Wild Oregon Blackberry Mini Tart

Anyone who lives in Oregon knows about blackberries. The native (and wild, as opposed to cultivated varieties of the) Oregon blackberry is a small, tart berry that is coaxed by the hot August sun into sugary ripeness.

The larger, sweeter Himalayan blackberry is invasive — and grows everywhere. Around trees, on the side of the road, up fences, wherever will do. It’s not picky. Most of the year we curse it.

But in August, we grudgingly celebrate it. Because picking blackberries for free (instead of buying them $3 to $5 a pint in a store) is always preferable. Yes, you might get scratched by a thorn or 20, but berries are worth it.

And baking with blackberries is always a good idea. The juices and sweetness have a chance to shine, especially in these cute mini-tarts!

Ingredients (makes 2 mini-tarts)

For the crust

3/4 cup flour mix

  • (makes 3 cups) 2 cups brown rice flour, 2/3 cup potato starch, 1/3 cup tapioca starch

1/8 cup confectioner’s sugar

1/4 and 1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum

1 pinch salt

5 teaspoons vegetable shortening, at room temperature

1 tablespoon orange juice

For the filling

2 cups fresh wild Oregon blackberries

1/4 (or less, don’t overdo it) cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons tapioca starch

1 tablespoon flour mix

1/2 tablespoon lime juice

Directions

1. To make the filling, combine the blackberries, sugar, tapioca starch, flour and lime juice in a bowl. Toss gently and let rest 15 minutes. Then, in a small pan, heat on the stovetop until a sauce forms. Remove from heat.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour mix, sugar, xanthan gum and salt.

3. Add the shortening in tablespoon-sized pieces. Either mix on medium speed or use two knives to chop and mix until you have a coarse meal, about 1 minute.

4. Add the orange juice and mix until the dough begins to ball in the center, about 20 seconds. If too wet, slowly add flour and mix until a good consistency.

5. Turn out onto a sheet of parchment paper, form into a ball, top with another sheet of parchment paper, flatten into a disk and roll out into a circle.

6. Lightly grease two mini-tart pans with removable bottoms. Remove the top sheet of parchment paper and flip the crust into the first pan, and press down with your hand. Gently peel off the remaining sheet of parchment paper. Finish pressing the dough into the pan, patching as necessary¬† — don’t worry about crumbles, it will bake into a wonderful crust. Trim by running a rolling pin over the top of the tart pan. Repeat with the second tart pan. Prick the two crusts 4 times with a fork.

7. To prebake the crusts, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 15 minutes until set and lightly golden. Let cool on a cooling rack.

8. Fill the cooled crusts with the heated blackberry mixture. Place back in the oven and bake 20 minutes until the filling lightly bubbles and thickens. Remove from oven and let cool. (I find that these tarts taste best when cooled and chilled). Enjoy!

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Categories: Dessert, Season: Summer, Tea time

Author:rsedlak1

Became a voracious, unapologetic bookworm in 4th grade after reading the first three Harry Potter books. Have a thing for dystopias, young adult novels, classic literature and funny memoirs (re: Mindy Kaling / Tina Fey). English and journalism geek, media and pop culture critic, food writer and blogger, editor of an entertainment magazine. Hobbies include: my Netflix account, cooking, gardening, music, art and hiking.

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