I have always been a fan of berries. There are photos from my birthday dinners, and strawberries are almost always on the menu. When we moved to New Hampshire, I discovered the beauty and deliciousness of wild blueberries. As an eight year old it was amazing to find dozens and dozens of bushes loaded with this sweet fruit right in our backyard!
My passion for berries of all sorts has never waned. Thus, these fruits are part of my recipe testing and planning on a regular rotation. Unfortunately, there are no wild blueberries in my backyard now that I live in Florida, but the blueberry season does arrive nice and early in April.
When I see an abundance of blueberries, my first reaction simply is to buy some to have for snacking. My relationship with blueberries is akin to others’ relationships with chips. If there is a bowl of blueberries on the counter, I cannot walk by without taking a handful. Seriously.
While snacking is fun, I do like using blueberries in my cooking and baking. Sometimes it is as simple as adding them to a batch of Sunday morning pancakes. Other times they are a sweet element in a hearty dinner salad. And, of course, I am always thinking about ways to work blueberries into a new dessert recipe.
How to make a recipe bursting with blueberries?
With this year’s arrival of blueberries in my produce department it was time to think about new blueberry treats. My husband and I really enjoyed the most recent fig, bacon, and cream cheese appetizer, which were made in phyllo shells. Why not start with the same base?
As I toyed with ideas for this recipe, I decided to use the same two-layer approach for these handheld desserts. The first layer is sweetened cream cheese, which adds texture and a bit of decadence, if that doesn’t sound too pretentious. However, the star of this recipe is the blueberry layer. Although it’s just a simple blueberry sauce, it really does create a dessert that is bursting with blueberries.
With this recipe, my lifelong craving for berries is fulfilled. Well, for the day anyway!
Handheld Tarts Bursting with Blueberries
- 15 phyllo tart shells
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1-1/2 cups blueberries
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons whole milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place tart shells in the cups of a mini muffin pan or on a rimmed baking sheet.
Bake for 4 minutes.
While shells bake, combine granulated sugar, cornstarch, water, and lemon juice in a small saucepan, whisking until smooth.
Stir in the blueberries, and bring to a boil over high heat.
Reduce heat to low, and cook for 2-3 minutes, until the blueberries release some of their juices and the sauce thickens.
Remove the sauce from the heat, and allow to cool to room temperature.
Remove tart shells from oven.
Combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, and 1 tablespoon of milk in a small bowl.
Stir until smooth, adding the additional tablespoon of milk, if needed.
Divide cream cheese mixture evenly among the cups.
Top with a layer of blueberry sauce.
Store tarts in a sealed container for at least 4 hours before serving.