A beautiful tart made with the last of the season’s northern European blueberries
The end of September signifies many things: the diminishing prospect of an Indian summer, the first whisperings of Christmas (by retailers, at least)—and your last chance to eat a fresh, northern European blueberry for nine months. Admittedly not all of these are cause for celebration, but the latter must at least merit some sort of tribute—and how better to mark it than with Comptoir Gourmand’s tarte aux myrtilles, aka blueberry tart?
“It is one of the best blueberry tarts in the world,” Amine says proudly, of the dark, gleaming tart on the stall—a Bordeaux-inspired recipe, he says, and very popular. Anyone who has spent any time in a French patisserie will be familiar with the traditional tarte aux myrtilles: large, packed with fruit, the little blueberries still visible amid the dark, syrupy jam filling. But this tart is different. The jammy topping is smooth, the two or three little blueberries dotted on top of it are large and fresh, and there are little, snow-white meringues—meringues!—alongside.
Texture, sweetness, crunch
“The pastry base is made with ground almonds,” Amine continues—another delicate twist that brings texture, sweetness and crunch to the table, as well as a nice nuttiness. The meringues are, as they should be, hard on the outside and chewy on the inside; candy-sweet but too small to be overpowering. The jam is, well, jammy, but of the kind that speaks of berry rather than sugar and juice.
With it, Amine suggests mint tea: coffee or a builder’s brew would overpower the finesse of this tart, with its wistful echoes of summer. September is ending and, with it, the heat of the sun—but with this tart on your tongue, it’s hard to feel blue.