As I type this, Jeremy is nailing together the last little bits of our beehive. I’m going to paint it tomorrow, and then on Saturday Sasha and her mom are going to help us introduce our queen and bee buddies to their new home. I am SOOOOOO excited to get some new life going out in the garden; we’ve had one of the wettest springs on record here, with lots of grey, cold, rainy days and even a few hailstorms. Because of this, all my planting activity for the garden has been slower than normal since all the plant life is taking a bit longer to wake up from its wintery slumber. The ground is still mostly brown and muddy, but there’s a smattering of beautiful blossoms poking up from it in the form of tulips and daffodils, and my clematis has the most flowers I’ve ever seen on it before, so at least the bees will have lots of tasty pollen to enjoy when they arrive thanks to the water-soaked earth. I, on the other hand, am itching to put on a sun dress and wear a pair of sandals. I know my shins will blind my fellow Oregonians after being encased in leggings for the past 8 months, but that’s a consequence I’m willing to accept in exchange for feeling direct sunlight on my body and not shivering when my skin is exposed to the outdoor air. I don’t know when this day will come, friends, but I yearn for it. There’s just something that happens to you after seeing grey and dampness all around you for months on end—I feel like I’m stuck in a really itchy sweater that I just want to rip off, but the sweater is this maddeningly constant cloud coverage and dammit I just can’t reach that high.
So in the meantime, I’m beckoning some rays of sunshine with these really bright and cheery little tartlettes. They’re filled with blueberry curd made from simmered blueberries, lemon juice, and California Olive Ranch Everyday extra virgin olive oil. I love using their Everyday blend for desserts because it has a wonderfully rich and floral taste to it that makes it perfect for pairing with fresh fruity flavors like lemon and blueberry. I also love that they grow and process their olives using environmentally sustainable practices and are just as nerdy about food and flavor pairings as I am (tell me more about how extra virgin olive oil has an acidity of less than .5% as compared to plain virgin olive oils and their 2% acidity. I want ALL the deets.) For the crust, I made a simple almond-based tart shell with a nearly even blend of almond meal and regular flour. If you wanted to make it gluten-free, though, you could easily sub in any gluten-free flour blend instead of the regular wheat-based stuff. I love this recipe because the tarts keep really well in the fridge for a few days, too, so it’s an easy dessert to make ahead for spring gatherings like easter or mother’s day. I hope you enjoy looking at it as much as I enjoyed making it 🙂 Also, I have some fun pictures of the flowers that have started blooming so far in the garden, I know it’s not tart-related but they’re still very pretty so I think you’ll enjoy them all the same!