Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Rum Point, Grand Cayman

What's not to love about blueberries? Hardly a calorie, high in antioxidants, full-flavored. Easy to work with, easy to pick or find during the summer months, versatile in tarts or on granola or in salads, or even in barbecue sauce, like the spicy blueberry rib sauce I love at Twelve Bones in Asheville, NC....and I'm working on duplicating that here, too.
But here's my fav......a very tart lemon curd topped with fresh blueberries.
And, it's easy. Just take it a step at a time. Zest and juice the lemons. Make and bake the crust, then while that's chilling, cook the lemon curd. Be sure to strain it, as shown, for that removes the lemon zest and leaves the curd smooth on the tongue.

While the curd is cooling, wash and dry the berries. Then it's child play, dropping berries until you couldn't possibly add another blue bomb.......Chill or just dive into it!
RECIPE...........LEMON CURD and BLUEBERRY TART, from my first book, THE OUTER BANKS COOKBOOK: Recipes & Traditions from NC's Barrier Islands.

For the Pastry:
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 to 1 1/4 cup flour

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch fluted tart pan.
2. In a large bowl, combine butter, vanilla, lemon zest, sugar, and salt. Graduallly stir in enough flour to form a soft ball of dough.
3. Place the dough in the center of the prepared tart pan. press the pastry evenly over the bottom and up the sides, using your fingertips.
4. Place the tart shell in the center of the oven and bake until pastry is lightly browned, about 15 to 18 minutes.
5. Place on a wire rack and cool before adding the lemon curd.

For the Lemon Curd:
3 whole eggs
3 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice, strained (from 5 to 6 large lemons)
pinch of salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1//2-inch cubes

1. In a large sauce pan, whisk eggs, yolks, sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice, and pinch of salt.
2. Add butter, and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, scraping sides and bottom or pan. DO NOT BOIL.
3. Cook for 7 to 10 minutes, until the mixture is the consistency of loosely whipped cream, thick enough to coat the back of the spatula and leave a trail when a finger is drawn through it.
4. Pour mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into the pre-baked pastry shell.

To finish the tart:
1 1/2 pint blueberries, rinsed, picked over, and patted dry

1. Allow the tart to cool to room temperature, about 1/2 hour.
2. Sprinkle the blueberries evenly over the top.
3. Refrigerate, for up to one day.
4. When ready to serve, remove the outside ring from the tart, and let sit at room temperature for 20 t0 30 minutes before serving. Best eaten the day it is made.

Let me show you why I have not posted lately.....below is my husband standing on top of Grandfather Mountain, where we celebrated our 36th wedding anniversary.
And then we spent a week snorkeling, drinking beer, eating conch ceviche, conch fritters and red snapper on Grand Cayman with our friends. Great getaway!

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