Blackberry Tartlets with Elderflower Ice Cream

There was a recipe back in a 2001 issue of Martha Stewart Living that paired elderflower ice cream with blackberry tartlets. I stole the idea and made it my own way. I can’t even find the link to the original recipe or the issue it was in. So you’ll have to take my word for it. :)

The original tartlets had a filling that was more like a blackberry fool (berries+sugar+whipped cream). That seemed a bit too rich (wink, wink) to be served with a scoop of ice cream. I went with an old-fashioned fruit and crumb tart/pie. (I don’t like pies so much, but tarts are fine for some reason.)

Blackberries have been on sale in every store over the last few weeks, so I snagged a bunch and froze the extra for later cravings.

The elderflower ice cream is so delicious and perfect for Spring.

(above image via

If you don’t like floral flavored desserts, then just omit the cordial from the recipe and add vanilla extract. We buy the concentrate from IKEA because it’s a wallet-friendly price and pretty darn good. But you can get it in specialty stores, too.

Blackberry Tartlets
This recipe makes four small tarts, but you can also make 1 large tart


3 cups blackberries (if using frozen, don’t thaw)
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. tapioca starch (or corn starch)
juice of 1/2 lemon
pinch salt

For Crumb topping:

1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup butter, melted

For pie crust:
1/2 cup vegetable shortening (it doesn’t matter if it’s plain or butter-flavored)
1 cup all-purpose flour, divided, plus more for rolling
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
zest of 1 lemon
ice water

For Elderflower Ice Cream:
2 cups whole milk
2/3 cup granulated sugar
4 egg yolks
pinch of salt
2 cups heavy cream, cold
1/2 cup elderberry flower cordial drink concentrate


For Filling:
Mix the sugar, tapioca starch and salt together in a large bowl. Add the berries. Lightly toss to coat the berries. (Don’t worry if you have a little bit of “paste” at the bottom of the bowl.) Set aside until ready to assemble the tartlets.

For crumb topping:

Use your hands or a fork to mix together the flour, brown sugar, and pecans. Stir in the melted butter with a fork or small spatula until all the dry ingredients are moist. Set aside until ready to use.

For Pie Crust:

Whisk together 1/2 cup of the flour, the sugar, salt and lemon zest. Add the vegetable shortening. Mix together until a paste forms. Add the remaining 1/2 cup flour and gently mix it using a chopping motion. (Think–cutting fat into flour in reverse.) It should look shaggy.

Add the ice water a teaspoon at a time until a soft dough comes together.

Turn the dough out onto a generously floured, clean, flat surface. Push dough together and then divide it into four pieces. Roll each piece out so that it fits the tartlet pans/dishes. Transfer the dough to the tartlet pans and push the dough into the corners and crevices; patching with extra pieces of dough and using a little water as the glue. Trim off the excess dough from the top and smooth the edges. Repeat with remaining dough and pans. Set aside until ready to fill.

To assemble and bake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the tart pans on the baking sheet. Divide the berries between the pans–make sure to divide up and include any of the sugar/tapioca paste. Sprinkle each tartlet with an even amount of the crumb topping.

Bake the tartlets for about 25 minutes, or until the juices are bubbling. (The time will be more of less depending on if the berries were frozen or fresh.)

Let cool slightly before serving. Serve with a scoop of elderflower ice cream.

For Elderflower Ice Cream: (prepare a day before tartlets)
Heat the milk in a pan until steaming. Whisk the yolks, sugar, and salt until thick. Add a little of the hot milk and whisk well. (This will help keep the eggs from curdling.) Then add the rest of the hot milk, a little at a time, while whisking. Place the liquid in the pan and cook over medium heat until the custard thickens and reaches a temperature of at least 160 degrees F, but no more than 170 degrees F. (You may be able to go to 180 F, but it might curdle!)

Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl. Add the cold cream and the elderflower cordial. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until very cold.

Churn in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer directions.

Makes about 1 quart.

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  1. elderflower ice cream sounds delicious! I agree with your assessment of the original recipe, a fool type dessert with ice cream? Yeah, too much.

    Your tartlets look wonderful and blackberries are so cheap right now.

  2. These tartlets are so calling my name. I totally agree about the pie thing. Tarts are just so much cuter or something.
    The ice cream looks amazing too.
    What a great combination.

  3. LIndsey you come up with the most wonderful flavours of ice cream. Elderflower cordial is a very common thing over here. I want to make this! I bet my boss would love it at one of her luncheons!

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