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Blackberry and Bay Leaf Tart with Blue Cheese

Blackberry and Bay Leaf Tart with Blue Cheese. Photo: Steve Smith, Visionfire Studios

Blackberry and Bay Leaf Tart with Blue Cheese. Photo: Steve Smith, Visionfire Studios

6-8 servings  

Custard & Cornmeal Crust

Recipe courtesy of Chef Stéphane Levac


For the dough
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup finely stone-ground white cornmeal
  • 1 ½ tsp. kosher salt 2 tsp. sugar 1 cup butter, cut into small dice and chilled
  • ¼ cup ice-cold vodka (lots of local distillery’s making great vodka)
  • ¼ cup ice water
For the filling
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Two ¼-ounce envelopes unflavored gelatin
  • 3 ounces blue cheese
  • 2 ¼ cups sour cream
  • 6 tbsp. plus 1 ½ tsp. pure maple syrup
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
For the sauce
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blackberries
  • ¼ cup of sugar
  • Zest and juice of half a lemon
  • 1 or 2 fresh bay leaves (go forage for your own)
  • 1 tbsp. water


  1. For the dough, place flour, cornmeal, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine. Add chilled butter, and pulse to cut butter into flour. With the processor running, pour in vodka, then drizzle in ice water just until the dough starts to clump. Transfer the dough into a mixing bowl. Gently press into a ball. Cut the dough in half, wrap each piece in plastic wrap and pat into a disk. Refrigerate at least half an hour or overnight.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, blue cheese and gelatin. Stir in ¾ cup of cold water and let stand for 5 minutes to soften the gelatin. In a large bowl, whisk the sour cream with 1 ½ teaspoons of maple syrup. Bring the sugar, cheese and gelatin mixture to a boil, stirring constantly, until the cheese has melted, sugar and gelatin dissolve. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the heavy cream until frothy on top. While whisking constantly, slowly drizzle the heavy cream mixture through a fine mesh sieve into the sour cream, whisk until fully incorporated.
  3. Make the sauce by incorporating all the ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, discard bay leaf and set aside.
  4. To roll out the dough: take dough out of the fridge and let it sit on the counter for a few minutes to soften slightly for easy rolling. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out into an 11-inch circle, then place gently into a 9-inch tart pan. You can do this by flouring a rolling pan and rolling the dough loosely around it, then unrolling it into the pan. Brush away any excess flour on the surface. With a sharp knife, trim the edges of the pastry to fit the tart pan. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and place in the freezer until firm, about 30 minutes. To bake the crust: preheat oven to 375°F and place rack in the centre. Press parchment paper or aluminum foil tightly against the crust, covering the edges to prevent them from burning. Fill with pie weights. Bake crust for 20 minutes, until foil no longer sticks to the dough. Transfer crust to a wire rack and remove weights and foil.
  5. Once the tart shell has cooled down, pour blue cheese custard in, making sure to not go over the edges. Refrigerate tart for 3-4 hours. For serving, take the tart out of the pan and cut desired slices with a sharp knife. Pour some of the blackberry sauce on the tart and serve.

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