Early on in the month, I made a Blood Orange Tart when blood oranges were still in season. I have been wanting to make this for a while, and when I saw blood oranges at a supermarket, it was decided that this was my weekend mission.
I started with great excitement, measuring out the ingredients, bringing out bowls, whisks and measuring spoons. I made everything from scratch, the shortcrust pastry. The orange custard creme brulee-like filling and then sliced the blood orange as thinly as I could with such concentration that you think I had telepathic skills.
However, as I slowly progressed with each stage, my heart began to sink beginning with the shortcrust pastry that began to shrink from the sides of the cake tin when it came out of the oven. It bothered me as I thought the filling was going to overflow. Then came the blood orange custard filling which I thought was never going to thicken to a luscious Orange curd like consistently. And then finally, some of the the finely sliced orange pieces fell apart when I removed them from the pan. It seemed that every hing was conspiring against me, that I just lost patience and plonked the blood orange slices on top, the above photograph does not have all the blood orange slices on it. In fact, I even I was getting so frustrated that I forewarned D not to be excited about this Blood Orange Tart that I had been promising him to be a delight as it was going to be a mess. I was getting more and more frustrated that I wasted eggs and blood oranges and my precious time making this for it not to turn out well... but I hadn't had stressed too much as it actually turned out well. Not perfect, but enough to satisfy and hush me to silence.
D just smiled at me. He was pleased he had something sweet to eat.
The glorious golden burnt orange colour was amazing.The texture was a cross between orange curd and creme brulee. It was not too sweet which I really liked. Citrus twang in bursts, from the filling, the marmalade and then the orange slices on top which gave it a soft toffee like chew.
It was easy to eat too.
This Blood Orange Tart is based on a Valencia Orange Tart.
Blood Orange Tart
Make your own shortcrust pastry to line a 28cm tart tin with removable base.
Bake for 12 - 15 minutes, remove from the oven to cool.
For the blood orange filling
4 blood oranges
250g caster sugar
6 egg yolks
For the blood orange topping
400ml fresh blood orange juice or orange juice
4 whole blood oranges
For the filling
Juice and zest the orange, place in to a bowl and stir the cornflour until smooth.
Bring 475ml water to the boil in a large saucepan and add to the cornflour mixture.
Whisk until thick and glossy, then remove from the heat.
In a bowl, ccarefully add the egg yolks and sugar and beat them well until well combined.
Stir the eff mixture into the filling, returning the pan to the heat and whisk until the eggs are cooked and the mixture becomes thick - this may take a little while - be patient.
Allow to cool , then pour carefully into the shortcrust pastry case.
For the blood orange topping
To make the topping, mix the juice and sugar in a wide pan and bring to s simmer, stirring on and off. Slice the blood oranges as thinly as you can and add it to the juice.
Simmer for 15 - 20 minutes.
Then let it cook, drain and discard the liquid (unless s you want to drink this sickly sweet liquid)
Pat the orange slices dry with a kitchen towel.
Preheat the oven to gas mark 5/190oc.
Spread the marmalade on the top of the filling and lay on the blood orange slices on top.
Bake for 30 minutes, until the oranges are slightly golden, but not burnt!
Adapted from The Vegetarian Year by Jane Hughes