The huckleberries came in a tad bit late this year, as I am sure you all have noticed, and they peaked fast and furious. When I returned from summer vacation, I could only find a few left at my favorite secret spot.
That will teach me to never leave Jackson Hole for 10 days mid-August ever again.
While I was waiting for huckleberry season, I made this Freeform Tart with blueberries instead, a perfectly acceptable stand-in.
I was somewhat jealous to learn that the Huckleberry is the State Fruit of Idaho. Jealous because I then wondered what Wyoming's state fruit was, and found that it did not have one. Luckily, Idaho is so close to Jackson Hole that I can ride my bike there.
But we do have an abundance of huckleberries, nonetheless. Just don't leave town in mid-August like I did. Someday I'll find enough huckleberries to make a big batch of Huckleberry Jam, which we have been out of since 2007.
For the tart dough:
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup almond meal or almond flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
- 2 Tbsp. (about) ice water
For the filling:
- 1 cup huckleberries or blueberries
- 4 nectarines, pitted, and cut into 1/4 inch slices (peaches would be good too)
- 1/3 cup plus 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- vanilla frozen yogurt, ice cream, créme fraîche, or whipped cream
- Mix flour, almond meal, sugar, and salt in a food processor, or by hand in a bowl.
- Add butter to food processor, pulsing until mixture resembles coarse meal. If mixing by hand, add the cold butter into the flour with a fork, and then work it with your hands until there are no more than pea-sized pieces of butter.
- Add ice water by tablespoonfuls and process until just moist. Do not let it get into a cohesive ball in the food processor.
- Remove dough and knead gently to incorporate all the scraps. Form into a ball, and flatten into a disk.
- Cover with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for about an hour, or until you are ready to use it.
- When you are ready to make the tart, preheat the oven to 375ºF.
- Take the dough out of the refrigerator, and let warm up slightly while you prepare the fruit.
- Mix the sliced nectarines and the huckleberries in a large bowl. Add sugar to taste (you may want to use less than 1/3 cup if your fruit is really ripe).
- Add lemon juice and toss.
- Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to form a 14-inch circle that is about 1/4 inch thick.
- Place the dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicon mat.
- Pour the fruit into the center and flatten out over the dough, leaving a 3-inch border.
- Fold the border over the fruit to form a freeform open pie. Seal any cracks in the dough by pinching with your fingers.
- Sprinkle with a few tablespoons of sugar.
- Bake for about 35 minutes, until the crust is brown and crispy and fruit is soft. If the crust browns before the fruit is done, cover gently with foil and bake a few minutes more.
- If the fruit juices seep out onto the baking sheet, don't worry. It will look even more rustic.
- Cool slightly and cut into wedges, with yogurt, or ice cream, or créme fraîche on top.
- Have it for dessert. Have it for breakfast. Have it for a post-workout snack.