This blueberry tart recipe looks ready for a cover shoot, but it’s really quite simple. Unlike many tarts that include a layer of pastry cream or other creamy delicacy underneath the fruit, this one gets all its flavor from berries, both fresh and cooked. On top are the fresh blueberries arranged neatly in concentric circles (looks fancy but it’s really a breeze). And beneath is a blueberry compote that bakes in the pie shell itself. The finished tart is not-too-sweet and filled with fruity flavor.
How to make this blueberry tart
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit, and butter the inside of a 9 ½-inch tart pan. (The original recipe called for an 11-inch pan, though, so you do you.)
Start by making the dough. In a small bowl, beat an egg yolk with 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract. Then, in a large bowl mix 1 ½ cup flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, ¼ teaspoon cardamom, and a teaspoon key lime zest. Add in a stick of cold butter, cut into cubes.
Using a potato masher, food processor, or just your hands (like I did!), mix the butter into the flour until it creates coarse crumbs, as in the picture above.
Mix in the egg yolk mixture until combined. Then, add 1-2 tablespoons of key lime juice, one at a time, just until the dough is crumbly but not dry. The lime juice is not there just to wet the dough. It also helps to break down the gluten in the crust so it’s nice and flaky. 🙂
Press the dough into your tart pan until all the edges are covered.
In the meantime, toss 2 ½ cups of blueberries with ¼ cup sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, ¼ teaspoon cardamom, and 1 teaspoon key lime zest.
Place the blueberries and all of the sugar mixture in the tart shell, and put it in the oven for 15 minutes. When the timer goes off, reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 35-40 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Halfway through this time, be sure to stir the blueberries so that no flour is left on top of the mixture.
While the tart is hot, arrange another two and a half cups (give or take) of fresh blueberries in concentric circles. Finish with a dusting of powdered sugar, and serve warm with crème fraîche, sour cream, or ice cream.
Why I love this simple blueberry tart recipe
I love it when fruit takes centerstage in a dessert. In this one, you can really taste what you’re eating, without masking it in various cocktails of cream and sugar.
It’s simple but pretty
You don’t even have to roll out the dough, and, with the blueberries baked right into the tart shell, you could save a lot of dishes you would have used for the filling.
The sugar is low and adaptable
The whole tart contains less than half a cup of sugar. The crust has a bit of sugar, but you could always omit or reduce it. The blueberry mixture also has some sugar, but you could always add less there, too–especially since cooking blueberries brings out their sugars naturally.
It’s easy to make it vegan
There’s no animal products in the filling, so it’s just the crust you’d need to adapt. I’d suggest following this recipe for coconut pâte sucrée. I haven’t tried it myself, but it looks good: by adding almond flour, you’ll regain some warm flavors lost by omitting the butter. And if you use cold pressed, unrefined coconut oil, you’ll gain some natural coconut flavor, too!
It takes up less stomach real estate than blueberry pie. And it’s not runny
This recipe is a lot harder to mess up than a double crusted, deep dish blueberry pie. Your pie filling might be runny, and before you know it, you have a subpar dish with all your expensive berries stuffed inside. This blueberry tart recipe has a filling that cools into a non-runny, jelly-like filling. It showcases what is likely to be the most expensive item on your shopping list in small quantities, which feels appropriate to me.
I loved this pie recipe, but if I were to do it over again, I might take out the zest and cardamom powder in the crust, which I could barely taste. Then, in the blueberry and flour mixture, I would have dialed up the flavor, adding a little lime juice along with the zest, and increasing the cardamom ever so slightly (a heaping ¼ teaspoon??). Darn, I guess I’ll have to make it again! 😉
Here are some ideas I came up with for variations I’d like to try one day:
- Adding nutmeg or mace instead of cardamom.
- Adding brown sugar to the blueberries instead of white sugar.
- Adding a teaspoon of key lime juice to the blueberries and flour mixture.
- Substituting orange or lemon zest for the lime zest.
- Topping the finished tart with additional zest or julienned mint.
- Using raspberries, mulberries, huckleberries, lingonberries or blackberries instead of blueberries.
If you try adjusting the flavors, let me know how it goes in the comments below!
More fruit desserts?
- This is the best baked apple recipe I’ve ever made.
- I also love this banana pudding recipe.
- And if you’re looking for another low-sugar tart recipe, check out this apple tart made without a tart pan.
An easy tart featuring rich blueberry filling, elegant spices, and a flaky pastry crust.
For the Pastry
- 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon key lime zest
- ¼ teaspoon cardamom
- ½ cup cold butter, cubed
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or extract)
- 1–2 tablespoons key lime juice
For the Blueberries
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon key lime zest
- ¼ teaspoon cardamom
- 5 cups blueberries, washed, dried, and divided in two
- Confectioner’s sugar, mint, or extra key lime zest for topping
- Optional for serving: crème fraîche, whipped cream, or ice cream
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter the inside of a 9 ½-inch tart pan.
For the Pastry:
- In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, key lime zest, and cardamom until combined. In a small bowl, beat the egg yolk and vanilla paste until well combined.
- Cut the butter into the flour mixture until it makes coarse crumbs. Add the egg mixture and mix until just combined. One tablespoon at a time, add the key lime juice until the dough comes together. It should be crumbly but not dry.
- Press the dough to the tart pan until it fills all the nooks and crannies evenly.
- Put the tart pan in the freezer until ready to use.
For the Berries:
- In a large bowl (I used the same one as I used to make the pastry dough), mix the sugar, flour, key lime zest, and cardamom until combined. Toss in half the blueberries (2 ½ cups) and mix until well combined. Pour the blueberries and all of the sugar mixture evenly into the tart pan.
- Bake at 425 degree Fahrenheit for 15 minutes. Then, turn the oven down to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 35-40 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Once during the cooking time, stir the blueberry mixture to make sure that it’s evenly spread out and there is no remaining flour exposed.
- Remove from the oven to a wire cooling rack and immediately press the remaining blueberries on top in concentric circles.
- Serve warm or at room temperature. Right before serving, dust the tart with confectioners sugar passed through a mesh sieve. Then, add mint sprigs or julienned mint and, if desired, some extra key lime zest.
- You can serve the tart as is or with a dollop of ice cream, whipped cream, or crème fraîche.
This recipe is adapted from “Marie’s Blueberry Tart” from Lori Longbotham’s book Luscious Berry Desserts.
You could use the juice and zest of regular limes, lemons, or even oranges.
Instead of cardamom, try this with nutmeg or another warming spice.
Keywords: dessert, berry desserts, blueberry desserts, blueberry tart, sweets, baking, low-sugar, fruit desserts, pastries, blueberries, fruits