Blackberry Tarts ~ juicy, ripe blackberries nestled in a buttery, flaky crust for an iconic, all American summer dessert.
Made with fresh from our garden blackberries, these delicious tarts bring back memories of summers gone by. I remember as a young girl, enjoying the annual event of blackberry picking with my parents and siblings. It was an early morning adventure, usually around the 4th of July, where we were clothed in long pants, long sleeved shirts, hats and proper shoes (for hiking around in the fields) and then given a good dose of bug spray to keep the ticks and chiggers away.
My mother saved plastic milk jugs for weeks, then cut the opening large enough to allow easy filling with little purple, berry-stained hands. The handle was left intact making it simple to carry and fill. We picked until we couldn’t find anymore and then anxiously waited for Mom’s amazing creations to come out of the kitchen. First, Mom always made a Blackberry Cobbler for our dad, because it was his favorite. She usually made jam and jelly too, saving back a few jars to take to her mom on the next visit north.
My husband and I carried on the annual tradition of blackberry picking with our children too. Such great memories! It doesn’t feel quite like summer until the blackberries are ripe and at least one dessert has been devoured. This year we didn’t have to scour the fields for our berries, I only had to step outside in our backyard to grab them up before the birds got them all.
I love the way blackberries turn dark red when cooked and almost look like raspberries in these tarts.
I had a lot of fun making these mini-pies in my favorite little tart pans with removable bottoms. They came out of the pans beautifully and cooked up faster than a thicker, traditional pie. My husband suggested I create a variety of designs for these pies, so he gets the creativity badge for the day!
Blackberries have a distinctive sweet and tart flavor, and are also very good for you!
Loaded with rich antioxidants and vitamin K, blackberries can work as a cancer-fighting food. The nutrients in blackberries also help with short-term memory retention, and are considered among some of the best brain foods. They can help reduce inflammation, fight infection, boost immunity and can be good for the cardiovascular system too! So be sure to eat more blackberries, especially this time of year when they are fresh and at their peak.
I’m glad I got to taste these tarts before they were whisked away and divided up among the family members.
I recommend a scoop of vanilla because, every now and then, you should save room for dessert.
Juicy, sweet, tart ripe blackberries are nestled in a buttery, flaky crust for an iconic, all American summer dessert. Fresh picked from our garden!
- 1 recipe - Double Crust Pastry (See below)
- 6 cups fresh blackberries, rinsed and well drained (divided)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- Juice of 1/2 lemon if berries are not tart (optional)
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon milk
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil and set aside.
Add 3 cups of the blackberries to a large mixing bowl. Using a fork, press and mash the berries to release the juice. In a 1 cup measure, combine the sugar and cornstarch. Pour the sugar mixture over the mashed berries and fold together to combine. Add the remaining whole blackberries to the mixture, folding gently with a spatula to combine. Taste the blackberries and if they lack tartness, add the juice of 1/2 a lemon. Set aside to macerate while preparing the pastry.
Roll out half the pastry dough on a lightly floured, clean work surface. Cut 4 rounds about 1-inch larger than the tart pans. Gently press the pastry into the bottom, and up the sides of the pans. Roll out the remaining dough and cut two more rounds to fit the last two pans.
Divide the blackberry mixture between the 6 tart pans. Using the remaining pastry dough, cut out designs to top each pie/tart using cookie cutters or by cutting the pastry into strips to create a lattice top. Wet the top edges of each pie using a finger dipped in water. Cover the tarts with pastry cut to fit and press on the dampened edges to seal. If you do not wet the edges, the top pieces will not stick and may shrink into the pie.
Re-roll the remaining pastry if needed to create designs or to cover the tarts. Whisk together the egg and milk and brush on the tops of the tarts. Sprinkle with granulated sugar and place the tarts on the prepared baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until the filling is bubbling and the pastry is golden brown.
Serve warm or at room temperature. I recommend serving with a scoop of good vanilla ice cream for a special treat. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature. Pies are best eaten within a day or two of baking.
For the recipe you will need six (6) 4.5-inch tart pans with removable bottoms.
Alternately, you can use this same recipe to make one 9-inch deep dish pie. Adjust the baking time by adding 20-30 minutes or until the top is browned and the filling is bubbling. You might need to tent the pie with foil to prevent over browning about halfway through baking. Cool before slicing for a prettier presentation.
Flaky and buttery, this is a simple and delicious pastry for all your pie recipes. This recipe makes enough dough for a double crust or two single/bottom crusts.
- 2 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- 8 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/3 cup solid shortening (Crisco)
- 6-7 tablespoons ice cold water
Combine the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine. Add the butter and shortening and process (using short bursts/pulses) until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. (There should be some small pea sized pieces of butter visible.) Add 3 tablespoons of the cold water and pulse a few times to combine. Add 3 more tablespoons water and process until the dough until the dough starts to hold together. Don't over process. Add one more tablespoon of water if needed - for a total of 7 at the most.
Gather the dough together and divide in half. Form each half into a flat disc. Wrap each disc with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to 3 days. You may need to let it come to room temperature for 15 minutes for easier rolling if it's too cold.
Place a disc of dough on a lightly floured, clean work surface. Using a rolling pin, start in the middle of the dough and push outward with even pressure. Start again in the middle and press outward but move around like you're hitting all the numbers on the face of a clock. Start at 12 o'clock, move to 2 o'clock, etc. until the dough is in a circle big enough to allow for a 1-inch overhang. Trim excess dough with kitchen shears.
Fill and top with the remaining pastry in your favorite design. Bake according to recipe directions.
TIPS: It is nearly impossible to roll out dough on a hot counter top. Marble surfaces are popular for rolling dough because they are cool. You don't need marble but make sure the surface is cool and the inside of your kitchen is not overly hot.
Run your hand over the dough as you roll it out to check for thick or thin spots. The dough should be an even thickness.
Never stretch the dough. Ease it into the pie plate and scoot around if needed to fit properly. Don't pull it and cause thin spots that will not cook evenly.
Please PIN to your favorite dessert board!
We love our mini tart pans and think you will too! Click on the photo for more information:
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Blackberries are great in, and on, just about everything. Some of our favorites recipes include this amazing Blackberry & Brie Mini Pizzas, our healthy Blackberry Frozen Yogurt, and our delicious Warm Black and Blueberry Sauce. Without a doubt, I need to try this beautiful Blackberry Lemon Dutch Baby from Nutmeg Nanny, and these mouth-watering Blackberry Pie Bars from Brown Eyed Baker.
What’s up with all these pies lately? I’m not sure what’s gotten into me lately but the family’s not complaining! I have another one coming soon – and you won’t want to miss it! Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you had a terrific weekend.