Thursday, February 2, 2012

Healthy Blueberry Tarts


If I had to pick a favorite flavor of pie, it would be blueberry, hands-down. Maybe it's the weather lately (it got up to 70 degrees on Monday!), but this summer classic seemed like it could use a healthy make-over to me. Looking through recipes, I found a few themes: the filling wasn't bad, if you didn't add to much sugar, but the crust had too much butter. In my recipe, below, olive oil substituted nicely for some of the butter, and greek yogurt provided the remaining moisture and binding power I needed.


 The recipe makes individual tarts, which is a fun way to serve.  However, the filling holds together and slices easily, so you should have no trouble if you make a large tart. You might want more filling though, depending on the size of your tart pans. I have found that when miniaturizing a pie/tart recipe, less filling is needed for the same amount of crust. If I were making a full-sized tart, I would double the amount of filling.


Healthy Blueberry Tarts
If you don't have tapioca pearls, you can try tapioca starch here (which is found in many traditional recipes).  And as I've mentioned before, oat flour can be made by grinding up rolled or instant oats in your food processor until you get a flour-like consistency. 
Yield: 4 tarts

For the crust:
3/4 cup oat flour
3/4 cup white-whole wheat flour
pinch salt
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup plain greek yogurt

For the filling:
2 cups blueberries (thawed if frozen)
1/4 cup maple syrup
pinch salt
2 tbsp tiny tapioca pearls
Zest of one orange
pinch of nutmeg

Start the crust and filling at the same time - both need a rest period. Then, while the crust blank-bakes, cook the filling on the stove top, so both will be ready to bake together at the same time. 

For the crust:
1. Combine flours and salt in a bowl. Make a well in the middle, and add remaining crust ingredients. Stir until just combined. Cover and refrigerate for one hour.
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare 4 four-inch miniature tart pans by spraying with cooking spray. Arrange on a baking sheet. Press 1/4 of the chilled dough into each tart pan, pressing up the sides to the edge of the pan.
3. Lay a small piece of aluminum foil in each pan, and fill with dried beans (or use pie weights).  Bake the tart shells for about 10 minutes.

For the filling:
1. Mash about half of the blueberries. Stir together all of the filling ingredients in a bowl, cover, and let sit while the tart dough chills (about an hour).
2. While the tart dough bakes, place filling in a small saucepan over medium heat, and cook, stirring very frequently, until the mixture becomes quite thick. Set aside until the tart shells are done baking.

Making the tarts:
1. Divide the cooked filling evenly between the tart shells, and return to the oven. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the edges of the tarts are golden brown.
2. Cool at least 30 minutes before serving.


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