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|Winning tarts pair blueberries, corn|
|Written by KAREN NADLER COTA Sentinel Lifestyles Editor|
|Tuesday, 20 August 2013 09:10|
It's a little edgy. A little out there.
But please, folks, take a chance on this one. It's too yummy to pass up.
I'm talking about the winner of this month's Bowling Green Farmers' Market recipe contest, Barb Sartain, and her irresistible little blueberry-corn tarts.
"I developed that recipe especially for the contest," Sartain admits. "I thought it would be fun to do that. I made it probably six different times before I perfected the recipe."
She served the final version a couple times "just for the family," then made them for a birthday party for her son and his wife.
"They were a really big hit. They were all gone, in fact, quickly."
The reaction seems to be universal. Based only on taste, "people couldn't believe there's corn in it. They were quite surprised."
But the way Sartain has created her recipe, the flavors work really well together.
"The base of the recipe is a little bit of sugar, a little bit of cinnamon, and of course the blueberry is sweet," though tangy. "Corn is actually sweet too, so they do have a somewhat sweet taste."
The contest judges realize they're going a bit out on a limb this time around.
"This is not for everyone, but it's outside the box and that was one of the things we wanted to encourage (with the contests), was original recipes," noted judge Mat Manley.
"It's interesting to think of corn in the context of dessert and we're trying to inspire people to use the ingredients in new ways," Dot Downing Wuest agreed.
And how does Sartain herself serve corn-blueberry tarts?
"The possibilities are endless," Sartain said. "You could use it for an appetizer, for a dessert."
"I made them hot out of the oven and they were delicious. I also let them cool and ate them cold, and they were good too."
In the opinion of the judges, "The dish is OK cold but very good hot and could be great with ice cream or vanilla whipped cream."
Because Downtown Bowling Green will be preparing the tarts and serving them to lots of people Wednesday at this week's farmers' market, they tried a high-volume modification.
"Mat made the servings in puff pastry, and that's one way to serve a crowd, although it made them into three-bit tarts," noted Barbara Ruland,
director of Downtown Bowling Green.
"The pie crust is probably a better fit, though, and wouldn't be a challenge for a smaller group."
Sartain hadn't entered any of the previous months' contests - devoted to recipes containing spinach, cabbage and other early greens; berries; and summer squash.
"I wasn't even aware the contest existed until I was at the farmers' market and saw the brochure."
Immediately, her creative juices started flowing. In fact, before learning the news that she'd won this week's competition, for recipes containing corn, Sartain was already hard at work concocting a perfect entry for September's theme - recipes containing apples.
That isn't as hard for her as it sounds. The Bowling Green native, now retired, has worked as a personal chef in the past.
"I did some dinner parties for people, and dinner parties of my own. I always had a passion for cooking and still do."
Sartain returned to her hometown in 2002 after 20-plus years working in the field of adults with developmental disabilities in Mississippi and Indiana, as well as at Wood Lane.
She tries to cook "relatively healthy. I am a Weight Watcher and have lost quite a bit of weight" so including lots of fruit and vegetables in her treats comes naturally.
"There is very little sugar in the base" of the tarts. "I have tried to make it healthy."
They're definitely a finger food, she noted. "You don't have to put them on a plate. So they're good for a party."
They're also wonderful for party hosts because the tart "really does not take all that long to make - 15, 20 minutes prep time, plus 20 minutes for baking.
"I love those already prepared refrigerator pie crusts. Those are awesome."
Some might be tempted to substitute another fruit for the blueberry, but she wouldn't recommend it.
"Putting that one blueberry in the center, it just made it pop," said Sartain.
She's offering it as a summertime fresh produce recipe, naturally, but "this is something you could make all year round."
The recipe works with either fresh ear or canned corn.
There are two more chances in 2013 for area folks to enter and win the city's Farm Fresh Recipe Contest. Wednesday at 8 p.m. is the deadline for submission of recipes containing apples.
The final contest, with a mid-September deadline, is devoted to "Your 'P'ick: Parsnips, Peppers, Potatoes, Pumpkins."
Entry forms are available at the Downtown BG office at 121 E. Wooster, at the farmers' market held Wednesdays from 4 to 8 p.m. at 201 S. Main St., or on the Farm and Garden pages of the Sentinel-Tribune website, www.sent-trib.com.
Corn-Blueberry One-Bite Tarts
1 ear of corn or ½ of a 15.25-oz. can (1 cup)
24 medium blueberries
½ cup cold water
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 Tblsp. sugar
“Good” pinch of cinnamon
1 refrigerated ready-made 9-inch round pie crust *
* Pie crust should be room temperature
Preheat oven at 400 degrees. Clean corn ear and remove from cob with a sharp knife or drain liquid from can. Put corn in a small bowl. Rinse blueberries and put in separate bowl.
In small saucepan, stir together cornstarch, sugar, and cinnamon. Add cold water and stir until dissolved.
On medium to medium-high heat, stir continuously until it boils and is thick. Remove from heat and pour over corn. Mix well.
Put pie crust round on floured surface and dust with a little flour. Roll from center to edge of crust one time around. Using a 2 ½-inch round cutter, cut out 24 rounds. You will need to roll out scraps of dough to make 24. Spray a 24-cup mini muffin pan with cooking spray. Position a round over a cup and push down with thumb or finger, making sure to get corners and sides to the top.
Fill each cup with 1 tsp. of corn mixture and push 1 blueberry into each center. Bake for 19-20 minutes until bubbly. Let cool in a pan for 15 minutes before removing by sliding paring knife down side and lifting out.
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