Thanks to Foodgoat for choosing a brilliant theme for this month’s IMBB – I think deciding recipes from a colour is a wonderful idea and I hope this theme is going to be a regular one! As I’m sure everybody else did, I had so many ideas about orangey recipes, but just too little time to try them all out.
I made an orange & lemon tart using Gordon Ramsay’s recipe earlier last week – although the tart seems to be one of his signature dishes, I have to say that I didn’t find it too impressive… the filling for the tart was basically orange/lemon custard from concentrated orange/lemon juice – that was delicious, I really liked it, but as a tart I thought it somehow lacked richness and the filling didn’t quite seem to work with the crusty base. Still, I liked the idea of caramelising sugar to finish off as it gives a nice texture as well as enhancing the taste, so maybe I can use the idea for something else in the future.
After this minor disappointment, I was going to make something completely different, but because I had made a quite a lot of tart dough in advance, I decided to stick to making a tart this time. I found a lemon tart recipe in Desserts by Pierre Herme, which seemed better than Mr Ramsay’s one in terms of richness of the filling. It has the same ingredients as lemon curd, but cooling the cream significantly before adding the butter gives a lovely silky texture. And the result? That was a winner as I imagined. The tangy yet rich flavour works really well with the almond and vanilla flavoured tart dough. The original recipe for the filling used only lemons, but to get an orangey hue (and taste), I substituted one third of the quantities of lemon juice/zest with orange.
This dessert caught my eye when I was cooling the filling for the tart, it seemed straightforward to make, so I gave it a quick go. I found the recipe in donna hay magazine – it’s a frozen dessert with apricot, honey, greek yoghurt and créme fraiche. Although I could sort of imagine how it was going to taste, it was good fun making cone shapes with baking paper and I think this is the kind of thing you can enjoy making with small children (although I don’t have any!). I liked the texture as well as the taste, although I think that adding less créme fraiche might be better for this combination.
1 fully baked 10 1/4-inch 26cm tart shell made from Sweet Tart Dough, cooled to room temperature
Keep the cooled crust, in its ring, on the baking sheet or transfer it to a cardboard cake round (you can make the crust up to 8 hours ahead and keep it in its ring at room temperature).
1 1/2 cups Lemon Cream
transparent glaze or lemon jelly or apple jelly
lemon slice, blueberries and/or strawberries, optional
Spoon the lemon cream into the crust and use a long metal offset spatula to smooth the top. If the cream is hot, put the tart in the freezer for half an hour to cool it; if not, proceed with the glazing.
Warm the glaze if necessary, or, if you’re using jelly, heat the jelly in a microwave oven or a small saucepan over low heat until it liquefies. Pour or spoon the glaze evenly over the top of the tart, reserving a little of the glaze if you’d like to finish the tart with a slice of lemon or a small cluster of berries. Brush the fruit with a little hot glaze or jelly to give it a shine. The tart can be chilled until needed or served immediately.
Sweet tart dough
10 ounces unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1/2 cup (lightly packed) ground blanched almonds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean pulp or 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
to make the dough in a mixer
Place the butter in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on low speed until creamy. Add the sugar, almonds, salt, vanilla and eggs and, still working on low speed, beat to blend the ingredients, scraping down the paddle and the sides of the bowl as needed. The dough may look curdled – that’s all right. With the machine still on low, add the flour in three or four additions and mix only until the mixture comes together to form a soft, moist dough – a matter of seconds. Don’t overdo it.
to shape and chill
No matter the method you used to make the dough, gather it into a ball and divide it into three or four pieces: three pieces for 10 1/4-inch tarts, four for 8 3/4-inch tarts (of course you can press the dough into one large disk and wrap each one in plastic. Allow the dough to rest in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or for up to 2 days before rolling and baking. At this stage, the dough can be wrapped airtight and frozen for up to a month).
For each tart, place a buttered tart ring on a parchment-lined baking sheet and keep close at hand. Work with one piece of dough at a time; keep the remaining dough in the fridge.
Working on a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a round between 1/16 and 1/8 inch thick, lifting the dough often and making certain that the work surface and the dough are amply floured at all times (because this dough is so rich, it can be difficult to roll, but a well-floured surface makes the job easier). Roll the dough up and around your rolling pin and unroll it onto the tart ring. Fit the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the ring, then run your rolling pin across the top of the ring to cut off the excess. If the dough cracks or splits as you work, don’t worry – patch the cracks with scraps and just make certain not to stretch the dough that’s in the pan (what you stretch now will shrink later). Prick the dough all over with the tines of a fork (unless the tart will be filled with a runny custard or other loose filling) and chill it for at least 30 minutes in the fridge or freezer.
When you are ready to bake the crust(s), preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Fit a circle of parchment paper or foil into each crust (cut the paper large enough to extend above the top of the tart) and fill with dried beans or rice. To partially bake the crust, bake for 18-20 minutes, or until lightly colored. If the crust needs to be fully baked, remove the parchment and beans and bake for another 5-7 minutes, until golden. Transfer the crust to a rack to cool.
1 cup sugar
zest of 3 lemons
4 large eggs
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
10 1/2 ounces unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-sized pieces, softened
Put a saucepan of water over heat and bring the water to the simmer. Place the sugar and lemon zest in a large metal bowl that can be fitted into the pan of simmering water. Off the heat, rub the sugar and zest together between your fingers until the sugar is moist, grainy and very aromatic. Whisk in the eggs and then the lemon juice.
Fit the bowl into the pan of simmering water (making certain that the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl). Cook, stirring with the whisk, until the cream thickens and reaches 180 degrees F, as measured on an instant-read thermometer. As you cook the cream, whisking all the while to keep the eggs from overheating and scrambling, you’ll see that at first the cream is light and foamy, then the bubbles get larger, and finally, as the cream starts to thicken, the whisk leaves tracks. Pay particular attention at this point – the tracks mean the cream is almost ready. Keep whisking, keep checking the temperature, and keep your patience – depending on how much water you’ve got simmering beneath the bowl, it could take as long as 10 minutes for the cream to reach 180 degrees F.
Pull the cream from the heat as soon as it is cooked and strain it into the container of a blender or food processor, or into a clean bowl large enough in which to beat it with an immersion blender. Let the cream rest at room temperature, stirring occasionally, until it cools to 140 degrees F, about 10 minutes.
Working with the blender on high speed, or using a food processor or immersion blender, beat the cream while adding the pieces of butter, about five at a time. Scrape down the sides of the container or bowl as needed. When all the butter has been incorporated, continue beating the cream for another 3 to 4 minutes – extra insurance for a light and perfectly smooth lemon cream.
Apricot and honey frozen cones
825g tin apricots, drained
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
2 cups plain greek-style yoghurt
3/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup créme fraiche or light sour cream
Place the apricots, sugar and water in a medium sauce pan over low heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Place the yoghurt, honey, vanilla and créme fraiche in a bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.
To make the cones, cut out 10 × 15 × 30cm lengths of baking paper. Twist the baking paper to form a cone shape making sure there is no hole at the pointy end and staple to secure. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the apricot mixture into each cone. Top with 1/4 of the yoghurt mixture. Place upright in the freezer for 2 hours or until set. To serve, invert the cones on to a serving plate and peel off the baking paper.