blueberry cornmeal tart
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I’ve always struggled to make sense of the urge to bake when it’s 93 degrees outside, but then again, it’s summer and there is SO MUCH FRUIT around and, well, we all have to make choices.
And I choose to make this choice, the choice of this blueberry cornmeal tart, a summer-y baked good that is better than a galette (sorry), easier than pie (undeniable), more seasonally appropriate than cake (more fruit less starch? idk, going with it)!
TLDR; I do not know a better summertime baked good than this one. Not a pie, not a cake and sorry, no, not even a galette. It’s crunchy, it’s buttery and it does what it came to do: celebrate your summertime fruit with minimal interference, low effort, and high reward. No pie crust to wait for, no cake batter to second-guess, only one cornmeal-laced streusel-y topping that also functions as the crust (two birds, one very golden delicious stone).
While I truly believe blueberries to be The Chosen Ones for this particular dessert (no cutting or preparation required, excellent juiciness, high pectin content for proper thickening), if you’re lucky to live in a place with access to mulberries or huckleberries, those would be incredible here, or a mix of blackberries and blueberries (raspberries I might find too seedy).
As for the tart pan, I’m tired of living a lie and saying you don’t “need” one of these 9” tart pans with a removable bottom, because if I’m honest, I kind of think you do. I use it more than a cake pan, it’s easy to clean, you can even bake cake in it. I think it deserves the space on your shelf, and you know I rarely say that about anything.
Thank you to my best friend, FreshDirect, for sponsoring this episode and for always delivering what I need, for Home Movies and in my personal life. If you'd like to try FreshDirect, you can use the code 'roman' at checkout for $50 off your first order of $99 or more. Click here to shop for everything I used so you can make this tart as soon as possible.
Blueberry Cornmeal Tart
makes 1 9-inch tart, serves 6-8
For those who don’t bake and for those that do, for those who like their desserts on the less-sweet side, the crunchy side, the unfussy side, this dessert is for you. I can’t stress enough how infallible it is, virtually unable to mess up.
The buttery cornmeal crust doubles as a crumble topping for texture on both sides for maximum crunchiness, the key to my heart. As for the fruit, while a stonefruit moment may tempt you, this is truly a moment for berries. Blueberries are hard to beat for their juiciness and rich-in-pectin jammy texture, but feel free to mix in blackberries, raspberries or mulberries/huckleberries (if you’re lucky to find either).
This recipe is also a prime candidate for baking in “whatever you have around.” Tart pan, pie plate, square baking dish; It is also easily doubled to make in a 9x13 for more of a “bar” and less of a “tart.”
For the Crust & Topping
1 ½ cups/225g all-purpose flour
⅓ cup/55 grams cornmeal
⅓ cup/50 grams confectioners’ sugar
¼ cup/55 grams light brown sugar
1 teaspoon/ 4 grams baking powder
1 teaspoon/ 3 grams kosher salt
¾ cup/170 grams unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), melted and cooled slightly
For the Filling
1 pound/455 grams blueberries, or combination of blueberries, blackberries and raspberries
½ cup/110 grams light brown sugar
2 tablespoons/ 28 grams apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon or lime juice
2 tablespoons/ 18 grams all-purpose flour
Pinch of kosher salt
1. Make the crust and topping: Preheat oven to 350°. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, confectioners’ sugar, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Add melted butter, then use your hands or a wooden spoon to combine ingredients until a coarse little dough comes together, with no obviously dry spots.
2. Press 3/4 of the cornmeal mixture into a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom (alternatively, use a 9-inch cake pan or springform pan, or 8x8 pan lined with parchment), making sure the mixture is evenly pressed on the bottom and about 1/2 inch up the sides. (Using something large and flat, like the bottom of a measuring cup, will be helpful.) Place the shell on a rimmed baking sheet; pop the tart shell and remaining mixture into the fridge while you prepare the filling.
3. Make the filling: Toss blueberries, brown sugar, vinegar, flour and salt together in a medium bowl. Pour the fruit into the crust.
4. Crumble the remaining cornmeal mixture over the blueberries, pressing bits of the mixture together into large clumps as you go, as you would with a crisp or coffee-cake topping (note that it won’t cover the top entirely, more just create a nice sporadic covering, still allowing the blueberries and their juices to poke through).
5. Bake tart until the blueberry filling is bubbly and thickened, and both the crust and top are nicely browned, 50–55 minutes.
6. Let tart cool completely before slicing into triangles and serving. The tart can be baked up to 2 days ahead and stored tightly wrapped at room temperature or refrigerated (especially if your kitchen is hot or humid).
EAT WITH: vanilla ice cream would be too obvious, but I don’t care.
DO AHEAD: tart can be baked 4 days ahead, stored wrapped in plastic at room temperature, or refrigerated. This tart is good all the ways.