Recipe: Blueberry tarts topped with lemon curd
|Blueberry tart topped with homemade lemon curd -- what a treat! (Photos: Debbie Arrington)
As any California gardener who grows them knows, blueberries are special. When a bush finally starts producing, they're like precious little sapphires. That inspires an equally special presentation.
|Homegrown blueberries deserve special treatment.
Tarts are round showcases for these garden gems. This version, adapted from the classic "Joy of Cooking," shows off the fresh berries like the treasures they are.
Instead of topping with plain custard or whipped cream, I chose a vibrant lemon curd from the Southern cookbook by Ronni Lundy, "Butter Beans to Blackberries." In her book, she serves fresh blueberries topped with lemon curd and cornmeal cookies on the side. That's a simple alternative if tarts seem too complicated -- or it's too hot to turn on the oven.
Blueberry tarts with lemon curd
Makes 6 tarts
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For week of March 3:
* Celebrate the city flower! Catch the 100th Sacramento Camellia Show 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, March 2, and 10 a.m to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 3, at the Scottish Rite Center, 6151 H St., Sacramento. Admission is free.
* Between showers, pick up fallen camellia blooms; that helps cut down on the spread of blossom blight that prematurely browns petals.
* Feed camellias after they bloom with fertilizer formulated for acid-loving plants.
* Camellias need little pruning. Remove dead wood and shape, if necessary.
* Tread lightly or not at all on wet ground; it compacts soil.
* Avoid digging in wet soil, too; wait until it clumps in your hand but doesn’t feel squishy.
* Note spots in your garden that stay wet after storms; improve drainage with the addition of organic matter such as compost.
* Keep an eye out for leaning trunks or ground disturbances around a tree’s base, a sign of shifting roots in the wet soil.
* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.
* If aphids are attracted to new growth, knock them off with a strong spray of water or insecticidal soap. To make your own “bug soap,” use two tablespoons liquid soap – not detergent – to one quart water in a spray bottle. Shake it up before use. Among the liquid soaps that seem most effective are Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soaps; try the peppermint scent.
* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.
* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.
* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.
* Make plans for your summer garden. Once the soil is ready, start adding amendments such as compost.
* Indoors, start seeds for summer favorites such as tomatoes, peppers and squash as well as summer flowers.
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