Maine wild blueberries are one of the special joys of late summer. Pea-size or smaller, these differ from the cultivated varieties, with a concentrated flavor packed into their tiny size. Save for a few other places in Canada and New England, wild blueberries are particularly suited to Maine’s rocky landscape, acidic soils and harsh winters. Though they freeze well, we enjoy them while in season and added to all manner of baked goods, such as pancakes, scones, pies, and especially tarts.
This recipe for Blueberry Buttermilk Tart first appeared in the July 1990 issue of Gourmet magazine, and coincides with our early years in Maine. We’ve been making this tart ever since and, as they’ve become available, with an increasing amount of local ingredients. Juicy sweet blueberries float in a lemony filling, offset by the tang of buttermilk, and balanced off by a buttery crust. The recipe calls for cultivated blueberries, we use the Maine wild ones in the same measure. For the crust, we substitute 1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour plus 1 cup all purpose flour to make up the difference. Other than that, we’ve changed the recipe little, and only add 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger to the buttermilk filling and suggest omitting the melted butter. We highly recommend ginger ice cream to acccompany, especially if the tart was baked that day and still holds the warmth of the oven.
Recipe: Blueberry Buttermilk Tart, Gourmet
Local ingredients: Maine wild blueberries from Riverside Farm; whole wheat pastry flour from Brookford Farm; organic unsalted cultured butter (thank-you, Alicia!) from Casco Bay Butter Co.; eggs from Meadow’s Mirth; and homemade buttermilk cultured from Harris Farm milk.