Baking For Others: Fruit-Apathy Blueberry Tart

Posted by on Friday Aug 7th, 2009 | Print

you can read Phoebe’s fruit apathy all over her face

I can’t really help it: whenever I try to write this post, I just hear Keri Russell’s voice from the movie Waitress. She makes I Hate My Husband Pie, Bad Baby Pie, Falling in Love Pie, all decadent, deep dish pies that she serves at the somewhere-in-the-south diner where she works.
I guess if Keri Russell were naming my pie, she’d call it Bored on a Sunday Pie. I had a lot of blueberries, a couple peaches not quite at their peak, it was raining outdoors, and I couldn’t think of anything else to do. I didn’t have anywhere to bring it that day, but I figured it’d taste okay if I froze it right after baking, to preserve freshness, and then reheated and served it the following Friday, when there would be a bunch of people over at dinner to eat.
Now normally I don’t eat much pie. It’s like the one dessert I can pass up with ease. Fruit, to me, is snack or breakfast food—not dessert. Crust I can do without nine times out of ten. In fact, the only kinds of pie I really like are the ones most devoted pie eaters turn up their noses at: pecan and plain custard. So it was not without a little waft of hypocrisy floating about the kitchen that I cut up peaches and washed fresh blueberries for this tart.

I don’t know if it was the crumb topping’s generous proportion vis-a-vis the actual fruit, the sheer freshness of the local blueberries and the season’s first peaches, or the large scoops of ice cream we melted on top of each slice, but we devoured the pie in one easy sitting, and everyone seemed to like it—even Phoebe, the fruit-hater, and even me.

From my kitchen, where crumb topping makes cooked fruit desirable, to yours,

Cara, THE QUARTER-LIFE COOK

**Recipe**

Fruit-Apathy Blueberry Tart
makes 1 pie

The crust of this pie is more like a shortbread than a typical pie pastry, which means no rolling and no fuss. It’s adapted from Alice Medrich’s recipe for a mocha tart (aka the kind of pie I typically like: chocolate), and it takes well to this fruit filling.

Ingredients

Crust:

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup flour
Filling:
2 cups blueberries, picked over and washed
2 peaches, diced
juice from 1 lemon
1 tablespoon sugar
Crisp Topping:
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup sugar
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons softened butter

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Mix together all the ingredients for the crust and press the dough into a fluted pie pan with a removable bottom. Use your fingers to spread the dough evenly, and be sure to press it up the sides. Bake the crust for 8-10 minutes, until is is just beginning to firm up.

Meanwhile, toss the fruit with the lemon and sugar and set aside.

To make the crisp topping, combine the flour, oats, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Work in the butter, using your fingers, until you have a very dry dough that clumps together when you press it.

When the crust is done baking, spread the fruit evenly in it. Sprinkle the crisp topping over everything, then return to the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes more, just until the crust is brown, the blueberries are slightly melted, and the topping is crisp. Cool slightly before serving with vanilla ice cream.

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  • Kate

    Because I DO love pie crusts, as the peaches get juicier, what do I do to preserve the slightly soggy but mostly cookie crust?

  • Frankie

    Those peaches and blueberries would have been good in bread pudding too!

  • Sarah L

    the rolled oats were definitely the kicker! and i am not a fruity dessert person either but this was really wonderful!

  • Phoebe and Cara, the Quarter-Life Cooks

    kate: i'd brush a little bit of jelly over the crust before pouring in the blueberries. but since the crust will be warm and a little fragile, heat the jam until it's smooth & spreadable before brushing it on.

    frankie: yum to bread pudding! sounds great.

  • Donna

    We made this last night thanks to your inspiration and the pounds of freshly picked blueberries we have waiting – it was delicious! I think I might bake the crust little longer than suggested, then try the jam tip; it was tasty, but I really wanted a crusty crunch. I think that would do it.