Blood oranges to me have always been the queen of citrus fruits with their glorious color and luscious, almost berrylike, sweetness.
Earlier this week I was lucky enough to find tarocco blood oranges in a local market. Taroccos unfortunately do not have the scarlet color of moros, but personally I prefer them for their taste.
I know my desserts are very often a flavour bonanza, but this time I didn't want to add too many ingredients to the mix also not to overpower the citrus fruits. The slightest pinch of cardamom in the pate sucrée worked beautifully with the fragrant blood oranges. Because of the sweetness of the blood oranges I mixed juice with that of a few Seville oranges. It balanced the sweetness with the sharp tanginess I expect from a citrus tart.
I didn't want to add a meringue on top, partly because I wanted the rosy color visible and partly because of the sweetness. An italian meringue with some acidity, Seville orange juice or maybe lemon juice might work, but I have yet to try it, so I can give no directions for this.
Instead I served the tart with a dollop of tart creme fraiche and a lovely cup of earl grey tea.
Bleeding Lady blood orange tart
One 23cm tart
60g unsalted butter, softened
60g caster sugar
125g all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 tsp. salt
Cream together the butter and sugar until the sugar granules are dissolved. Then beat in the egg until fully incorporated and finally mix in the flour, salt and cardamom.
Knead very lightly until the dough just comes together. Form a ball and flatten lightly before wrapping in clingfilm. Chill for about an hour before rolling to app. 5mm thickness. Line a greased 23cm tart tin with a removable base with the dough and chill for a further 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 190C. Cover the dough with aluminum foil and fill with baking beans or uncooked rice. Blind bake for 10 minutes, remove the beans and foil and bake for a further 10-15 minutes. Cool completely before removing the pastry from the tin.
Blood orange cream
Adapted from Tartine Bakery's lemon cream recipe
100ml blood orange juice
50ml Seville orange juice
125ml blood orange juice
25ml lemon juice
Zest of 2 blood oranges
2,5 eggs (se leftover 1/2 egg from pastry)
2 egg yolks
100-125g sugar (to taste)
Pinch of salt
225g unsalted butter, cut into large chunks
Fill a saucepan with about 5cm of water and bring to a simmer. In a large non reactive bowl whisk together citrus juice, zest, eggs, egg yolks, sugar and salt and place over water bath. Make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the surface of the water. Whisk constantly for about 10 minutes until the mixture thickens and reaches 80C on a thermometer. Remove from heat, sieve off the zest and leave to cool for 10 minutes, stirring once in a while.
Emulsify the curd with an immersion blender and add the butter one chunk at a time, blending after each addition. Pour blood orange cream into the tart shell and smooth the surface with an off set spatula. Cool completely before serving.