Have I mentioned I have an obsession with citrus fruits? Looking back at my recipes lately they are a recurring theme, be it sweet blood orange, tart lemons or floral, sour bergamots, tiny kumquats or aromatic oranges. There are other things in the pipe line, I promise you, but we are not out of the citrus groves just yet. I have one or two citrus treats left I, and then it is onto spring and rhubarb!
It doesn't feel like spring at all yet. Everything is covered by a thin layer of powdery snow and it is even colder than in December or January. I am pining for some sunshine and some warm weather instead of this very long winter that seem to never end. But in the meantime I have a warm oven to keep me happy as long as I don't look out the window.
I do like lemon meringue tarts, but to be honest I tend to prefer it without the sweetness of meringue to really let the sour/sweet cream shine. So for this yuzu-bergamot tart I amped up the bitterness instead with a bergamot marmalade to offset the luscious cream.
Both Japanese yuzus and mediterranean bergamottes are very fragrant, very sour and very delicious. Together they seem to bring out the best in each other. They are both distinctively floral citrus fruits, but yuzu has a green grapefruity acidity that perfectly balances the herbaceous notes of bergamot.
If you don't have or can't find either bergamot or yuzu juice, try making this tart with a Seville orange marmalade and grapefruit-orange or lemon cream. Or any tart citrus fruit you happen to come across.
Tarte au yuzu et bergamotte
Four 8cm tartlets
1 portion pâte sucrée for 4 tartlet shells
Bergamot marmalade with star anise
1 star anise
Cut the bergamots in half lengthwise, then slice thinly. Remove the seeds, but keep them. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add the bergamot slices and cook for 3-4 minutes. Strain the bergamot and discard the water.
Bring bergamot, sugar and water to a boil while stirring to dissolve the sugar. Turn the heat down to medium, add the star anise and a small pinch of salt and cook for 35 minutes until the marmalade sets when a teaspoon is dropped on an ice cold plate. Pour into a sterilised jar and allow to cool to room temperature. It is best if you make the jam at least a few days in advance.
Finely grated zest of 1 bergamot
3 large eggs
50ml strained bergamotte juice
25ml yuzu juice
75ml heavy cream
Whisk with the eggs and sugar until combined, then stir in bergamotte and yuzu juice as well as the heavy cream. Set aside.
Line four 8cm tart rings with the pâte sucrée, transfer the shells to the freezer to firm up, at least 30 minutes. When ready to bake preheat the oven to 180C, line the pastry with foil and fill to the top with dry beans or rice. Bake blind for 15 minutes, then remove the foil and beans and bake for another 7 minutes, or until the tart shell is golden and dry to the touch.
Remove the shell from the oven and cover the bottom with a thin layer of the bergamot jam. Whisk the yuzu-bergamot cream and skim of any froth. Gently pour the filling over the jam layer and carefully return the tart shells to the oven. Bake the tarts for 12-14 minutes, they are done when there is a slight wobble in the filling, but it should not appear liquid.
Remove the tartlets from the oven, leave to cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Lift of the ring, dust with icing sugar and serve.
Icing sugar for dusting