Celebrity Chefs Recipes: Emily Luchetti's Wild Blueberry Lemon Tart

Photos: Vic Chin, Video: Vic Chin and Peter Ruocco

I like wild blueberries as they are jam-packed with blueberry flavor. Even though they are much smaller than regular blueberries, they have twice the intensity. Plus, since 99 percent of the wild blueberry crop is frozen at harvest, they are available year-round. Their small size keeps their texture and flavor when frozen. I love the combination of lemon and blueberries, and I'd rate the flavors up there with the best.

As a pastry chef, I will often take shortcuts in the kitchen to save time, but buying tart dough is not one of them. It’s just not worth it. Making your own dough is so much better than store bought — even when you’re starting out and learning how to make it, it just tastes better. When you learn to make dough focus on the steps and keep everything cold...and practice a couple of times. Before you know it, you will be rolling out dough like a pro.

Wild Blueberry Lemon Tart

Makes one, 9-inch tart

Wild blueberries and lemon make this tart a real treat.
Wild blueberries and lemon make this tart a real treat. (Vic Chin)

Ingredients for the tart dough:

  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tablespoon granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 ounces cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 3-4 tablespoons ice water

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 1 ¼ cups wild blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 2 large eggs
  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • Grated zest of 2 lemons
  • 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour

Instructions:

  1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and butter. Using the pulse button, pulse the mixture until the butter is the size of small peas, 5 to 10 short pulses. This will happen very quickly, do not overmix it.
  2. Add 3 tablespoons of ice water, then pulse just until the dough is crumbly. Stop the machine and gently squeeze about ⅓ cup of dough in your hand. If it comes together without any dry pieces, you’ve added enough water. If it’s still floury, add another tablespoon of water, pulse a couple more times, and test it again.
  3. Continue to mix, using longer pulses, until the dough forms small clumps. Do not process it to the point where it forms a ball. Press the dough into a flat disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into an approximately 13-inch circle. Transfer carefully to a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Fold the approximately 1-inch overhang of dough into the pan and press against the sides of the pan. You will have a single thickness of dough on the bottom of the pan, and a double thickness on the sides. Trim the top edge even with the pan.
  5. Refrigerate or freeze the tart shell for at least one hour.
  6. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line the tart shell with parchment paper and fill with pie weights, rice or beans. Bake the tart shell until the edges begin to brown, about 20 minutes. Remove the parchment and weights and continue to bake until the bottom is lightly browned, about 10 minutes more. Set aside.
  7. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.
  8. Scatter the blueberries in the baked tart shell.
  9. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar together until well blended. Whisk in the milk, cream, and lemon juice. Whisk in the melted butter, lemon zest, and flour until everything is evenly combined. Pour the filling over the blueberries.
  10. Bake until the filling is set, 25-30 minutes.
  11. Serve the tart warm or at room temperature (it's delicious with chantilly cream). Keep at room temperature for a few hours or refrigerated overnight covered with plastic wrap. If refrigerating, bring to room temperature before serving.
Emily Luchetti with a slice of her Wild Blueberry Lemon Tart.
Emily Luchetti with a slice of her Wild Blueberry Lemon Tart. (Vic Chin)

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