This post is sponsored by the British Columbia Blueberry Council.
Hurray – it’s blueberry season in Canada! Who doesn’t love the arrival of fresh BC Blueberries? I mean, they just scream “summer” don’t they? Blueberries are such a versatile fruit – on cereal or yoghurt for breakfast, in smoothies, on their own as a snack through the day and, of course, in a variety of desserts – crumbles, galettes, cakes, pies etc… Nature’s candy is truly something that works at any time of the day!
During the summer, I also stock up on fresh blueberries, freezing them so I can enjoy them year-round but fresh is definitely always best! BC Blueberries are in season July and August and distributed throughout Canada – but thanks to frozen options, we are really are lucky that we can buy Canadian (or local if you live in BC) year-round!
I’m currently wrapping up work on my cookbook edits and, as I suspected would be the case, there are a few recipes that I was initially developing that didn’t make it into the final list – it was hard to include them all – and I’m thrilled to share one today that I’ve been playing with for a while now. Little almond cream tartlets with fruit are common in France and I know these would be wonderful with fresh blueberries.
You might be wondering if this almond cream is the same as frangipane? Well technically, frangipane is almond cream (made from butter, sugar, eggs and almond meal) with pastry cream folded in (well explained here by Clotilde at Chocolate & Zucchini) though it seems the terms are often used interchangeably these days. I like the frangipane inside a Galette des Rois, for example but when I am baking with fruit I prefer the straight crème d’amande – it puffs up beautifully around the fruit when it bakes. So pretty!
There are a few steps involved in this recipe but none of them are particularly difficult. In fact you could make both the pastry and the almond cream in advance, then all you’d have to do is assemble and bake.
Blueberry almond tartlets
Easy mini blueberry tartlets with almond cream.
For the almond cream
- 1/4 cup (57 g/ 1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (50g) almond meal
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- For the pastry
- 3/4 cup (113 g) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (57g, 8 tablespoons, 1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- To bake
- approx 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
- Make the almond cream:
- Beat the butter and sugar using electric hand beaters until smooth and creamy.
- Add the egg and vanilla and beat until well-combined. Your mixture may look a little curdled but that’s ok.
- Gently fold in the almond meal and salt using a rubber spatula until you have a smooth paste. It might be quite stiff.
- Cover the almond cream with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
- Make the pastry:
- Whisk the flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl.
- Add the cubed butter and, using your fingertips lightly rub the butter into the flour until it resembles large breadcrumbs with some pieces the size of small peas. You can also use a pastry cutter for this job.
- Make a well in the middle of the flour mix and add the egg.
- Add the cream and mix using a wooden spoon until the dough is firm enough to form a ball when you press the mixture together with your fingers - it might be a little crumbly but form the dough into a disk and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap.
- Divide the dough into two, place between two sheets of parchment paper and roll one piece out at a time to a thickness of ¼ inch (6mm).
- Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F and lightly grease a 12 cavity muffin tin.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and use a 3-inch (7 cm) diameter cookie cutter to cut six disks from each piece of dough.
- Place the disks in greased muffin tins and gently press in the centre to form pastry shells. Do not press too hard.
- Divide the almond cream between the pastry cups (you’ll need about 2 tablespoons per tartlet).
- Gently press 4-5 blueberries into each tartlet, slightly burying some of them.
- Bake at 350˚F for 30 minutes or until the almond cream is puffed and golden.
- Remove from oven and let the tarts sit in the muffin tins for about 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool on wire cooling racks. Serve at room temperature.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days (they will get soggy the longer you store them so best to eat them up!).
What about you – what’s your favorite way to enjoy fresh blueberries?
Find more blueberry recipes on the BC Blueberry Council site: www.bcblueberry.com
About the British Columbia Blueberry Council
The British Columbia Blueberry Council represents more than 700 growers of premium-quality highbush blueberries located in some of Canada’s richest and most fertile farmland. These farmers produce upwards of 77 million kilograms (170 million pounds) of blueberries annually, establishing British Columbia as the largest highbush blueberry-growing region in the world and making blueberries Canada’s number one fruit export. British Columbia’s blueberries are available year round: fresh typically from June to September, and frozen in grocery stores year-round—a great way to continue to eat local and support B.C. growers.
Disclosure: I received compensation in exchange for promoting BC Blueberries and recipe development. All opinions 100% my own and I only write about products I use and love myself.