Unsure Blueberry Maple Walnut Tart


I once knew a girl who wore three types of deodorant: stick, roll-on, and natural anti-perspirant crystal. I hope she doesn't read this.

Why she did this has plagued me for over a decade. I doubt her body odor was so terrible that she really needed three deodorants. And even if it was, I doubt three deodorants would actually mask such a stench.

But I thought of my old friend as I was made the gonzo decision to make a blueberry tart without a recipe. At first, I thought the natural pectins in the apricot and blueberries would do the trick. But then I wasn't so sure, so I added some cornstarch. And then as I stood stirring, I pictured the fruits oozing over the crust. I'd have to apologize and call it a "crumble" when I knew in my heart it was not. So I added some gelatin. And then I made the insecure blueberry tart with three stabilizers: pectin, cornstarch, and gelatin.

Now I think maybe my friend knew something I didn't, that perhaps one deodorant fulfilled some need that the others did not. No deodorant is perfect. No stabilizer is fool-proof. And no person is without her own paranoias. The tart was the hit of the night, and no one questioned it at all.

RECIPE: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Pulse 2 cups walnuts with 2 tablespoons maple syrup, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and a dash of salt. Press into bottom of springform pan. Bake in 9-inch non-stick springform pan and bake for 10 minutes, or until the crust is golden and your kitchen smells rich and nutty. Let cool on a wire rack.

In a medium saucepan, stir 10 ounces apricot jam (I used a not-too-sweet homemade jam), 1/2 cup water, and 1 cup blueberries. Simmer until the blueberries pop. Add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and 1/2 a packet of gelatin. If you're feeling extra-anxious, take a Vicodin. Mix with 1 cup of additional blueberries and pour on cooled crust and let chill for at least 2 hours. You will want to poke it all the time.