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baking pies + tarts

puff pastry tarts with twangy blueberry sauce

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

puff pastry tarts with twangy blueberries
Four years ago when I started this space I set up a Flickr account, mostly because everyone else was doing it. I browsed through pages and pages of photographs and profiles, and after falling down long rabbit holes of foodie pics and vacation photos that inspired serious bouts of envy, I found this cake made by Tara O’Brady. There was something about it that made me pause. All the subtle streaks of color in the frosting, that uneven pattern made with a spoon, and the well-worn wood it was resting on was a perfect union of comfort and class; simplicity mixed with unpretentious sophistication. Without hesitation I clicked on the link to Tara’s blog, and started faithfully reading Seven Spoons.
twangy blueberry sauce | the vanilla bean blog
Twangy blueberry sauce is found in Tara O’Brady’s new cookbook; a collection of recipes that is “less about innovation and more about getting supper on the table, but doing so thoughtfully, and beautifully, too.” It is everything I look for in a book on cooking: beautiful photographs, thoughtful writing, and recipes I want to put on repeat. This twangy berry sauce does not disappoint. Neither does the Basic, Great Chocolate Chip Cookies, the Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream (with candied cacao nibs!), the Poppy Seed Snacking Cake, or the most perfectly perfect biscuits you will ever make with your own two hands. My copy is already dusted with flour, and its pages are stained.

“A cookbook’s value is only half on the page; the other half is in the action it inspires. My goal in sharing these recipes and lessons is for you to come away empowered to trust your instincts, to consider your own perspective and opinions, and to keep you well fed.” -Tara O’Brady

puff pastry tarts with twangy blueberries | the vanilla bean blog
Puff Pastry Tarts with Twangy Blueberry Sauce
Store-bought puff pastry is fine, but look for one that is made with real butter verses palm or soybean oil. I made Kamran’s Quick Puff Pastry. I used Zoe’s pastry cream (2 cups lightened with 1/2 cup of whipped cream) here, but I’ve also made a similar puff pastry tart with a cream cheese filling, and I’ve included that recipe here.

1 sheet puff pastry (see note)
egg wash (1 egg, 1 teaspoon water, and pinch of salt all whisked together with a fork)
cream cheese filling (recipe follows) or Pastry cream (see note)
Twangy Blueberry Sauce (recipe follows)

For the puff pastry
Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper.

Lightly flour your work surface, and gently roll out the puff pastry into a 10-inch square. Using a pizza wheel (or knife), cut the square into 4 smaller squares of equal size. Transfer the squares to the parchment lined sheet pan. Moisten the dough edges with the egg wash, and then fold the edges of the pastry over about 1/2-inch on all sides. Using a fork, pierce the puff pastry square all over on just the bottom. Brush the tops of the folded dough edges with the egg wash, being very careful not to let any drip down the sides (this can hinder the puff pastry from rising). Refrigerate the puff pastry for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400.

Bake the puff pastry until brown and puffed, about 8-12 minutes. Using an offset spatula, press down on the center of the pastry, leaving the borders puffed up. Return to the oven, and bake 8-12 minutes more, until the pastry is golden and puffed. Transfer the tarts to a wire rack to cool, and press down the center again if needed. Let the tart cool completely before filling.

Cream Cheese Filling
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
4 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
A good pinch of salt
1 cup heavy cream

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and salt on medium-high until light and fluffy (1-2 minutes). Reduce the speed to low and add the heavy cream in a slow, steady stream. Once the cream is incorporated, increase the speed to medium-high again and beat until the mixture holds stiff peaks, 2-3 minutes.

Twangy Blueberry Sauce
adapted from Seven Spoons

I only made a few changes to the original recipe – I added a pinch of salt and a dash of vanilla. I also used white balsamic vinegar, only because that’s all I had in my pantry.

3 cups | 510 g fresh or frozen blueberries
1/4 cup | 50 g granulated sugar
2 teaspoons tapioca flour
good pinch of salt
1 tablespoon best-quality balsamic-vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Put 1 1/2 cups (255g) of the blueberries into a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the blueberries start to release their liquid (about 1 minute). Stir the sugar, tapioca flour, and salt together in a small bowl, and add it to the saucepan. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the fruit begins to split and the juice become thick and glossy (3-5 minutes). Add the vinegar and cook for another minute, stirring (the sauce will turn sticky). Turn off the heat, and add the vanilla, stirring to combine. Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups (255g) of blueberries, and set aside to cool in the pan. Stir the sauce every few minutes. Use the sauce right away, or cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate until needed (up to 1 week). Can be served hot or cold.

To assemble the tarts
Put 1/4 cup-1/2 cup (depending on how much you want) of cream cheese filling in the center of each tart. Spread the filling evenly to the puffed borders, and then top with the blueberry sauce.
puff pastry tarts with twangy blueberries | the vanilla bean blog

  • Reply
    Melissa@Julia's Bookbag
    Tuesday, May 19, 2015 at 11:02 pm

    DELIGHTFUL. so could you also use regular dark balsamic vinegar? These look like sort of fancy danishes! Love love love.

  • Reply
    sophie // the cake hunter
    Wednesday, May 20, 2015 at 3:17 am

    These look so beautiful. I love the blueberry sauce swirled into the cream. This is definitely going on my ‘to bake’ list.

  • Reply
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    Wednesday, May 20, 2015 at 6:38 am

    That sauce sounds so incredible! Love this!

  • Reply
    serwis
    Wednesday, May 20, 2015 at 7:29 am

    This tarts looks amazing. I have to try this next weekend, recipe is simple so I think I can handle it 😉

  • Reply
    Kate
    Wednesday, May 20, 2015 at 7:37 am

    Isn’t Tara’s book just dreamy? I could curl up every evening and read her beautiful words. We had her cheesecake with this twangy sauce and it was so good – love the idea of putting it on these little puffs too x

  • Reply
    Abby @ The Frosted Vegan
    Wednesday, May 20, 2015 at 8:56 am

    I keep reading about how wonderful Tara’s book is, so it looks like I need to check it out!

  • Reply
    Brian @ A Thought For Food
    Wednesday, May 20, 2015 at 10:09 am

    Puff pastry totally freaks me out. I get nervous about working with it (don’t ask why… I have many irrational fears). This is just one gorgeous dessert… and it’s making me think that I need to get over this and make my first batch of puff pastry!

  • Reply
    Heidi @foodiecrush
    Wednesday, May 20, 2015 at 11:08 am

    I was immediately drawn to this with one word: Twang. It was our code word in high school for any and every boy crush. “TWANG!” Now I just crush on food, like these lovely bites.

  • Reply
    Abby
    Wednesday, May 20, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    This is so, so beautiful, Sarah. I adore your photos, this recipe, and Tara’s blog. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of her book… I can’t believe I haven’t yet! <3

  • Reply
    Allison from Baking: a Love Story
    Wednesday, May 20, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    So beautiful. And thanks for bringing Seven Spoons into my world. Beyond!

    xox,

    A.

  • Reply
    naomi
    Wednesday, May 20, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    Yep, I’m a huge fan of Tara’s work – food, photography and writing. This recipe is no exception, it looks so tasty and great!

  • Reply
    Julie Biuso
    Thursday, May 21, 2015 at 3:26 am

    Great pic! I want to eat them!

  • Reply
    Sara @ Cake Over Steak
    Thursday, May 21, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    Yum. These sound wonderful, and I love that name “twangy” blueberry sauce. I need to get this book!

  • Reply
    The Cookbook Project | Eat Up, Buttercup
    Thursday, May 21, 2015 at 6:05 pm

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  • Reply
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    […] the gun a bit by posting my first-ever re-blog of a blueberry recipe. This recipe, posted by the Vanilla Bean Blog, is one I intend to make as soon as possible. Well, as soon as our Reka berries […]

  • Reply
    Culina Sophia
    Sunday, May 24, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    Gosh these look so delicious. Beautiful pictures too! I might whip a touch of melted white chocolate into the cream cheese since for some bizarre reason I have a huge surplus. Look forward to trying!

  • Reply
    Lindsey @ a honey blossom
    Sunday, June 14, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    These tarts are beautiful! I love individually sized things, especially when they’re this cute. I have the last of a batch of homemade puff pastry in my freezer that I’ve been saving for something special – I think this is it!

  • Reply
    Emily
    Thursday, July 16, 2015 at 5:43 am

    Sarah these look wonderful! I love those beautiful swirls of colour with the white cream and the purple from the blueberries. It’s like mixing paint colours on your puff pastry canvas! I’ll have to remember this recipe for when I have leftover cream. x e.

  • Reply
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