Monday, August 11, 2014

where the wild fruits are

I have the privilege of vacationing on Martha's Vineyard every summer- I had a great-great grandfather who purchased the land that has since been passed down through generations. It's an ideal pastoral retreat that is abundant in all forms of vegetation, including wild blueberry bushes.

Have you ever eaten wild blueberries before? They're much smaller than their grocery store counterpart, and thus much more tart and flavorful. Elise Ruby loved picking wild blueberries with her cousins, as I did when I was growing up (and still do!). Of course the wild blueberries beg to be eaten right off the bush, but if you can muster the strength to save about a cup, then you can make this fancy/easy tart.

And if you're really lucky (like me) to have a fantastic sous-chef in the kitchen (aka my niece Alison) then that productive little sous-chef will produce the most fantastic, fresh vanilla homemade ice cream. It's the perfect accompaniment to the tart, sweetness of the fruit and it melts wonderfully against the heat of the pastry. 

folding up the sides- it's not perfect, and it's not meant to be :)
Peach and Blueberry Rustic Tart

Recipe barely adapted from here
Serves 6-8

Recipe Notes-
- Substituting your favorite fruits (or whatever you have on hand and is ripe) is really easy here.
- I didn’t peel the skin from the peaches, and the skin just sort of disappeared into the tart. If you really don’t like peach skin, then by all means peels them. 
- A food processor will quickly make the dough, but if this isn’t available then use either a pastry blender or a fork to work the butter into the flour mixture.
- I tweaked a few things with this recipe: I adapted the crust for 1 rather than 2. I also feel like a bit of crunch would be lovely in the topping, so I included either sliced almonds or old-fashioned oats in the recipe (purely optional though). If you don’t have either a lemon or orange to juice and zest (or don’t like the flavor) than you could always do vanilla (2 tsp.), or almond extract (1 tsp.) would be lovely with the peaches and an almond topping.

For the pastry:
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbs. granulated sugar
pinch of salt
½ cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced
3 Tbs. ice water

For the filling:
3 medium-sized firm ripe peaches
1 Cup fresh blueberries
1 Tbs. all-purpose flour
1 Tbs. granulated sugar
The zest and juice of 1 medium-sized lemon (or orange) (see Recipe Note above)

For the topping:
¼ Cup all-purpose flour
¼ Cup granulated sugar
¼ tsp. kosher salt
4 Tbs. cold, unsalted butter, diced
¼ Cup sliced, blanched almonds OR ¼ cup old-fashioned oats, optional

For the pastry:
1. Place the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade (see note above if you don’t have a food processor). Pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter and pulse 12 to 15 times, or until the butter is the size of peas. With the motor running, add the ice water all at once through the feed tube. Keep hitting the pulse button to combine, but stop the machine just before the dough comes together.
2. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured board, roll it into a ball and wrap the disks in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
3. Preheat the oven to 450° degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or spray oil on aluminum foil).
4. Roll the pastry into an 11-inch circle on a lightly floured surface and transfer it to the baking sheet.

For the filling:
5. Cut the peaches and plums in wedges and place them in a bowl with the blueberries. Toss them with the flour, sugar and the lemon zest and juice. Place the mixed fruit on the dough circle, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border.

For the topping:
6. Combine the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade (see Recipe Note above). Add the butter and pulse until the mixture is crumbly. Pour into a bowl and add the nuts or oats, then sprinkle evenly over the fruit.
7. Gently fold the border of the pastry over the fruit, pleating it to make an edge. Bake the fruit tart for 20 to 25 minutes, until the crust is golden and the fruit is tender. Let the tart cool for 10 minutes before cutting into, so the juices firm up a bit. Serve warm or at room temperature.


  1. This dessert is perfect for summer. How fun to pick fresh blueberries and add them into your baking.

    1. I couldn't agree more Tracy, it made the dessert extra special knowing we had picked some of the berries ourselves.