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A (slightly scandalous) North Haven blueberry tart

Updated: Sep 15, 2011 03:13 PM EDT
© Helen Rosner / Bonnier © Helen Rosner / Bonnier

By Nancy Harmon Jenkins

North Haven is a small and rather exclusive island out in Maine's gorgeous Penobscot Bay, inhabited mostly by summer folks and lobster fishermen and their families. 

The fishermen set and haul their traps, the summer folks sail and feast on lobster, and everyone goes blueberrying in August when the wild berries are ripe. 

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A lady from one of North Haven's long-established summer families gave me this recipe which she said came from a Swedish au pair called Lotta who fell in love either with the father or with the eldest son of the family with whom she was staying.

Whichever it was, father or son, it was ill-advised. Lotta was promptly shipped back to Sweden, leaving behind this elegant pie as a sweet memory. 

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I'm not much of a pie-maker; I find the task of rolling out pie crust to be way beyond my level of competence. But this crust is so easy — and so delicious — that even a klutz like me can handle it.

For pie- and tart-making in Maine, we use only our own tiny, fragrant "wild" blueberries. (I put "wild" in quotation marks because they aren't really wild—rather they are a carefully managed resource that begins wild and ends up semi-cultivated.)

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"Wild" blueberries are also available from Canada and possibly from Michigan; at your grocery store, you can find Wyman's frozen berries. I'm told you can make this with big commercial berries but I've never dared try. 

See the recipe for Wild Blueberry Tart »


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