Our kitchen garden cook reveals her favourite recipes with blueberries.
I haven’t always had a fruit cage to protect my sweet summer berries, particularly the delectable blueberries, but I learnt the hard way, as I suspect most kitchen gardeners do, when, one year, the birds got to them before I did.
Blueberry-and-lemon tart (serves 6)
For the pastry
250g plain flour
75g icing sugar
125g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
2 egg yolks
Splash of milk for moistening
For the filling
Juice and zest of 4 large lemons
4 egg yolks
150g caster sugar
150ml double cream
200g fresh blueberries For decoration
A few thin slices of lemon
Icing sugar for dusting
A handful of blueberries
Whisk the flour and sugar together in a bowl before adding the cubes of butter and using your fingertips to rub them into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
Add the beaten egg yolks one at a time and mix them in, bringing it all together. If it feels too dry, add a little cold milk. Tip the pastry out onto a counter and roll it into a smooth ball, then wrap with clingfilm before putting it in your fridge for half an hour.
Remove from the fridge and roll it to the thickness of a £1 coin before lining a 9in tart tin with it. Put the tin back in the fridge for a further half an hour to prevent the pastry shrinking.
Preheat your oven to 160˚C/325˚F/gas mark 3. Prick the base of the tart tin with a fork, then line the top of the pastry with baking parchment and fill with baking beans to keep it in shape. Bake for 15 minutes before removing the paper and beans and baking for a further 15 minutes.
Whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, caster sugar and double cream in a large bowl, then whisk in the lemon zest and juice. Pour half the mixture into the tart case and place on the pulled-out shelf of your oven. Pour in the remaining mixture, then add the blueberries and bake for 35 minutes.
Ten minutes before the end of the cooking time, I like to add a few thin slices of lemon. Serve dusted with icing sugar and with more blueberries on the side.
More ways with blueberries
Cheat’s blueberry ice-cream terrine
Leave a 500ml tub of good-quality vanilla ice cream out to melt so that it can be stirred. Heat 100g blueberries with a sprinkling of sugar in a saucepan until juicy and then blend. Repeat the same with raspberries. Divide the melted ice cream between three bowls, before adding the blueberry purée to one, the raspberry purée to another and leaving one plain. Line a loaf tin with clingfilm, then add the blueberry ice cream and smooth out the surface. Add a layer of crushed chocolate biscuits before covering with the vanilla ice cream and more crushed chocolate biscuits, followed by the raspberry ice cream. Freeze for a minimum of six hours and, to serve, drizzle melted chocolate over it and scatter with berries and chopped maca-damia nuts.
Spelt pizzas with blueberries, Brie and rocket
Make pizza dough by combining 250g spelt flour, 2tspn baking powder, 1tbspn olive oil, 1tspn salt flakes and half a cup of water. Mix together and then knead to form a few pizza bases. Brush with olive oil before scattering Brie and blueberries over them. Cook in a hot oven for 10 minutes and serve with lightly dressed rocket scattered on the top.