Every time I go blueberry picking I think of the scene in Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory when Violet turns violet (“Violet! You’re turning violet, Violet!”). And then I either watch the whole movie or go to youtube and watch the scene:
(On a side note, every time I watch this I also think about how I was an Oompa Loompa at summer camp when I was about nine. I never fully washed the orange off my face and came home to my panicked mom yelling, “Oh my God, she’s jaundice!”).
Candy and I practically turned violet as we ate about the same amount of blueberries that we picked this afternoon—8 quarts. I like to follow the rule, “Pick One, Eat One.”
I have been trying to eat more blueberries since they have been ranked the #1 food according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. They have a powerful antioxidant called anthocyanin and have a myriad of other benefits (like anti-aging, and with all these new-found grey hairs, I want me some of that). But 8 quarts seemed a bit excessive, so I decided to start doing some baking. Since I have never made a tart I tackled that first, and since I’m trying to eat healthier I used whole wheat flour rather than all-purpose and used some raw sugar rather than white. I justified that as “healthy” and made a delicious blueberry tart.
Here’s the recipe I manipulated from Joy of Cooking; I highly recommend!
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled, and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 – 2 tablespoons ice water
2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
The recipe calls to do all the mixing in a food processor, but I just used a regular electric mixture and my hands. Mix the flour, salt, and sugar in a large bowl. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal. In a small bowl, whisk the egg and vanilla.
Then gradually pour in a steady stream, with the motor running, through the feed tube until the pastry just holds together when pinched. Add water, if necessary.
Transfer the pastry to a fluted tart pan (I just used a pie plate), and press evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Cover and plate in the refrigerator while you prepare the blueberry topping.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
In a large bowl combine the sugar and flour. Add 2 1/2 cups of blueberries and coat. Remove the pastry from the refrigerator and evenly pour in the blueberries and sugar/flour mixture. Place the tart pan on a large baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue to bake until the pastry is golden brown (about 30 – 35 minutes). (Halfway through the baking time, stir the berries if there is any flour on them.) Remove from oven and place on a wire rack.
Top with the remaining 2 1/2 cups of blueberries, pressing them gently into the hot blueberry jam.
We enjoyed ours with some lactose free ice cream on the side!
It makes turning blue very worth it!