Mini Blueberry Tarts

The Recipe: Miniature cheesecake-like tarts baked in a mini muffin pan with a "pop" of fresh blueberry right in the middle. The tart is an easy, press-in dough (and only slightly fiddly) and the filling is as easy as can be. These make a welcome colorful addition to a tray of one- and two-bite mini desserts. And besides, right? Blueberries!

Mini Blueberry Tarts ♥ KitchenParade.com, a press-in crust, no mixer required. Super easy!

Can A Favorite Old Recipe Make the Switch from Large to Mini?

When I first adapted an old-old-old recipe from a big tart feeding eight (in generous slices, mind you) to mini tarts feeding thirty (in tiny two-bite mini tarts), I had high hopes that it would all work out. Time-wise, I'd left no wiggle room for a second batch if the first didn't work out. My notes even read, "A little fiddly so will need to be excellent."

And excellent they were!

And not even that fiddly! The semi-fiddly part is pressing the dough into the cups of a mini muffin pan. After that, easy-peasy. Just fill the tarts with a bit of sweetened sour cream that's akin to cheesecake, plop in a blueberry and bake away.

Mini Blueberry Tarts are truly special, especially on a tray of other bite-size sweets, one chocolate (a mini version of Old-Fashioned Black Walnut Chocolate Cake), one lemon (starring Brown Sugar Lemon Curd) and these, a lovely combination of creaminess and tart blueberry.

Scaling the Recipe

I intended to scale the recipe so that it would make exactly 24 tarts, that's how many cups are in a mini muffin tin. But honestly, it didn't scale easily.

So I've left it at 30 mini tarts, a good number for many occasions. If you have just one non-stick mini muffin pan like I do, then you'll need to bake the tarts in two trays, my recommendation would be 15 and 15 or something similar versus 24 and 6.

Good news? The recipe also easily halves for just 15 mini tarts.

You'll Love My Mini Blueberry Tarts For ...

... easy prep, no mixer required
... a cheesecake-like filling without the fuss of a waterbath
... their dramatic but slightly rustic look
... complementing other bite-size mini desserts
... a tiny mini dessert to finish a summer luncheon
... portion control!
... how the blueberries go "pop" when you bite in!


MINI BLUEBERRY TARTS

Hands-on time: 30 minutes
Time to table: 2 hours
Makes 30

    DOUGH
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup (100g) sugar
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons/4oz/112g) salted butter, room temperature or melted
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, fluffed to aerate before measuring or 94g
  • 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour, fluffed or 94g
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

    FILLING
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten with a fork
  • 1 cup (200g) sour cream
  • 1/4 cup (50g) sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract (or more vanilla)
  • Blueberries

PREP Heat oven to 350F/180C.

DOUGH Mix the egg and sugar with a fork in a medium bowl. Mix in the butter, flours and baking powder with a wooden spoon, even your hands, to form a soft, supple dough. Separate the dough into 15 equal pieces, each one weighing 12 – 15 grams. Gently press each piece into the cup of a mini muffin pan, shaping a tiny tart shell whose bottom and sides are roughly the same thickness. (For more detail, see How to Shape the Tart Dough, below.)

FILLING In the same bowl, whisk the egg, sour cream, sugar, vanilla and almond extract. Carefully spoon filling mixture into each tart, then top with a blueberry, it'll sink in just a bit, that's good.

BAKE until the tart shell's edges turn golden, about 20 minutes but start checking for doneness after 15 minutes. The fillings may puff up like little soufflés near the end but fall back once the tarts cool. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before gently removing the tarts from the pan to finish cooling.

STORAGE Store the tarts in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

MAKE-AHEAD TIPS Mini Blueberry Tarts are best made and eaten on the same day.

VARIATIONS Different fruits would work beautifully here, sour cherries, raspberries, raisins soaked in rum, mango, etc. Get creative! Just be mindful about size (experience says that blackberries are too big) and wetness (a tiny whole strawberry would work better than chopped strawberry, say) and even tartness (blueberries are perfectly tart, pineapple tidbits are not).

ALANNA's TIPS I use a "standard" mini muffin pan with 24 cups to make Mini Blueberry Tarts. It looks like this non-stick mini muffin pan, each cup holds about 2 tablespoons. My pan is non-stick and I have no trouble removing the tarts from the pan, even without using baking spray or Baker's Joy, my go-to baking spray for baked goods. To release the tarts from the mini muffin pan, I use the thin wire of a cake tester to insert between the pan's side and the tart, it helps to just pop them right out, some times I need to insert it in two or three places but really, the tarts pop right out. To halve the recipe, whisk one large egg and use half in the crust and half in the filling. Low-fat sour cream works fine, non-fat sour cream is a hideous contrivance of modern industrial food just doesn't. That said, I have the idea that non-fat Greek yogurt might well work out beautifully. I've only made Mini Blueberry Tarts with those large, fresh blueberries you find in grocery stores for a few wonderful weeks during the summer. Just one fits into the mini tarts but it's enough, a pop of juicy berry. If your blueberries are wild or small, use what fits. In fact, I'd recommend filling one mini tart first, just to see how much filling to use with the particular blueberries, it might be useful to use a titch less filling if that makes room for another blueberry. I think that frozen blueberries would work fine. Don't thaw them first and allow for a slightly longer baking time.

HOW TO SHAPE THE TART DOUGH Mixing the dough and the filling takes just minutes, simple, simple, simple. But don't worry about forming the tarts either, it's very simple in its own way, no rolling, no tools except your own hands. Once you get the hang of it, the tart shells shape up quick-quick. You may well find your own knack but here's how I do it. No need to obsess with perfection, your kitchen isn't a factory, your hands aren't a machine.

The dough is the texture of soft cookie dough. If you think it would be easier to work with after a short stint in the fridge, go for it, but I have no trouble straight out of the mixing bowl. First, break off a piece of dough that weighs 12 – 15 grams. (You do have a kitchen scale, right? Life changing! But if you don't, no problem, just eyeball 15 roughly equivalent dough pieces. First, shape the dough into a big dough ball, then roll it into a "snake" with the palms of your hands on a clean work surface. Then use a knive or a benchknife to cut the snake into three equal parts, then cut each piece into five equal parts. See? Easy! Make enough of these, you actually get amazingly accurate with breaking off the same amount each time.)

Gently roll each piece into a ball and put it into one of the cups in the mini muffin pan. With your pointer finger, gently press down to the tart bottom. Then press out and upward to form the sides of the tart. Then press the very tip of your finger to form corners between the bottom and the sides. It helps to twirl the pan around as you circumnavigate the world, no such luck, just the tart while it's being shaped.

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Mini Tart: 88 Calories; 5g Tot Fat; 3g Sat Fat; 25mg Cholesterol; 46mg Sodium; 10g Carb; g Fiber; 0g Sugar; 1g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 2 & PointsPlus 2 & SmartPoints 4 (points are the same with both regular sour cream and low-fat sour cream)
Adapted from Finnish Fruit Tart, an easy-easy tart with a press-in crust that I've been making since way back in 1976 when I was an exchange student in Finland.


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Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!