pie shell with the chilled cream. Line pie with glazed blueberries. Top with chamomile flowers. Serve chilled. 
 
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