Blood Orange Tart

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Let’s talk about blood oranges.

First of all, stunning.

Second, wonderfully balanced.

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I’ve never been a regular drinker of O.J..  Despite the enticing scent and “C” Vitamins begging me to get on board, classic orange juice is just a tad too sweet for my liking.

And don’t you dare ask me about mimosas.  Champagne is an all-around gift from God and should not be altered in any shape or form–addition of orange juice, included.

Blood oranges are different.  They respect me.  They respect my palette.

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The orange flavor has wonderful floral notes. The juice, itself, is more tart than sweet, making it much more approachable for drinking at 7:00am.

Colder months are the best time of year to buy citrus fruits and for Blood Oranges, in particular, the season usually lasts from about December to March.  When I tell you I have been stalking the citrus section of my grocery store since November…believe dat.

The recipe for this tart is very versatile: lemon, Meyer lemon, lime, grapefruit, straight up oranges–all are welcome to the party.  I decided to use Blood Oranges because, well, just look at the photos. Hi, pretty.

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Blood Orange Tart

Ingredients:

Tart Shell:

  • 1 1/2 sticks butter (12 tbsp), room temperature
  • 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt

Curd:

  • 3/4 cup Blood Orange juice (freshly squeezed)
  • 2 Tbsp Blood Orange zest
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 stick butter (8 tbsp), room temperature
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt

Procedure:

Tart Shell:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar over medium speed until fluffy and lightened in color, about 4 minutes.
  3. Slowly add remaining ingredients and mix until well incorporated.
  4. Press the dough into a 10″ tart pan with removable bottom. Use your fingers or the back of a spoon to make sure that the dough is spread evenly along the bottom and sides of the tart pan. This is your tart shell.
  5. Cut a piece of parchment paper into a 10″ circle and gently place on top of tart dough. Add pie weights on top of the parchment paper to weigh it down. If you don’t have pie weights you can use a bag of dried beans. You will not be able to re-use the beans for cooking but you can keep them in a container and continue to use them over and over as pie weights.
  6. Bake the tart dough for 20 minutes, rotating half-way through cooking. Take out of oven and remove the pie weights and parchment.  Using a fork, prick the tart dough, both on the bottom and sides.
  7. Bake for 20-25 more minutes, or until golden brown. Remove and let cool on a baking rack.

Curd:

  1. Zest oranges and set aside.
  2. Juice oranges, reserving 3/4 cup of juice.
  3. In a food processor, pulse together the zest and sugar until well incorporated. If you do not have a food processor you can combine by pulsing in a blender.  Alternatively, you can infuse the sugar by hand, using a wooden spoon to press on the zest while mixing with the sugar.
  4. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and infused sugar over medium speed. Mix the sugar-butter mixture until it has become fluffy and lightened in color, about 4 minutes.
  5. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed.
  6. Add the blood orange juice and salt, mixing until well incorporated. The mixture will look “curdled”–that’s what you want.
  7. In a saucepan over medium heat, cook the blood orange mixture until thick, about 10-15 minutes. Be sure to constantly stir the mixture, using a rubber spatula.  Keep in mind that although the mixture will thicken up more after cooling, you want the mixture to be relatively thick before taking off the heat. Have patience–it’s worth it.
  8. Add the blood orange curd to the tart shell.
  9. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate, at least 4 hours.

Recipe adapted from: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/lemon-curd-tart-recipe.html

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