Oh, plans. I’m not very good with planning.
See, the original plan was to celebrate the 4th season of Game of Thrones by posting a recipe from the official food blog, Inn at the Crossroads, every week during the season’s duration. I even went as far as getting permission and a thumbs up from the awesome Chelsea M-C, the co-author of the blog; and the official cookbook, might I add.
The plan was ballsy for me to say the least. We’re talking about a guy who doesn’t exactly have the best time management skills. Actually, if you asked my wife, she’d tell you I manage time as well as Hodor manages complete sentences. She blames it on me being Puerto Rican and constantly living on “island time.” I can’t say she’s that far off.
Anyway, as you may have noticed from my lack of weekly Game of Thrones posts, my plans fell through. Although I don’t really blame myself because it truly has been a crazy few weeks here lately, it still sucks because I really wanted to do it. I was excited to the point where weeks before the season started, I bookmarked the cookbook with all the recipes I was going to do. Not to mention all the Game of Thrones stuff I also wanted to post about like talking up the recent episodes and reviewing the previous seasons. So with us currently 2 episodes behind right now, I can safely say that I was insane to think I could handle such ventures.
I did manage to whip these up..
And I’m so glad I did, because they are pretty damn amazing.
There are quite a few amazing looking fruit tarts at Inn at the CrossRoads, but I only chose to do one. It’s such a simple tart that lets the blueberries shine beautifully. Nothing crazy about them, just normal ingredients that you could imagine being readily available in Highgarden. With tart, crisp blueberries, a lemon crust, and some cinnamon and sugar to tie it all together, this is quite the package.
Speaking of Highgarden, I believe the tart comes from The Reach, which is home to House Tyrell, Lords of Highgarden. The Reach is not only the second wealthiest region in Westeros, but it is also the most fertile. That fertile soil is the reason behind the beautiful gardens Highgarden is known for, as well as a number of different fruits and wines – like melons, fireplums, and grapes, to name a few. So you could only imagine this tart and its juicy blueberries gracing the tables of Castle Highgarden more often than not. Sam Tarly, who comes from a noble house that is established on the Reach, also recalled his liking of blueberry tarts when growing up, years before becoming a member of the Night’s Watch.
In case you’re wondering, it’s modern because Inn at the Crossroads loves to look up really old recipes and then concoct a modern version from what they interpreted of the original. In the blog and the cookbook, they put the 2 versions – medieval and modern – of the recipe side by side and it really makes you appreciate food. Knowing you have a recipe in front of you that is centuries old can really put things into perspective. The Medieval Fruit Tart recipes can be found here.
Modern Blueberry Tart (from Inn at the Crossroads)
2 tablespoons ~ Cinnamon Sugar
2 pints ~ Blueberries
Lemon Pastry Dough
Lemon Pastry Dough
1 1/4 cup ~ Flour
7 tablespoons ~ butter
1 each ~ Egg
2 tablespoons ~ Confectioners Sugar
1 tablespoon ~ Cornstarch
1 each ~ Lemon, zested
1/2 teaspoon ~ vanilla extract
pinch of salt
- See? Easy. Simple. Oh, so simple. The hint of lemon in the dough really goes great with the blueberries. And even with the powdered sugar sprinkled on top, it’s not a sweet tart. So again, the blueberries take center stage and it’s gloriously perfect for spring.
- I used small, 4 inch tart pans because that’s all I have and I like them better. But if you have a bigger tart pan then go nuts. Remember though – if you’re using a 9 inch tart pan, you’ll have to increase the cooking time to closer to an hour.
First thing you have to do is get the dough going.
- Get the flour, salt, sugar and cornstarch mixed with cold butter. Incorporate until it looks like breadcrumbs, you know the routine. Then add the zest, vanilla and egg until the dough is formed. If it’s too sticky add a bit more flour. When done, wrap it up and let it rest in the fridge for at least a half hour.
- Once rested, turn the oven on to 375°. If you’re using small pans like me, cut the dough to fit the pan and start working it in, cutting off whatever excess you have.
Also, at this time, if you have any 4 year olds bouncing off of nearby walls, they make fairly good dough workers.
- Next, add enough berries to make a single layer on the bottom of the tart. I know it doesn’t seem like a lot with the little pans but it’s plenty.
- Sprinkle some cinnamon sugar evenly over the berries. Put in the oven for about 20-25 minutes or until the berries are bubbling and the crust is nice.
- Now, take a handful of the fresh berries you have and just pile them on. Don’t be afraid to give a little push down to make sure the fresh berries stay in place. If you see juice coming out from the baked berries, then you’ve done everything right so far. To finish it, dust the tarts with some powdered sugar. If you’re feeling adventurous, infuse the powdered sugar with some more lemon zest like I did!
Seriously, that’s it.
It’s easy, rustic, simple, and most of all it doesn’t cover up the blueberries like most fruit pies/tarts with sugary fillings would tend to do. As you can see, the berries baked in the oven pop and create a sort of preserve that adds another texture to the tart. Yeah, I really liked this, can you tell?
And I hope you do too. Enjoy!
Notice the lack of a Humpday Update this week. I figured I’d give you a break so you could enjoy some tart and Game of Thrones. So feast away!