Blood oranges decorate the top of this gorgeous winter tart. The crust is an unfussy butter-cookie dough.
Make Ahead: The filling can be made and refrigerated a day in advance. The tart crust can be baked a day in advance and stored at room temperature. Assemble the tart just before serving.
Servings: 10 - 12
- For the filling
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 2 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- For the crust
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 cup cake flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan
- 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- For assembly
- 4 blood oranges
For the filling: Heat the milk in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan until it is hot and a few bubbles form around the edge. Do not boil it.
Whisk together the eggs and yolk, granulated sugar and flour in a medium bowl until smooth. Slowly whisk the hot milk into the egg mixture, being careful not to let the eggs solidify. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens to form a smooth pastry cream. Reduce the heat to low; cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Working in batches, strain the cream through a fine-mesh strainer into a medium bowl, using a flexible spatula to push the mixture through. Stir in the vanilla extract. Press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pastry cream. Poke a few holes in it and refrigerate for about 2 hours or until the pastry cream is well chilled.
Meanwhile, make the crust: Sift both flours and the salt onto a sheet of waxed paper or parchment paper.
Combine the butter and confectioners' sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer; beat on medium speed until smooth. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Reduce to low speed; add the egg yolk and vanilla extract, beating until incorporated. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl. On low speed, add the flour mixture in two or three additions, beating to form a soft dough.
Shape the dough into flat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until the dough is firm enough to roll out.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Use a little butter to grease the bottom (inside) of a 9-inch round tart pan with a removable bottom. Place the pan on a baking sheet.
Place the dough between two pieces of wax paper or plastic wrap. Roll it into a 14-inch circle about 1/4-inch thick. Remove the top piece of wax paper or plastic wrap; invert the dough, then position it in the tart pan, pressing it in. Remove the remaining piece of paper or wrap. Fold in any overhanging dough, pressing it in to form sturdy tart walls. Use your fingers to even the top of the crust.
Line the tart crust with aluminum foil or a round of parchment paper, then fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the foil and pie weights or beans.
Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Bake the tart shell for 10 minutes or until the crust is lightly browned. Cool completely.
To assemble: Spread the filling in the cooled crust. Lay a few layers of paper towels on the counter.
Use a sharp knife to cut off the tops and bottoms of the oranges, discarding them. Cut the fruit horizontally into 3/8-inch-thick slices. Trim the peel and all white pith from the slices; discard any seeds you find in the slices. Spread the orange slices on the paper towel and pat them gently to blot off any excess liquid. Arrange the orange slices over the filling.
Carefully dislodge the tart shell from the tart pan sides. Transfer to a serving plate, using a sharp knife to dislodge the tart from the bottom of the tart pan, if desired. Use a sharp knife to cut the tart into slices, and serve.
From cookbook author Elinor Klivans.
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
E-mail questions to the Food Section at email@example.com.