By it’s cover.

On the menu: Blueberry Macaroon Torte

Blueberry Macaroon Torte ~ Documenting our Dinner.

This year, my 30 pounds of wild blueberries didn’t come from the farm where I worked. This year they came from a research farm—you know, because I’m researching native bees around wild blueberry fields. They were still free. And I still had to clean them myself. Let’s not talk about the terribly inefficient winnower at the research farm. I spent 4.5 hours cleaning berries after winnowing this year. I didn’t have to do that with my farm berries. The farm had the Cadillac of winnowers, that’s for sure. The point is that my freezer is once again filled with Maine wild blueberries. The top dogs. The one and only. And I’ve got to put them to good use.

Blueberry Macaroon Torte ~ Documenting our Dinner.

You know who Maida Heatter is, right? I’ve seen her name all over the place, always in reference to some delicious dessert, whether a classic recipe or an extravagant one. On a self-imposed cookbook buying hiatus, I picked up a copy of her best known book, Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Desserts, at a used bookstore. What a great investment. I pored over it’s pages for weeks this summer, dreaming about elaborate cakes and simple cookies. But I wasn’t far along when I read the most regal recipe name ever: Royal Norwegian Macaroon Torte. You aren’t supposed to judge a book by it’s cover, but come on. How can you NOT make a recipe with a title like that?!

Blueberry Macaroon Torte ~ Documenting our Dinner.

But I *gulp* tweaked it a bit. I swapped out apricot preserves for blueberry preserves because I had to. I traded light rum for *BIG gulp* coconut tequila, because my liquor cabinet contains rye whiskey, Jameson, brandy, cheap gin, sweet and dry vermouth, and whatever we find on sale. And gin in an almond-based tart sounded gross. Naturally, I’ve dropped the royal status from this dessert. But my version is certainly of the same spirit; dense, rich, almost cloyingly sweet. Serve this in small slices.

So here it is. My embarkation on another blueberry voyage.

Blueberry Macaroon Torte ~ Documenting our Dinner.

Blueberry Macaroon Torte
adapted from Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Desserts

For pastry:
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
1 cup butter
1 egg
zest of one lemon, grated

For filling:
1/2 pound blanched almonds, finely ground
2 cups powdered sugar
1 egg white
1/4 cup coconut tequila
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
3 drops green food coloring
1/2 cup thick blueberry preserves

Preheat oven to 375°F.

For pastry: Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Stir in sugar. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Add egg and lemon zest and stir just to combine. Squeeze the dough into a large ball, then knead it briefly until it holds together. Divide in half. Wrap one half in plastic wrap and refrigerate. Place the other half in a 13×4 inch (or 9×9) tart pan and press dough to cover the bottom and the sides of the pan. Refrigerate while you prepare the filling.

For filling: Add all ingredients except blueberry preserves to a bowl and mix with an electric mixer until smooth.

Assembly: Take out remaining half of pastry from the refrigerator. Spread preserves around bottom of pastry shell, leaving a small border around the edge. Drop filling in spoonfuls over the preserves; the spoonfuls should touch each other and the sides of the crust. Roll out remaining half of pastry and place on top of filled torte.

Bake–really–for 1 hour and 10 minutes until the top is well browned and the sides of the torte come away from the pan. Remove from tart pan and let cool. Chill torte in the refrigerator before cutting. It keeps well in the fridge for up to a week.

Blueberry Macaroon Torte ~ Documenting our Dinner.

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17 Responses to By it’s cover.

  1. This is such a fabulous recipe! So many fun flavours going on here – I can’t wait to try!!

  2. shannon says:

    is it weird that every singe time i see Maida Heatter’s name anywhere, i immediately read it as “Mad Hatter?” because i do.
    and this torte looks crazy insane: i can see, just in reading the ingredients and seeing the photos, how it would end up being so, so sweet. delicious, but yes; small doses.

    • Brianne says:

      I’m glad I just have to write it. If I had to say her name out loud, I totally couldn’t. Small doses makes things last longer! It was great that this kept so well for the week it stayed in our fridge!

  3. Hannah says:

    Happy to join you on your blueberry voyage, Brianne! This torte looks royal indeed, and of course you had to make it based on its title. I still have blueberries in my freezer and I’m checking my liquor cabinet…no tequila so I may go with port and call it Blueberry Port Torte! Love all the almonds in it, too.

  4. carey says:

    Hurray for another freezer full of blueberries! I loved seeing how you used them all up last from last season. (And I’m totally impressed that you did. If it were me, I’d stick all of them in the freezer and forget about them. At least until next summer, when I tried to put more blueberries in there…) I love love love blueberry + almond, so it’s a flavor combo that’s regal enough for me. (: And good call on the tequila too. (Could you imagine gin in there?? Ha! The horror.)

    Also, ditto what Shannon said about reading Maida Heatter as Mad Hatter. So it’s totally not weird, at least in my book!

    • Brianne says:

      I had to make, like, three pies in early summer to get them out of the freezer before my next batch! But I did it. And no one is going to complain about an abundance of blueberry pie!

      I googled gin desserts to make sure my assumptions weren’t too closed-minded. Gin works in very un-sweet desserts, for obvious reasons. Gin and a lot of sugar? Yuck.

  5. Emma says:

    Dammit Brianne, I had a dream a few nights ago that I read and commented on this blog. And then yesterday I realized that never happened. But then last night, I dreamt that when I went to go read it, it was no longer there. I am about to correct this comedy of errors. Just thought I’d let you know beforehand.

  6. Emma says:

    Coconut tequila!? Sha-BAM! Delicious. I……. am still working on my blueberries. It’s such a good thing I didn’t see any to pick this year.

    Also, I really love the Mad Hatter. He’s one of my favorites fersure fersure.

    • Brianne says:

      I like that you straight up call her the Mad Hatter. And the coconut tequila makes some pretty tasty margaritas!

      Also, that’s cray that you dreamt of my blog.

  7. I was so impressed that you used up all those berries last year! And now another lovely bundle has found their way to your door. I have never had a torte before or made one, and I am ashamed to admit I had to google it just now because I never really understood what they were. From what I have gathered, it’s a rectangle shaped cake, but I don’t know if there’s more specifications to it than that. Regardless, this one sounds amazing. I love berries in baked goods, and booze even more so. I haven’t done a lot of experimenting with hard liquor in foods besides whiskey and brandy, but I love a good beer-based cake :)

    • Brianne says:

      Thanks, Eva! The definition of a torte is indeed a conundrum. Some are cake, some are pie…how can two totally different things be called the same thing?! A rose by any other name still smells as sweet, I suppose!

      Beer in cake. A chocolate stout cake comes to mind…I bet your creative brain has lots of other ideas!

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