"Mid-winter's summer dreaming" blueberries resting on a cloud of lemon mascarpone cream in a flaky pastry crust. This is the winter version of our summertime fresh blueberry tart. Here on our little farm in the fruitful Hood River valley of Oregon we have twenty mature blueberry bushes from which we harvest many gallons of blueberries every year. Many of those berries go into the freezer to be used in desserts like this during the dreary winter when we long for a taste of summer. Prepared carefully, frozen blueberries can be almost, (almost!) as tasty as berries freshly picked in late summer. —Fleurcakes
Lemon Cloud Filling
freshly squeezed lemon juice
finely grated lemon peel
1 1/2 cups
frozen whole blueberries, thoroughly thawed and drained
Begin by making lemon curd: in a small heavy saucepan, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until smooth. Stir in the lemon juice, pinch of salt and softened butter. Over medium heat, cook and stir until mixture begins to steam and becomes opaque, coating the back of a metal spoon. Do not overcook. Immediately remove from heat and pour through a fine strainer into a heat proof bowl. Stir in the lemon zest. Cool completely then refrigerate until lemon curd is cold and set, at least two hours.
Prepare the pastry crust: in a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, powdered sugar and salt. Using a pastry cutter, cut the cold butter pieces into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the heavy cream and mix lightly until dough sticks together. Form dough into a disc and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. With a rolling pin, roll pasty dough between two sheets of parchment paper into a twelve inch circle. Loosen the paper and transfer the dough into a ten inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the dough into the pan, folding the edges to fit and removing any excess dough as necessary. Line the dough with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dry beans. Blind bake the pastry crust for fifteen minutes. Remove the pie weights and parchment paper. Return the crust to the oven for an additional five to ten minutes until the center crust is flaky and the edges are golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Finish the tart filling: in a small mixing bowl, beat the heavy cream until stiff. In a separate bowl beat the mascarpone cheese until smooth. Add one half of the prepared lemon curd to the mascarpone and beat thoroughly. Fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone until fully incorporated. Spread this filling into the cooled pastry crust.
Carefully fold the other half of the lemon curd into the thawed blueberries. Spread the blueberries over the top of the lemon cloud filling. Garnish with candied lemon peel. Refrigerate the tart for two hours before serving.