Rustic and beautiful citrus tart.
All I can say is “wow”, this was one beautiful tart. Not too tart and not too sweet, as Goldilocks said “it was just right” and I think all the ladies that tried it at my craft circle enjoyed it.
I’m sure you have all heard that snapping turtles bite and don’t let go. In Alabama they use to (may still do) call a snapping turtle “thunder turtles” because they believed that once bitten by the ST that it would not let go until it thundered. So, what does a snapping turtle have to do with this recipe.
Well, I have a problem letting go of an idea for a recipe I’ve seen or a product I have not used before. See the chunky sugar on the above tart. Well there’s even a story there. While in France back in 2012 (see, I told you I hold on to an idea for a long time) we spent a week in Provence after doing Paris (liked Provence much better) and we stayed in Eygalières in Provence area. This little commune, town, or whatever they call a town less than 1,700 actually had two bakeries a couple of grocery stores (very small, one English-speaking the other not) and one very good restaurant, sous les micocouliers which we ate at our first night there. I still get emails from them with their menus and I can’t read a word of it. (I just looked at their website and I never noticed they have “English” version.)
So, back to the story about the sugar. Every morning we would walk down to one of the local bakeries and buy some beautiful and delicious pastries (see below) for breakfast before heading out for the day. Usually at least a couple of the things we purchased had this sugar that stayed chunky. I couldn’t find it in the small local market but when I came home I looked until I finally located it I think on Amazon (of course). The sugar has been sitting in my pantry since then just waiting to be used for something special. This sugar will not melt and disappear as normal granulated sugar does at baking temperatures. I want to try it on some cinnamon elephant ear pastries sometime soon.
I stumbled across this tart on Pinterest and the original recipe came from Big Sur Bakery Cookbook and was posted by Bojon Gourmet blog. I tried her crust and decided to try to go the extra steps for a flakier crust. I gave up after two returns of the dough to the refrigerator and decided when I make it again I will just find an ordinary flaky tart crust recipe. So, if you have a favorite crust recipe, just use that.
I love the different color of oranges. Ya can’t always find blood oranges or even kumquats so if you see them grab a few. The day I came across my blood oranges, I couldn’t find kumquats but found mandarinquats, cara cara oranges and a couple of tangerines. The Cara Cara orange is pink in color so adds beautiful contract with the blood and other citrus.
Mandarinquats (not kumquats), blood oranges, tangerines, cara cara oranges make up the citrus mosaics of this tart.
Toast and finely chop the almonds.
The powdered sugar, zest, vanilla bean and butter get beaten and then add in the almonds.
This is the almond cream that gets spread onto the tart crust.
Aren’t the blood oranges beautiful. To peel the oranges, cut off the top and bottom of the oranges and using a sharp knife cut down the sides of the peel until you have removed all the peel and pith The mandarinaquats get sliced about 1/4″ thick, do not remove peel.
Roll the crust to 16″ x 12″. Spread the almond cream over the surface up to 1″ from all borders”.
Arrange your orange and mandarinquats over the crust. Use the mandarinquats (or kumquats) to fill in all the smaller spaces.
Fold over about 1″ around sides of the tart. Brush with beaten egg.
Sprinkle with the sugar. I used “pearl (or hail)” sugar. It doesn’t dissolve and stays chunky which I love the way it looks.
Bake at 400° 25-30 minutes. Mine took more like 40 minutes.
Drizzle with a couple tablespoons of honey. I used the honey but first I brushed mine with a little melted tangerine preserves I had made and just happened to have a jar on hand.
Cut a nice slice and share the rest.
The recipe calls this “dessert” I am saving it for brunch. To me, it isn’t sweet enough for dessert, that is unless you were going to put a big scoop of orange sherbet or vanilla ice cream on top.
The pastry on the left is the one that had the hail or pearl sugar. I would love to know what the first item is because it was delicious and I have never been able to find a recipe.
- A recipe for tart crust (see Bojon Gourmet's link for her recipe in "notes"
- 3/4 cup sliced (or whole, or slivered) almonds (blanched or unblanched), toasted and finely chopped
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon powdered sugar, sifted
- seeds from 1/2 a vanilla bean
- grated zest of 1 small orange or blood orange
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea or kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
- 1 egg, beaten
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 recipe flakiest, all-butter pie dough (fraisaged, then folded and rolled for maximum flake, chilled for at least 30 minutes)
- several citrus fruits (such as 2 blood oranges, 1 cara cara orange, 2 tangerines, and 6-8 kumquats)
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- a few tablespoons flavorful, runny honey, for drizzling (such as blackberry or orange blossom)
- Position a rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat oven to 400°. Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment and set aside.
- To make the almond cream: In bowl of stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter, powdered sugar, vanilla bean seeds, orange zest and salt on medium speed until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add the almond extract and then add in the egg a little at a time, beat until fully incorporated. Add the flour, beating on low until smooth, then beat in the chopped almonds, scraping the bowl and paddle with spatula and stirring to combine.
- (Feel free to use your own recipe. Bonjon gourmet suggest using 1/2 recipe but I used a little more than 1/2 of her recipe.) On lightly floured surface, roll the dough out into a 12x16" rectangle about 1/8" thick. Trim the edges (I did not). Spread the almond cream evenly over the dough, leaving a 1" border. Fold the border over the almond cream to make a lip (this will hold in the filling), and press to secure. Chill the tart base in the refrigerator for 30 minutes*
- For the fruit: Use a small, sharp chef’s or paring knife to slice the ends off the oranges
- and tangerines. With a cut-side down, follow the curve of the fruit,
- cutting off the peel and all white pith, going around the fruit until
- all the skin and pith are removed. Slice the fruits into 1/4″ rounds,
- removing any seeds. Slice the ends off the kumquats, and cut them into
- 1/4″ rounds, removing any seeds.
- Arrange the citrus
- rounds on top of the almond cream, placing them as close together as
- possible without overlapping. Brush the edges of the crust with the
- beaten egg, and sprinkle the entire tart with the sugar, going heavy on the crust. Dot the citrus
- with tiny chunks of butter (this will keep them from drying out in the
- Bake the tart until the crust is golden and
- puffed, 25-30 minutes. Drizzle with the honey; just enough to put a
- pretty sheen on the tart, and cut it into pieces.
- I baked the tart before taking it to my craft circle so it was still a little warm when I arrived with it, but it will keep at room temperature for 24 hours, or in the fridge for a couple of days.
- Bojongourmet has a tutorial for her flaky tart crust. If you want to try her recipe here is the site -- http://bojongourmet.com/2012/11/flakiest-all-butter-pie-dough/
- I used some of my tangerine preserves (heated until melted) to brush the fruit and then added a drizzle of the honey.