blueberry crisp tart

August 18, 2012

In baking, as in life, one must always have a few tricks up the ol’ sleeve. It’s sad to say that I haven’t exactly figured out what these should be in real life, but I sure do know what tricks to pull in the world of baking.

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.


{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar August 18, 2012 at 8:41 am

I love a good crisp! This sounds awesome!


baker in disguise August 18, 2012 at 10:54 am

aaaaaaahhhh..blueberries.. wish we got them in India!!! love them.. and love this pie!!


David Polanski August 18, 2012 at 11:22 am

Crust with oats? That is totally new to me. My grandmother used to doing this type of pie. So I have to try your recipe because I have to compare them! 🙂


Amrita August 18, 2012 at 12:09 pm

And now I’m stuffing this trick up my sleeve. I once came upon a flour-less chocolate cake, a la Molly Wizenberg, that the maker had baked in a fluted tart pan. And it couldn’t have gotten prettier!

I must admit, I tend to turn up my nose at blueberries all the time (I think it’s mostly because I’ve somehow always ended up having the sour ones), but I can totally imagine this tart with strawberries, or even blackberries!


Lillie August 19, 2012 at 2:14 am

Yes!! Blackberries or strawberries = awesome idea!


Riley August 18, 2012 at 1:42 pm

Very true, this does look quite fancy! And delicious!


Susan August 18, 2012 at 7:16 pm

I absolutely adore blueberries in baked goods, but fresh blueberries are about AU$10 per punnet in Australia at the moment (crazy, I know), so will frozen blueberries work just as well?


Lillie August 18, 2012 at 7:38 pm

Yes, I think frozen blueberries would be fine but I’d defrost them first and then drain off the liquid before mixing them with the sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. If you don’t have time to defrost first, I would put a baking sheet underneath to catch the drips as the tart may be extra juicy 🙂 hope it turns out delicious!!


Eileen @ Ham Pie Sandwiches August 19, 2012 at 8:14 pm

That tart look amazing! I really like the idea of a press-in oaty crust. 🙂


Greg August 21, 2012 at 3:40 pm

Oh yeah,…blueberries…..crisp….with more crisp on the bottom…..yeah, that’s the ticket. This looks amazing. My blueberry nectarine crisp has got some competition!


jenny August 26, 2012 at 9:38 pm

I made this for a potluck last week (albeit with peaches and raspberries, which were what I could find in abundance at the farmer’s market) and it was gone in two minutes. TWO MINUTES! thankfully, I’d sliced it into sixteen delicate little slices, but still. BAM. GONE. and yes, I got bonus points for the awesomeness of the dessert being tart-shaped. 🙂 thanks for a great recipe!


Lillie August 26, 2012 at 9:52 pm

YAY!! Two minutes must set some sort of dessert record! 🙂


Christine August 29, 2012 at 11:19 am

I made this last night for company. It was a huge hit. My tart pan seems a lot larger than 9″ in diameter, so my tart was flatter, but it was still a success!

It’s 11:17am now, and I’m trying so hard to have the discipline to not eat a piece until after dinner….maybe after lunch instead. YUM! ; )


Lillie August 29, 2012 at 6:59 pm

I’m glad it was a hit! P.S. And I am a firm believer that lunch dessert is always a good idea 🙂


Ariadne September 1, 2012 at 9:01 pm

Made this with raspberries we picked fresh. oh yum yum….

Thanks for the recipe!


Lillie September 1, 2012 at 10:06 pm

Fresh raspberries sound lovely! 🙂


Nancy October 11, 2012 at 7:54 pm

Hi Lillie!
You say, “Double the topping means double the brown-sugar-oat-cinnamon-goodness.”

But I don’t see a listing in he ingredients for brown sugar?

Hope all is well!


Lillie October 12, 2012 at 10:22 am

Hi Nancy! You are right! I guess I was feeling overly excited about brown sugar in my expression. 🙂 But, now that we’re on the subject, a swap out of half the granulated sugar for brown sugar in this recipe would be amazing. Hope to see you soon! xo


heyenjoy November 21, 2012 at 2:23 am

Awesome, blueberry crispy pie~ It’s not that hard to make just reading your post, but if I start to try it, it would be really hard! 🙂 Thanks for the recipe~!!


skiwi January 24, 2013 at 1:48 pm

(from France ;))

This is my first visit on your site.
I have a question: do you think I can use frosted blueberries for this recipe?


Lillie January 28, 2013 at 3:35 pm

Hello and welcome! Yes, I think that frozen blueberries would work fine. I would let them defrost, drain off the liquid and then mix with sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. Happy baking!


Anna March 7, 2013 at 6:33 am

Hi Lillie. Just wanted to say a big thank you for this amazing recipe. I’m scared of making pastry (mine always seem to come out so tough) but this was perfection. It got lots of compliments! It’s the tail end of summer here in Aus and stone fruit is taking over my kitchen so I used three nectarines (sliced) and a cup of defrosted mixed berries. I also swapped half the all purpose flour for rye flour. It was absolutely delicious! Thank you again!


Lillie March 7, 2013 at 9:21 pm

Hi Anna! Yay! I’m so happy to hear that the tart was a success! 🙂


Salvegging June 23, 2014 at 3:48 pm

Hi Lillie, I was wondering if you store this in the fridge or room temp as you said it lasts a few days! Thanks, I can’t wait to try.


Lillie July 18, 2014 at 6:34 pm

I have stored it both ways…it is great chilled or will last on the counter for several days. Happy baking!


Salvegging July 25, 2014 at 9:32 am

Delicious!! Oh my this is going on my summer no-fuss list. I love the hybrid effects here of crisp, bar cookie, tart. I reduced everything just a tad to fit into an 8 inch tart pan. We had some for dessert last night and I took a rather generous piece to the office for breakfast, which pretty much made the day a lot more exciting : )


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