Lucky for you, I’ll let you in on the secret:
Bake anything in a tart pan.
People will think you spent approximately 86% more time on making it than you actually did. Brownies in a tart pan? Bring an 9-inch round of those to a party and watch as multiple people will ask you if you picked them up at your local bakery on the way over.
Cake in a tart pan? If those edges were smooth, you’d be like, “oh no way am I eating that!” but the minute some fluted edges make an appearance everything changes.
Enter the crisp tart. The crisp tart is just as easy as making a regular crisp – all that is needed is a quick filling and a topping – but the crisp tart is about one hundred times classier. Plus you don’t need a spoon and a bowl to inhale, er, I mean consume gracefully, when you are hanging out at a backyard BBQ.
Since blueberries are all over the place here in Seattle these days, this whole flat of blueberries was $10 dollars which is oddly enough almost the price of a latte in New York and about exactly what a tart pan will set you back if you are not a proud owner of one yet.
The crisp tart begins with fresh blueberries. They are mixed with a little sugar, lemon juice and cornstarch. The cornstarch is what makes the filling bubble, thicken, and generally turn into a jammy thing of beauty – all right before your eyes.
The crust on the other hand is just a whole lot of crisp topping pressed into the bottom of tart pan.
Make sure to save a little bit of the topping to sprinkle over the top of the berries at the end. Double the topping means double the brown-sugar-oat-cinnamon-goodness.
Press in the crust and add the berries. This crisp tart is really coming along now. In fact it is almost done.
Sprinkle the remaining crisp topping over the berries and bake. I know, sometimes it is just too hot to turn on your oven. But sometimes even when it is 94-degrees in the middle of the day you want to enjoy a fresh blueberry dessert when the sun has set. It will be worth it because by the time evening has come around and you are enjoying a slice of blueberry crisp tart with vanilla ice cream, I’m sure you will have forgotten that you even thought it was ever to hot to bake.
Blueberry Crisp Tart
Makes one 9-inch tart
Inspired by this blueberry crisp from Martha Stewart
For the filling:
1 pint (300 grams or about 2 cups) fresh blueberries
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon (16 grams) sugar
2 teaspoons (10 grams) cornstarch
juice of half a lemon
For the crust:
1 cup (125 grams) flour
3/4 cup (70 grams) old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon (120 grams) sugar
1 teaspoon (4 grams) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) salt
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) cinnamon
6 tablespoons (85 grams) butter, softened and cut into pieces
zest of half a lemon
1 tablespoon (10 grams) sparkling sugar, optional
Preheat the oven to 400. Zest about half a lemon into the bottom of a medium bowl. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the bottom of another medium bowl.
Add sugar and cornstarch to the lemon juice and stir until combined and no lumps remain. Add the blueberries and toss until coated. Set the blueberries aside while you make the crust.
Add the flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon to the lemon zest and whisk until combined. Add the butter and use your fingers to work the butter in until coarse crumbs form and the mixture holds together when pressed.
Remove a heaping 1/2 cup of the crumbs for the topping and pour the remaining crumbs into the bottom of a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the dough evenly into the pan. Pour the blueberries in a single layer over the crust, making sure the juices stay behind in the bottom of the bowl.
Evenly sprinkle the remaining crumble over the top of the berries and top with coarse sugar, if using.
Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the filling is bubbling and the crust is lightly brown. Let cool completely before slicing into wedges and serving.
Note: This tart gets better with time and will be just as good on day one as day three thus making it a perfect make-ahead dessert. Also, if you don’t have a tart pan, this recipe would work wonderfully as bar cookies. Bake in an 8×8 pan them slice into small square cookie bars.