Easy tarts spread with softened cream cheese or mascarpone, piled high with fresh blueberries, and drizzled with blueberry glaze.
When my mom got married, she moved directly from her parents home where her mom did all the cooking to one that she shared with my dad. Not the adventurous type, she refused to bake anything that didn’t come from a box, scrupulously followed every recipe, and had a regular rotation of meals. But every meal was thoughtfully prepared, and really good (unless it included grits).
After she passed away a number of years ago, I sifted through stacks of boxes filled with photographs, letters, and stray scraps of paper that must have meant enough to her to have saved… a couple of my better report cards, a Valentine I’d made in 2nd grade all trimmed in lace, some long chain necklaces all knotted together. One of the most memorable little treasures was a letter carefully penned in her neat cursive handwriting, written early in her fledgling marriage, to her mother-in-law, a cold woman with whom she had always had a difficult relationship. I don’t know why she had the letter. Maybe she changed her mind about mailing it. Or perhaps she retrieved it when my grandmother passed away. I’ll never know, and it doesn’t matter.
In the letter, she asked for help in cooking a steak. A business connection of my dad’s was coming to dinner in the next month with his wife, and mom was nervous. She assured her mother-in-law that she was doing her best to be a good wife to my dad and desperately needed advice. What cut should the meat be, and how thick? When should she salt it? How should she cook it, and for how long? She needed ideas for side dishes, dessert, and all sorts of things that would become instinctive to her over time. But this was before that happened, before she became the strong self-confident – one might even say dominating – woman I knew, and it gave me a rare glimpse into the young, nervous, new wife that she was at one time.
And it reminded me of a slower, more lean time in life when picking up the phone was a financial decision for more weighty issues than dinner menus. In honor of her on Mother’s Day, and that memory, I’m sharing my favorite dessert she made for us every summer – Blueberry Pie. It’s not cooked, so it bursts with fresh blueberries. There’s a syrup thickened on the stove that holds it all together, and is perfect for days when you want a great dessert without all the trouble.
The original recipe (shown here) is for a 9″ pie. I cut the recipe in half to make 4 tarts.
This is a recipe for your best blueberries.
Both cream cheese and mascarpone work well in these tarts.
Mom’s Glazed Blueberry Tarts
- 1 3- ounce package cream cheese or mascarpone
- 1 9 " pastry shell
- 4 cups fresh blueberries
- 1/2 cup water
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- Whipped cream
- Soften the cream cheese or mascarpone while you bake the pastry shell according to directions. Let the pie shell completely cool. Spread the cream cheese on the base of the pie shell.
- Fill the shell with 3 cups of blueberries.
- Combine the remaining cup of blueberries with the water in a small pot over medium heat. Bring to a simmer for 4 - 5 minutes. Strain, reserving all of the juice. Mash the berries to get all the juice out. Discard the berries.
- Combine the sugar and corn starch in the same small pot over medium high heat. Gradually stir in the reserved blueberry juices. Cook, stirring constantly until thick and clear. Cool slightly and add the lemon juice.
- Pour the syrup over the berries in the pastry shell. Chill.
- Serve with whipped cream (I substituted Greek yogurt)