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Blood Orange Tart

Monday, January 25, 2010
Blood Orange Tart

It's cold. It's raining. And lately, it seems like blue is in fashion. Oh well.
In spite of everything, I found the way to turn to my week-end into a different color. At the farmers' market this time I couldn't resist to lemons, oranges, sweet limes, blood oranges, grapefruits and pomelos, just because they're happy and smiling (you see, despite the appearances, you have to admit that I'm pretty easy going: two mandarines is all it takes to make me happy).

Back home, I've realized I've gone a little too far with the shopping list. :-0
What does a girl with a little tiny kitchen do with a ton of citrus? A real dilemma. Ten glasses of juice and one Vitamin C indigestion later, I thought I might be better off relying upon other resources, much more imaginative than I am. So, browsing here and there, I ended up baking this thing.
I'm now all ready and vaccinated to face yet another Monday.

Blood Orange Tart
for one 8" diameter tart

For the tart dough
flour 150 gr.
butter 75 gr.
sugar 35 gr.
baking powder 1/4 teaspoon
salt a pinch
cold water 2 tablespoons

For the topping
almonds about 50 gr.
blood oranges, small 7-8
sugar, butter to taste
egg yolk to brush the crust

For the base I've made an eggless pastry crust. With the amount indicated above I ended up with an 8" diameter tart, you can make it larger keeping the same weight proportions: butter half of the flour, sugar half of the butter. Easy, isn't it?

In a large bowl, mix flour with sugar, salt and baking powder. Add cold butter, cut in pieces, and mix it with the flour rubbing it with your finger until you get a crumbly dough. Add a couple of tablespoons of cold water and work the dough until it gets smooth, trying to be as quick as possible in order not to warm up the butter. Shape it into a ball, wrap it in plastic and let it rest in the fridge for at least one hour (I've made the dough the night before).
Meanwhile toast the almonds in the oven, then grind them finely with one tablespoon of sugar so that they won't release their oil.
Remove the dough from the fridge, roll it out in a 1/4" thick circle and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle the surface with almonds, leaving an edge of approximately 1 inch.
Peel the oranges and eliminate all the white skin, then cut them into thin rounds, trying to discard the seeds. Sprinkle the almonds with sugar and some dots of butter, then cover with the orange slices. Sprinkle another couple of tablespoons of sugar on top. Lightly beat the egg yolk with two tablespoons of cold water and brush the tart edge with it. Fold it over towards the inside, then brush it again with the egg wash.
At this point, freeze the tart for at least one hour, in order for it to be really cold at the time of baking (you can also wrap it in plastic and freeze it, it will last for about two weeks). Bake it at 375 straight from the freezer and for about 1 hour and 20 minutes, until the crust turns a nice brown color. Let it cool completely before serving. If you don't like blood oranges, I suggest trying it with a different kind of fruit, because baking the oranges intensifies their bitter taste.