Fresh blueberries and cream are such a beautifully balanced pair that I had to try them together baked. Would the balance between sweet and tart, comforting and bright prevail?
Why, yes, it would. And this blueberries and cream crostata is proof.
If you’ve never made one, a crostata (pretty much the same thing as a galette, the french version of these partially open-face, free-form tarts) is as easy to put together as pie. Well, actually, even easier. You roll out some dough, pile on your filling and fold the dough over part of the filling to create an edge. That’s it. No pie plate, no double crusts, no pinching. In fact, you can go ahead and get a little sloppy—crostatas are meant to look rustic.
If you ask me, cream isn’t just perfect with blueberries, but with almost all summer fruit. Peaches and cream. Raspberries and cream. I’m even tempted to try a plum and (maple?) cream crostata.
While there is nothing in this that cannot be shared with younger children, I recommend this beginning at 12 months old due to the relatively high sugar content.
Your favorite pie dough, chilled, enough for a 9-inch single crust pie (I use Martha Stewart’s Pate Brise)
3 cups fresh blueberries, washed
1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Stir together blueberries, 1/2 cup sugar, cornstarch and salt. Set aside.
2. Roll chilled pie dough into a circle (roughly) with a 9-inch diameter. Transfer to a baking sheet: Start by folding the dough on your floured work surface in half. Then in half again. Once folded into quarters, you should be able to move the cone-shaped dough without incident. Place the pointy end of the cone in the center of the baking sheet. Unfold once. Then once more. Now your round of dough is officially transferred!
3. Spoon blueberries onto the dough, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border around the edge. Fold the edge of the dough up and over the fruit, pleating it as necessary—it should cover about 1 inch of the blueberries all the way around, leaving many of them still exposed. Brush the top of the folded over dough with the egg and sprinkle with remaining teaspoon of sugar. Dot the exposed blueberries with pieces of butter.
4. Bake the crostata for 20 minutes and remove from the oven. Do not turn the oven off. Temper the heavy cream: using a large spoon, gently press on the exposed blueberries to spoon out some of their juices. Slowly drizzle the hot liquid into the room temperature cream and, with a fork ready in your other hand, whisk. Continue whisking and repeat until you’ve added enough of the hot liquid from the crostata to make the cream warm. Then pour the cream throughout the fruit. (It will seep less than you think, so be sure to pour it all around, even gently prying under the folded over crust.) Bake for another 5 to 10 minutes, until the crust is perfectly golden brown and the juices bubbling. Remove from oven and allow to cool before serving.