Blueberry Apricot Tart with Pistachio Crust

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Blueberry Apricot Tart with Pistachio Crust

I’m turning 25 in less than a month. August 1st was a bittersweet reminder of this and it seems that it’s causing me to reflect an awful lot.

At the age of 17, I really wanted a nose piercing – I wanted that piercing more than anything else that I could imagine and it was the biggest problem I had in my life at that moment. I had received a speeding ticket a year earlier that my mother had to front me the money for since I didn’t have a job or income at the time. I had promised to pay her back but a year had gone by and I hadn’t gotten around to replacing my part-time cashier gig from Target. When I asked my mother if I could get a piercing, she said ‘sure – as soon as you pay me back the $400 you owe me’. She said this in a tone that implied she was pretty sure that I’d coast through the next 5 years of my high school and college life unemployed and never get that chance to get the piercing. The next day I walked into the local coffee shop downtown with a ‘help wanted’ sign on the door and snagged myself a position on the spot. I immediately began working 6 days a week (everyday after school and on Sundays) and was able to pay her back within 3 weeks. And you know what? That nose piercing was freaking awesome – I earned it and looked freaking radical with it (that was until it got infected 3 weeks later but that is besides the point).

Blueberry Apricot Tart with Pistachio CrustBlueberry Apricot Tart with Pistachio Crust

I’ve been thinking about that coffee shop gig a lot lately. It was a small place and there were 5 employees (counting the owner). The shop was too small to have more than 2 people working at a time and I’d often times be left by myself, at the age of 17, to man the place down during the slow hours. I remember feeling very grown up with that responsibility and even feeling more mature than most of the other employees. The owner had recently had a baby when I started so she was coming around less and less which left myself and the other 23-25 year old employees to take charge. One of the girls, who was 23, was notorious for over-reacting to negative feedback from the customers (and employees) and locking herself in the bathroom to cry it out. I specifically remember the owner calling me hysterically on several occasions saying that Amy had locked herself in the bathroom again and she needed me to come in. I was 100% positive I was more mature than Amy.

The only guy employee at the shop was 25 and had just got back from being on the road with a local band. He had claimed this was just a pit stop until another tour started but he ended up staying there for a couple years – I was pretty sure I was more mature than him too. He just seemed too lost and always dreaming away his life talking about how he was going to become a big rock star and be a guitar engineer for the best bands in the world – yet he was saying all this while serving up a mediocre latte to a yuppie lawyer in the middle of nowhere, Indiana.

The last girl I distinctly remember had just graduated from Indiana University in Bloomington after 6 years of schooling and was just planning to work for the summer until she saved up enough money to move back down to Bloomington. Last time I went up there, she was on her 5th year working at the coffee shop. I’m still pretty sure I’m more mature than her.

As I approach 25, I know now that my idea of ‘mature’ was quite skewed and 100% naive. I based my judgement on the fact that I had a plan I was acting on – I was going to go to school that fall and leaving all of them in the exact same place of limbo that they were all stationed in. I had no idea how much being 23, 24, and 25 is actually about beginnings and you are lucky if you’ve just started to figure out what you want. I had no concept of the fact that things take time to grow and being in your middle 20’s is actually really freaking weird. I know now that the crying girl was probably just really lost and the confusions of life were getting her down. I also know that the guy is currently a guitar tech for Jimmy Eat World and travels all over the world for stadium shows with them. I’m not 100% sure where that last girl is but I do know she was still working there as of about a year ago. As for me? I’m quickly approaching 25 and starting to feel like the hot mess that I perceived all of them as.

Blueberry Apricot Tart with Pistachio CrustBlueberry Apricot Tart with Pistachio CrustBlueberry Apricot Tart with Pistachio Crust


These coffee shops stories have nothing to do with this tart. These stories merely have to do with the fact that I’ve been reflecting quite a bit lately, with my big 25 bday coming up, and baking has been a soothing inspiration for this. It’s crazy how much my mind wanders when I sift, mix, chop, bake, and devour yet it’s always a calm wandering – like a washing over me feeling. It’s almost as if the baking is helping me work out these memories to remind me what I learned from them and then file them away.


PS. OH! And don’t forget to sign up for the giveaway currently running on VV – I know you love free stuff and I promise that Driftless Magazine is going to look fabulous on your coffee table.

Blueberry Apricot Tart with Pistachio Crust recipe below:

Blueberry Apricot Tart with Pistachio Crust

Blueberry Apricot Tart with Pistachio Crust
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Author: Shelly Westerhausen
Pistachio Crust:
  • 1/2 cup chopped pistachios
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 stick butter , softened
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 6 fresh apricots , sliced in half and pits removed
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  1. For the crust: Pulse the pistachios in a food processor until finally ground (you want it to be the consistency of coarse flour but make sure to not pulse so much that the fats start breaking down into pistachio butter!).
  2. Add your flour and salt and pulse a few times until everything is combined.
  3. Use a stand mixer to beat the sugar and butter until creamed.
  4. Slowly pour in the flour mixture while the mixer is on medium low until the dough turns into a ball.
  5. Grease your pan and press your dough evenly along the bottom and sides of the pan.
  6. Transfer to fridge and let chill for at least 30 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 300 degrees and prick the crust all over with a fork. Bake for 40 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
  8. For the filling: Arrange the apricots and blueberries in a single layer over the pie crust. Turn oven up to 350 degrees and whisk together the sour cream, vanilla, egg, honey, and flour. Pour into the pie crust and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven and let the pie cool completely before enjoying. Garnish with extra pistachios, if you'd like.


Blueberry Apricot Tart with Pistachio Crust



  • Amanda Paa
    August 3, 2014

    love stories like this, its what enables us to get to know each other & reflect. can’t believe you’re only going to be 25! so talented, so many big things ahead for you. much more beautiful food like this tart, and so much happiness. xo

    • Shellywest
      Amanda Paa
      August 10, 2014

      Yay – thanks for the kind words and reminders of all the happiness ahead, Amanda!

  • Anna
    August 3, 2014

    I turn 24 next month and I am RIGHT THERE WITH YOU. I work 5 part time jobs to fund my ceramics studio and one of them is the vintage store I have worked at since I was 16. It’s all good as long as I stay humble and take everything that happens in my 20s with a grain of salt.

    • Shellywest
      August 10, 2014

      Love it! Stay humble and take it with a grain of salt – I’m totally stealing this mentality!

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    August 4, 2014

    This is such a stunning tart. I love the big apricots right on top!

  • molly yeh
    August 4, 2014

    WHAT! ok based on this tart, and all your other gorgeous recipes, and THAT MAGAZINE (!!!) you are the opposite of a hot mess. complete opposite. maybe life feels hot messy sometimes (yeah mid-twenties is SO WEIRD), but just keep doing what you’re doing.

    and that nose piercing getting in infected thing, yeah i’ve been there too.

    • Shellywest
      molly yeh
      August 10, 2014

      Thanks, Molly! Things definitely feel hot messy a lot of the time but it’s nice to have these reminders that it’ll all past with time. <3

  • Grace
    August 4, 2014

    25! You little spring chick! So young, so much talent. You’re creative and critical of yourself – they kinda go together, unfortunately. Throw yourself a friggin’ bone. You’re awesome and so is this tart.

    • Shellywest
      August 10, 2014

      Eeeee – thank you for the encouragement, Grace! Throwing myself a bone today and eating ALL the ice cream.

  • Mariela
    August 4, 2014

    This tart is soooooo pretty! Whatever you were mulling over while baking it turned out delightful and inspiring!!

  • Renee Shuman
    August 4, 2014

    GORGEOUSNESS! This tart. Apricots … blueberries… pistachios. Prepare for me to raid your house and eat all of this while you’re not looking.

    I also turn 25 in a little over a month. And worked at coffee shops with people I thought were immature losers (I was in college at the time). How could they not have figured their shit out by their mid-20’s? And now being in my mid 20’s I’m still sort of floaty and figuring out my life. I haven’t decided on a “career” — I just work in industries I like and use skills that are marketable. I really thought I would go on into academia after college but then decided that I didn’t want to spend my twenties nerding it out in a San Fran library all alone studying esoteric medieval yogic practices. Yeah… I find it hard to believe you’re a “hot mess” with how put together your posts are. But no doubt, it’s hard to find a footing in the food blogging world — or food photography/styling/recipe-writing world. If that’s something you’re dreaming of doing with your life. It’s something I dream of. The process is soooo slooooooowwwww.

    Ok longest comment ever. L8tr.

    • Shellywest
      Renee Shuman
      August 10, 2014

      At least we’ve got each other to figure out this weird mid-twenties limbo food-blogging world thing that we like to hang out in. <3

  • Katie @ Produce on Parade
    August 4, 2014

    Happy soon Birthday! Girl, you are anything at all but a hot mess. You are insanely gifted and incredibly creative. Don’t think of yourself as anything less than incredible! All the best people feel like they never have their shit together, I promise! 😉

    • Shellywest
      Katie @ Produce on Parade
      August 10, 2014

      Thank you for all the kind words, Katie!! And for reminding me that I’m not the only one with my shit not together [yet]. 🙂

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  • Nancy
    August 4, 2014

    Is there hibiscus cream somewhere in this?

    • Shellywest
      August 10, 2014

      There WAS originally but I noticed that I didn’t photograph it anywhere and honestly ended up eating most of the tart without it so I ended up just removing it from the recipe at the last minute. Don’t worry – I’ll have a recipe with some hibiscus cream come up again very soon. : )

  • Sophie
    August 4, 2014

    Best story ever, oh my gosh. You are ROCKING your 24 years so far, girlfran. Be proud of that! This tart is just gorgeous! I might have to adjust quantities to fit my tart pan but I think it just might be the perfect ending to my mom’s birthday dinner party. WHEEEE

    • Shellywest
      August 10, 2014

      Thanks for the encouragement, Sophie!! Hope the tart makin’ was a success!

  • Kris
    August 6, 2014

    Have I ever told you that tarts are like my favourite food! Well, in the top 10s for sure. This is stunning and looks so delicious. I can’t wait to try it. I’m working on a peach tart recipe myself right now. Tarts for days!! (The best.)

  • Sini | my blue&white kitchen
    August 7, 2014

    How I loved this post. I’m three weeks in being 25 and it’s been good so far. I’m still a bit lost and I still have my very immature moments, but on the other hand, I’m not really sure if those parts of me will ever subside. This tart is gorgeous (hello pistachio crust!!) and I wish I could have a slice right now.

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