Credit for this tart recipe goes to Helen Nugent from her book Pie Style, which has some of the loveliest looking pies and tarts I’ve ever seen. All very beautifully styled to showcase the bakes and impress online and in person.
What drew me to this particular tart (apart from it being BLUEBERRY [a total fav flavor], and aside from how beautiful it looked in the book!) was the gingersnap crust. And when I served it to my family, while they loved the blueberry mouse and all, it was the gingersnap crust that they raved about. So it was definitely a hit with the fam’!
I didn’t really follow the original recipe for the decoration, which had a beautiful crescent shape to the blueberries on top. While I think that’s gorgeous for presenting and photographing, my thought was to serve to my family, and in that case everyone should have some blueberries and whipped cream on their slices.
So I just played it by ear with how everything was laid out on top, but started with the blueberries, then whipped cream, then the sparkly bits on top of that. It’s one of those things – it can be hard to know when to stop the decorating!
For having this with afternoon tea, you can cut slices at the table, as big as someone might want, depending on what else is served at your afternoon tea party.
So for your next afternoon tea, pull out the fine bone china (the trio below is Tuscany by Paragon) and enjoy the luscious and smooth combination of mousse and cream, a pop of blueberry fruit and the best part – the crispy gingersnap shell!
Blueberry Mousse Tart
- 1 1/2 c. (170 g.) finely ground gingersnap cookie crumbs
- 2 Tbsp. (25 g.) granulated sugar
- 5 Tbsp. (70 g.) unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 c. (60 ml.) cold water
- 1 tsp. powdered, unflavored gelatin
- 1/2 c. (100 g.) granulated sugar
- 12 oz. (340 g.) fresh or frozen blueberries (thaw completely if using frozen, and use the juice)
- 1 1/4 c. (300 ml.) heavy cream, cold
- 2 Tbsp. (16 g.) powdered sugar
- 6 oz. (170 g.) fresh blueberries for decoration
- 1 Tbsp. blueberry jam, melted and strained (for brushing over the blueberries to give them a bit of gloss, if you wish)
- 1 c. heavy whipped cream
- 2 Tbsp. mascarpone cream, room temperature
- 1-2 Tbsp. powdered sugar (to taste)
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract or paste
- Sparkling sugar, or white nonpariels for sprinkling on top at the end
DirectionsTo make the Gingersnap Tart Shells: Preheat the oven to 350° F. In a medium bowl, mix the gingersnap crumbs and sugar with a fork, then add the melted butter and mix until combined.
Press the crumb mixture evenly into the bottom and sides of your tart shells (press them in well, but don’t press down too hard, or the crust will end up quite crispy and a little hard). Transfer the shells to the freezer and chill for 10 minutes. Put the shells in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, until the crumb mixture is set. Remove the crust from the oven and allow to cool completely before adding any fillings.
To make the Blueberry Mousse: Place the cold water in a medium bowl and sprinkle the gelatin evenly over the water. Set a sieve over the bowl for later, and set aside.
Combine the sugar and blueberries (including blueberry juices, if using frozen) in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally to break up pieces of the blueberries. Continue until blueberries have softened and broken down and the liquid has thickened (about 15 mins.). Remove from the heat and immediately pour the mixture through the sieve over the gelatin. Press on the solids to get as much blueberry mixture through the sieve as possible. Remove the sieve and discard the solids.
Whisk the blueberry-gelatin mixture for 1 minute to ensure all the gelatin has dissolved. Then set aside to cool for about 20 minutes.
While the blueberry mixture is cooling, put the heavy cream and powdered sugar in a mixing bowl. Using a stand mixer with whisk attachment, or a hand mixer, beat at medium-high speed until firm peaks form, about 2-3 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in one-quarter of the cooled blueberry mixture. Once that is folded in, add the remainder of the blueberry mixture and continue to fold gently until fully combined.
Divide the blueberry mousse evenly between the four gingersnap crusts and smooth using an offset spatula. Loosely cover the tart with tinfoil, being sure not to let the tinfoil touch the mousse, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.
Make some stabilized whipped cream for piping on the top by first whipping the cup of heavy cream to soft peaks, then add the sugar, vanilla and mascarpone. Whip further until the cream has reached stiff peak stage. Put in one or two piping bags with different-sized tips, to pipe on top, as desired. Set aside until after the blueberries have been laid on the top.
First decorate the tart with the fresh blueberries, making a rough circle around the outside, leaving space for piping the whipped cream around and in-between the blueberries. If desired, dab a little of the liquid jam over the blueberries to make them shine (don’t overdo it, or the jam will “bleed” a little into the mousse or whipped cream).
Then pipe as much whipped cream as you’d like, placing the dabs of whipped cream around and between the blueberries. Finish off by sprinkling a little sparkling sugar and/or white nonpariels over the top. Unmold from the tart tins and serve.
Best eaten on the day it’s made, but leftovers can be stored for up to 2 days after in an airtight container.