Blackberry & Blueberry Rustic Tart

Nothing says summer like fresh fruit and if blackberries aren’t in the mix, you’re missing out. Blackberries have a sweet, tart flavor making them perfect for salads, smoothies, blended into savory sauces, eaten fresh or in desserts.

Blackberries are closely related to raspberries but should not be confused with the black raspberry. Although native to Europe, we can grow them here in Canada. They will thrive in a wide range of soils but good drainage and direct sunlight are a must. Blackberries are the largest of the wild berries, growing on thorny bushes called brambles.

Because blackberries and blueberries make such an amazing combo, using them in this tart seems very fitting. My favorite alternative cornmeal pastry makes a buttery yet slightly crunchy crust. Since it stays so soft, I found it easier to press this pastry into the tart pan as opposed to rolling it out. I added a border after I filled the shell to give it a more rustic look. What more could you want — eye appeal and a fabulous flavor!

I should mention, I’m going to post some balsamic glazed fig & pork kebabs next time. Save a couple of pieces of this tart as they are a perfect ending to that meal.

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Blackberry & Blueberry Rustic Tart
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Cornmeal pastry
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Ingredients
Cornmeal pastry
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Instructions
Cornmeal Pastry
  1. In a bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar & salt. With fingertips, cut in butter until mixture resembles small peas. In a measuring up, combine ICE water & sour cream. Add to dry mixture. Mix only until combined, do not over mix. Press into your favorite choice of pan ( tart, quiche or pie pans are all good). Place in fridge or freezer until ready to fill.
Filling
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. In a large bowl, combine berries, sugar, flour & lemon juice; spoon into pastry shell. Brush edges with beaten egg & sprinkle with coarse sugar.
  2. Bake 45-50 minutes or until crust is golden & filling is bubbly. If your pan has a removable bottom, it makes it a lot easier for serving. Cool slightly & serve with whip cream (or ice cream) if you choose.

Blueberry Perogies

Perogies are of virtually untraceable Central or Eastern European origin although speculation has it the recipe could have been brought from the Far East.

Thinking beyond potatoes and cheddar — who knew that perogies could be filled with fruit?! Although the most traditional fruit filling is plum, many fruits will work. Summer perogies are often filled with apricots, sweet or sour cherries and apples. At Christmas, sweet poppy seed filling is a popular choice. This simple food turns into a wonderful dessert when served with orange sauce, lemon curd, a basic chocolate ganache or even a raspberry or strawberry coulis.

I realize we are not quite into summer yet but blueberries are great anytime. What makes berries so attractive as a filling is their size and texture. Perogies need only a short time to cook – a few minutes each in water than in the frying pan so the berries will break down sufficiently in this amount of time.

While savory perogies are often fried, baked or even deep fried after being boiled, most fruit perogies are served without frying, lending a delicate texture to the more delicate flavor of the fruit.

Since I wanted to serve these blueberry perogies as a compliment to our roasted bratwurst and veggies, we preferred them slightly fried and topped with a sweet/savory balsamic blueberry sauce. It made a great combo!

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Blueberry Perogies
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Balsamic Wild Blueberry Sauce
Blueberry Filling for Perogies
Perogy Dough
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Ingredients
Balsamic Wild Blueberry Sauce
Blueberry Filling for Perogies
Perogy Dough
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Instructions
Balsamic Sauce
  1. In a small saucepan over low heat, place blueberries, garlic & honey; stir until mixture begins to boil & thicken. Stir in balsamic vinegar. Bring sauce to a boil & allow to reduce slightly to become the consistency of honey. Set aside, keeping warm until ready to serve.
Blueberry Filling
  1. Wash & dry blueberries; set aside. In a small dish, combine cornstarch & sugar; set aside.
Perogy Dough
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour & salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg, sour cream & oil until well mixed. Add liquid ingredients to dry mixture & gently combine. Before the dough is completely mixed, transfer to a lightly floured work surface. Knead dough 7 or 8 times to form a soft ball. Do NOT over-work dough.
  2. Roll out dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Using a 3 1/2-inch cutter, cut circles out of the dough or if you prefer to just cut same size pieces from dough ball. Stretch each to a 'perogy' size. Place about 1 tablespoon of berries on each round of dough. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of the sugar/cornstarch mixture over berries. Moisten the edge of each dough circle with a little water & fold the dough over filling. Pinch the edges firmly to create a tight seal.
  3. Place perogies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper while preparing them. Keep covered with a slightly moist towel until ready to cook.
  4. Fill a large pot with about 8 cups of water. Add 1 teaspoon of salt (+ 1 tsp oil if you wish), cover & bring to a boil. Cook perogies in batches. Stir gently until perogies float, cook about 2-3 minutes. Do not over cook or dough will be tough.
  5. Serve perogies with warm balsamic wild blueberry sauce.

Bacon-Wrapped Burgers

HAPPY CANADA DAY !

We are celebrating our country’s 150th ‘birthday’ this year. July 1st marks the historical event in which Canada gained its independence from Great Britain in 1867. This important holiday celebrates the birth of Canada as an independent nation.

Our July 1st holiday is comparable to the July 4th, ‘Independence Day’ holiday celebrated by the United States. Along with numerous parades, concerts, carnivals, festivals and firework displays, Parks Canada entrance fees are being waived in 2017 to mark this occasion.

Food and drink are almost as synonymous with Canada Day as the colors of red and white. Barbecues are definitely the preferred choice of food event for the day.

For ‘our’ barbecue, I am going with some BACON-WRAPPED BURGERS, POTATO SALAD  with BLUEBERRY-LEMON CHEESECAKE CUPS. Yum!


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Bacon Wrapped Burgers/ Potato Salad/ Blueberry Cheesecake Cups

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Course Lunch, Main Dish
Cuisine French

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Bacon Wrapped Burgers

Blueberry-Lemon Cheesecake Cups

Course Lunch, Main Dish
Cuisine French

Servings


Ingredients
Bacon Wrapped Burgers

Blueberry-Lemon Cheesecake Cups

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Instructions
Bacon-Wrapped Burgers
  1. In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients & 2 Tbsp barbecue sauce. Crumble beef over mixture & mix well. Form into 12 thick patties. Wrap a bacon slice around the sides of each patty & secure with a toothpick.

  2. Barbecue at 350 F. until meat is no longer pink. Baste frequently with remaining barbecue sauce during latter part of cooking.

Blueberry-Lemon Cheesecake Cups
  1. Add boiling water to jelly powder; stir 2 minutes until dissolved. Refrigerate 45 minutes or until slightly thickened.

  2. Preheat oven to 325 F. Mix graham crumbs & butter; press about 3 Tbsp onto bottom of each of 8 -125 ml, pyrex custard cups. Place on rimmed baking sheet; bake 6 minutes. Cool.

  3. Beat cream cheese & sugar with mixer until blended. Gradually beat in half & half; Stir in jell-o. Spoon into cups; top with fresh blueberries.


Recipe Notes
  • You can find the potato salad recipe in the June 2016 blogs.

Sour Cream Blueberry Tarts

I’m not sure, but when it comes to blueberries, I don’t think there is a food category they can’t be used in.

Blueberries date back to the early 1600’s when they were dried and ground to make seasonings for meats, soups and stews. As a remedy, infused blueberry leaves become a tonic, while the juice was made into a sweet cough syrup. Blueberries rank highest of any fruit for antioxidants which can have a positive effect on the heart, brain, stomach, bladder and many more organs and tissues.

Although blueberry growers have increased, the price of fresh blueberries remains fairly high. While in ‘season’ its hard to resist these little ‘blue pearls’. You don’t have to look to far to find endless amounts of blueberry recipes for everything imaginable. These Sour Cream Blueberry Tarts  have been an old standby recipe for me that never fails to get great reviews.

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Sour Cream Blueberry Tarts
Don't you love the flowers --- straight out of my garden!
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Course dessert
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Pecan Shortbread Tart Shells
Tart Filling
White Streusal Topping
Course dessert
Servings
Ingredients
Pecan Shortbread Tart Shells
Tart Filling
White Streusal Topping
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Instructions
Pastry Shells
  1. In a large bowl, combine butter & powdered sugar; cream well. Add flavorings & combine. In a small bowl, combine dry ingredients; gradually add to creamed mixture. Blend well. Using a 12-cup regular muffin tin, line with paper cups. Divide dough into 12 balls. Place one in each cup. With fingers, press dough evenly up sides & on bottom of paper cups. Set aside in fridge.
White Streusal Topping
  1. In a small dish, combine streusal ingredients until mixture forms coarse crumbs.
Tart Filling
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Gently rinse & dry blueberries. In a small bowl, combine all other filling ingredients & whisk together until smooth. Fold in blueberries. Divide filling evenly among the 12 pastry shells. Top with streusal & bake for about 25 minutes. ( Filling will rise slightly when set). Remove from oven; let cool for 5-10 minutes. Once cooled remove tarts from pan. The paper cups will come off easily, leaving a pretty little corrugated design.
Recipe Notes
  • Using fat free sour cream & egg substitute (simply egg whites) in the filling works well for reducing calories.
  • If you need a smaller amount of tarts, the recipe divides in half without problem.