This easy summer berry tart has juicy blueberries and strawberries wrapped in a free form crisp corn flour crust! (Jump directly to the recipe.)
I’ve said it before but Summer grocery shopping is always an exercise in restraint for me. If I didn’t hold myself back, I would buy barrelfuls of berries and stone fruit. As it is, I try to buy one or two packages or bags at a time, knowing that I’d never go through it all if I bought to my heart’s content. But, as always, I’m usually left with berries that are one day away from being composted and that’s when I turn to making them into either a jam like my plum and strawberry jam or into a dessert like this berry tart with blueberries, strawberries and crisp corn crust.
I’ve shared recipes for galettes and free form tarts before on this blog. They’re one of my favorite casual desserts to make. They never need to look perfect, and in fact their rough overlapping crust on top is part of their rustic charm. The more rough and rustic, the more elegant they look when presented. Even the most inexperienced baker can make them because the dough itself tends to be thicker and easier to work with than a more traditional pie or tart crust. All you need is a baking pan and some parchment paper as well, meaning pretty much anyone with an oven can make them. But that thicker crust for the galette also often means a tougher, less tender crust as well.
But this crust is fabulous to eat. Galettes and free form tarts like this usually have a higher ratio of crust to fruit filling so I’m always looking for ways to make the crust tastier. This time I chose to add corn flour, which is basically a finer milled version of corn meal. You can find it at upscale and natural grocery stores as well as online. It’s naturally gluten free (though this crust has all-purpose flour in it so this recipe is NOT gluten free) and has a subtle corn flavor as well as lends a nice crisp texture to the crust, one that you won’t get with just all-purpose. It’s worth tracking down just to make this crust. But paired with the blueberries and strawberries as a filling, the entire dessert just screams summertime delight.
Berry Tart with Blueberries, Strawberries and a Crisp Corn Crust
By Irvin Lin
The addition of corn flour (not cornmeal, not cornstarch and not masa harina which is corn flour with lime water added to it) is kind of unique to this tart. If you can’t find corn flour, just substitute in 1/2 cup (70 g) more all-purpose flour. But if you can track down the corn flour (available at upscale and natural grocery stores as well as online) it’s well worth it. It gives a slight summer corn flavor to the crust as well as a delightful crispness to the crust that works so well with the jammy sweet berry filling. Well worth the effort in tracking down the ingredient. Corn flour is naturally gluten free, but this recipe uses all-purpose flour so it’s not a gluten free recipe.
1 cup (140 g) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (80 g) corn flour (not cornstarch, not corn meal, see headnote above)
3 tablespoon (40 g) granulated white sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup (115 g or 1 stick) unsalted butter, cold
3 to 5 tablespoon ice cold water
8 ounces blueberries
8 ounces strawberries, hulled and quartered
1/2 cup (100 g) granulated white sugar
2 tablespoon tapioca starch (or corn starch)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 egg yolk, beaten with 1 tablespoon of cold water
1 tablespoon granulated white sugar or sparkling white sugar
1. Make the crust by placing both flours, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Stir with a balloon whisk until blended and uniform in color. Cut the butter into 1/2-inch cubes and sprinkle over the dry ingredients. Using your fingers and hands, first toss the butter in the flour then smash the butter into thin slivers, breaking them up as you go.
2. When the butter has been broken and flattened into small bits the size of peas drizzle 3 tablespoons of cold water over the dry ingredients. Toss with a fork, then use your hands to blend the water in. Keep working the ingredients until they start to stick together. Add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed, but keep in mind that the corn flour hydrates faster than regular all-purpose flour. You’ll need less water than you think!
3. Once a dough forms, place it on a piece of plastic wrap and flatten into a disk, about 1-inch thick. Wrap well with the plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour, or until the dough is firm.
4. When the dough is done chilling, preheat the oven to 400˚F. Make the filling by placing all the filling ingredients in a medium bowl and mix gently with a large spatula until well blended.
5. Place a piece of parchment paper that fits onto a 12 x 18 rimmed baking sheet. Remove it from the baking sheet and place it on a flat surface. Dust it liberally with flour than place the dough in the middle of it. Roll the dough out to about a 15-inch round rough circle. The dough will spread past the paper edges, that’s fine.
6. Pour the berry filling into the middle of the dough circle, spreading it out to leave about a 2-inch margin around the edge of the circle. Fold one end of the dough over, then continue to fold it over, “pleating” the dough over the berry, leaving a center hole that exposes the berry filling. The tart should be completely inside the middle of the parchment paper without no part of it off the paper.
7. Slide the parchment paper with the tart onto the baking sheet. Brush the top edges of the crust with the egg wash then sprinkle the sugar over the edges of the tart. Bake in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the tart crust is golden brown and the middle of the tart has berries bubbling.
8. Slide the entire piece of parchment paper off the baking sheet onto a wire cooling rack. Once the tart is cool, slide it off the paper onto a serving platter, or just slide the paper onto a cutting board and cut the tart and serve.
Makes 1 tart, serves 6 people.
If you like the berry tart, check out some of these other tart recipes on my blog:
Backyard Mixed Black and Green Gage Plum Tart with White Wine Custard
Grilled Pineapple Galette
Pumpkin Chess Pie Tart
Gluten Free Roasted White Chocolate Berry Tart
Chard and Cheese Tart with Extra Virgin Olive Oil Crust
And check out some other tarts from around the web!
David Lebovitz’ Lime Meringue Tart Recipe
Love and Olive Oil’s Bittersweet Chocolate Bourbon Tart
The Sprouted Kitchen’s Plum tart with Mascarpone Cream
Completely Delicious’ Peach Crumb Tart
Lottie + Doof’s Blood Orange Tart