Our kitchen cook reveals a showstopper of a pudding, perfect for summer.
Deliciously sweet blueberries make this classic dish a summer lunch-party showstopper.
Blueberry-and-lemon tart with Italian meringue and confit lemons
For the confit lemons
- 3 lemons
- 100g caster sugar
- 400ml water
For the filling
- 6 eggs
- 140g caster sugar
- 220ml double cream
- 3 lemons (zest and juice)
- 125g blueberries
For the pastry
- 125g soft unsalted butter
- 100g caster sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- Half a teaspoon vanilla-bean paste
- 250g plain flour
For the Italian meringue
- 4 egg whites
- 225g caster sugar
- 75ml water
- 125g blueberries to decorate
Thinly slice the lemons for the confit and put them in a saucepan with the sugar and water. Simmer over a low heat for an hour, until soft and translucent. Store in the fridge until needed (they’ll keep for two months).
To make the filling, whisk together the eggs and caster sugar. Add the cream, lemon zest and juice and mix well. Refrigerate for a couple of hours to let the flavours infuse.
For the pastry, combine the butter and sugar in a food processor until pale. Add the egg yolks and vanilla and process again. Next, add the flour and process until uniform in colour. Bring the pastry together with your hands, wrap it in clingfilm and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Line the bottom of a 9½in fluted tart case with baking parchment.
Roll out the pastry to the thickness of a £1 coin and line the tart case, then return the pastry to the fridge for at least an hour. Preheat your oven to 180˚C/350˚F/gas mark 4. Once the tart case is chilled, line it with more baking parchment and fill it with baking beans.
Bake for 15 minutes before removing the beans. Lower the oven temperature to 150˚C/300˚F/gas mark 2, cover the edges of the tart case with foil and return to the oven for a further 5 minutes.
Strain the lemon filling into a jug. Arrange the blueberries in the tart case, cover with the lemon mixture and bake for 30–40 minutes or until the filling has set, but still has a slight jiggle to it. Cool completely.
To make the meringue, put the egg whites in a stand mixer, ready to go. Gently heat the sugar and water in a pan, stirring until it reaches 110˚C on a sugar thermometer. At that point, bring the egg whites to stiff
peaks. As the thermometer reaches 120˚C, pour the sugar onto the egg whites, whisking continuously until glossy. Pipe the meringue onto the tart and brown it using a blowtorch. Top with the extra blueberries, slices of confit lemon and some pretty microherbs, if desired.
More ways with blueberries
Apple-and-blueberry bircher muesli
Put 200g of porridge oats, 250ml of apple juice, 250ml of almond milk (or standard milk if preferred), 3 grated apples, 150g of blueberries, 100g of chopped almonds and a teaspoon of cinnamon into a large, airtight container. Put the lid on and leave overnight. The following morning, gently fold together and spoon into individual bowls with a scattering of extra blueberries, sliced apple and a drizzle of maple syrup.
Almond pancakes with blueberries and yoghurt
Combine 2 eggs, 100g of ground almonds, 75ml of almond milk, 1tbspn of wholemeal flour, 50g of blueberries and a pinch of salt. Drop small amounts of the mixture into a pan with melted coconut oil, frying gently on both sides. Divide between 2 plates and top with natural yoghurt, maple syrup and a few more blueberries.
Blueberry upside-down cake
Line an 8in cake tin with baking parchment and entirely cover the base with 200g of blueberries. To make a simple cake batter, cream 250g of butter with 250g of caster sugar. Add 4 eggs and a little vanilla, then fold in 250g of self-raising flour until just combined. Pour in the blue-berries and bake in a moderately hot oven for about 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Turn out onto a plate and serve with whipped cream.
The indulgent ingredients in this delicous recipe probably outweigh the berries' health benefits.
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