Hand-Held on a plate
I love a good hand held munchie. It doesn’t matter if it’s a sandwich, lettuce, wrap, cookie, ice cream cone, or tart. Actually, I never really thought of a tart as something you could eat with your hands. That is until I started thinking about them in more diminutive portions. Take for instance this Mini Almond Blueberry Tart.
There’s lots of cool things about hand-helds. The obvious one is that you can pick them up fast off the kitchen counter and eat them in the car. I mean, who doesn’t want to eat tarts in the car, right? These little guys are also perfect for wrapping up individually to pop in the ol’ lunch pail. You can freeze them individually too. If you’re wanting a little something sweet after dinner, it’s perfectly proportioned for one. Put a few of these darlings out on the brunch buffet and you are sure to see eyes light up in delight.
I just realized here I am talking about “hand-held” tarts and all the photos I took are with them on a plate with a fork. Mom, if you’re reading this… just skip down to the recipe, ok? For the rest of you, if I’m not picking these little guys up running out the door with one, I’m breaking them up with a fork and then eat the pieces with my fingers. And if no one is looking, I like to pick the blueberries off the top and eat them individually. Yes, yes, yes… I love to play with my food. Ugh! Anyway, eat them with your hands or with a fork, who cares! Just eat them! They’re sooooo good!!!
I’ve always put a tart in the same category as a quiche or pie. Slice it up and put it on a plate. Luckily for us home cooks, we now have access to all the play toys the pros have since the likes of Sur la Table and William Sonoma have popped up. Heck, even Amazon is a great resource. Mini tarts pans are everywhere! You can find them and other great cooking gear at Target and Home Goods. Yippee!!! Hand me a latte and put me in any of those places and I am a happy girl!
Almond Blueberry Tarts
I can’t hardly begin to tell you how much fun it is to play with flavor combinations. Flavor pairings are a lot like the nursery rhyme of the little girl with the curl in the middle of her forehead. When they’re good, they are very Very good, but when they’re bad…
Almonds and blueberries play very well together and if you bring a little lemon to the party (which this recipe does), you’ve got yourself something special. How do you know what flavors will work well together? Put your sniffer to work. Smell them together. If it’s pleasing, you have your first clue that the match might be a good one.
I think the real magic of this recipe is due to the lemon. It adds a lovely brightness to the darker undertones of the almond base. If blueberries aren’t your thing, switch them out for raspberries! Either way, these Almond Blueberry Tarts are the bomb!
Almond Blueberry Tarts
Bursting with juicy blueberries surrounded by sweet almond filling, these tarts are perfect for breakfast, dessert or a snack to take on the go. Making the crust from scratch with the following recipe is a snap too! So easy and sooooo good!
- 3 cups Cup 4 Cup gluten-free Pie Crust flour
- 8 ounces stick unsalted butter cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup milk cold
- 3 tablespoons water cold
- 1 stick unsalted butter room temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 cups almond flour or almond meal
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup Grand Marnier
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups blueberries
- powdered sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 375. Set aside six (4-inch / 10-12 cm) tartlet pans, un-greased.
Make the crust
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt, lemon zest, and sugar.
Drop in the chilled butter cubes. With the whisk, "chop" or "cut" the butter into the flour mixture using an up and down motion. Do this until it looks like coarse sand.
In a small bowl, whisk the egg, milk, and cold water until combined.
Mix this into the "wet sand" flour mixture. Stir (I use my hands) until the mixture comes together and forms a soft smooth ball.
Divide the ball into 6 equal pieces. Flatten each ball slightly into a thick disk.
Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate until filling is done, at least 30 minutes.
Make the filling
In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium until creamy and fluffy. Add the sugar.
Reduce mixer speed to low and beat in the extracts, Grand Marnier, lemon zest, and salt. Turn off mixer and scrape the sides. Mix on medium low until thoroughly combined.
Turn off mixer and scrape the side again. On a very low speed, add the eggs one at a time. Then slowly add the almond flour. Beat until everything is fully incorporated.
Bringing it all together
When filling is done, flour a surface and roll the disks out to approximately 6 inches or 15 cm in diameter. Put them in the tartlet pans. Gently press the dough to the sides, creating a pretty edge. Dock the bottoms with a fork.
Divide the almond mixture evenly into the tartlet crusts. Divide the blueberries evenly among the tartlets as well, gently press them into the filling.
Bake for 30 minutes or until the crust is golden. Allow them to cool completely. Remove the tartlets from the pans and dust with powdered sugar.
*Mini tart pans: I found a quadruple mini tart pan years ago. It works great, because really when are you ever going to make just one mini tart? If you can find one, snatch it up! This recipe also works great if you want to make 1 large tart (9-inch diameter).
Almond meal vs. almond flour- I prefer almond flour over almond meal primarily because almond flour is finer and a little sweeter. Almond meal tastes great, but it's coarser and gives the tart filling and crust a grainier texture. If you use almond flour, your tartlets will have a smoother texture and will also look lighter.
Oh Lordy!!! I’ve just started my diet! I only gained 2 pounds while you were here! I love you, mom
Ps: I miss all those creampuffs from the French bakery.
You and me both! I’m back on Keto! Lol!!! I had such a great time with you and dad ❤️ Can’t wait to see you guys this summer!
Your tart looks sooooooo good. I must try before the blueberry season is over.
These look so cute and yummy!