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Perhaps you might be more familiar with Blueberry Galette? A crostata is exactly that. A galette. A rustic, free form, open-faced tart filled with luscious fruit. Or veggies. And that’s what I love most about crostata. That it is rustic and free-form. No perfection required here! Just loads of butter for a deliciously rich and buttery crust. And beautiful fruit which you can sweeten to your heart’s desire.
We’ve got these wild blueberries here from the Saguenay/Lac Saint-Jean region of Quebec. Walk through a farmers’ market in August and September, and you will be dazzled by these tiny blue-purple gems. And I do mean tiny! Smaller in stature than cultivated blueberries, wild blueberries contain the most powerful antioxidants of all, including powerful anti-inflammatory compounds. But that’s not why I eat them. I eat them because they are perfectly delicious! And they’re also Charlotte’s favourite fruit!
The recipe below is for two bellissime crostate di mirtilli. Go ahead and cut the recipe in half if you only want one. But trust me on this. You will want a second one after the first is gone! After looking at various recipes, I noticed that all of them added either cornstarch or flour, or both, to the fruit. I decided that I would rather not, preferring to have the pure taste of blueberries. With perhaps a little lemon because after all, blueberries and lemon do marry wonderfully together, no? As for the sugar, I added little. Again, I really just wanted the blueberry flavour bursting in my mouth. You go ahead and add more sugar if you prefer your crostata on the sweet side. As for myself, I’m already quite sweet as it is!
For the pastry:
2 cups of flour
1/4 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of sugar
12 tablespoons of cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
8 to 10 tablespoons of ice water
1 egg, for the egg wash
Sugar for sprinkling
Add the flour into a bowl with the salt and sugar, and stir. I cut the cold butter into cubes and then put them back in the refrigerator until it’s time to throw them in. The colder the better!
Cut the butter in with a pastry cutter. Here’s where my luck ran out. My cutter broke on me! So instead I used two knives to cut in the butter, which I’ve done before. My advice? If you bake lots, I urge you to indulge in such a simple tool as the pastry cutter. So much easier!
Add the ice water, one tablespoon at a time, stirring with a fork. Do not overwork the dough. I used 9 tablespoons of ice water. You might require 1 more or less. It should just come together nicely and not be too wet or sticky. Wrap in wax paper or plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator to chill for at least 1 hour.
For the filling:
6 cups of blueberries
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons of sugar
Gently mix the blueberries with lemon juice, zest, and sugar.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Remove the dough from the fridge and cut it in half. Place one half back in the fridge while you prepare the first crostata dough. Roll the dough out on a lightly-floured surface to about ¼ inch thickness and transfer to a baking sheet. Place this dough in the fridge while you roll-out the second one. Repeat as with the first.
When you’re ready, work with one dough at a time, keeping the other in the fridge. Add half of the blueberries on top of the dough, creating a small mound in the centre, leaving enough of a border to fold the pastry edges over the blueberries. Repeat with the second crostata dough. Lightly beat the egg and brush the outer crust with it. Sprinkle the crust with sugar.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the crust is nicely browned and the blueberries begin to break apart in the middle. Allow to cool to room temperature and serve. Buon Appetito!