You know when you see foods that’s too pretty. Like it can’t possible taste good?
I kept seeing pictures of blood orange tarts, and thinking “oh my gosh they are so beautiful, but I bet they aren’t super delicious”. I’m rarely a big fan of cooked oranges. I felt like baking them, even in a buttery crust, might not be the best idea. I mean, blood oranges are perfect as is, why do anything to them?
Well, I’m here to tell you that you should.
You should make a pastry cream, you should make some super flakey dough, and you should layer a whole bunch of blood oranges on top.
Because suddenly the butter and vanilla bring something extraordinary to the blood oranges, and the oranges themselves stay almost exactly the same. They are still juicy, and bright and crisp, they just happen to have married themselves with some sweeter things.
It’s a simple tart, but one that’s rather showy, and one that perfectly uses up the remarkable produce available right now.
Blood Orange Tart
For Flakey Pastry
1 cup Butter, cut into small cubes
2 cups AP Flour
1 tsp Salt
For Pastry Cream
1 cup Milk
½ Vanilla Bean, or 1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
2 tbsp Cornstarch or AP Flour
¼ cup Brown Sugar
8 Blood Oranges
1 Egg Yolk
1 tbsp Milk
¼ cup Coarse Sugar
Bring the milk and vanilla bean up to a simmer in a small pot.
Meanwhile mix together the sugar and egg in a medium sized bowl. Add in the cornstarch or flour, depending on what you use.
Slowly add in the hot milk, whisking the whole time. Pour the mixture back into the pot, and turn the heat down to low.
Stir constantly until the mixture thickens consistently.
Immediately strain into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill.
Cut the tops and bottoms off the oranges. Cut the skins off too, leaving no white pith.
Cut the oranges widthwise, into rounds.
On a large clean surface mix together the butter, flour and salt.
With a rolling pin roll the butter into the flour, scraping the strips of butter off the rolling pin, and the counter. Keep rolling and scraping until all of the butter is stretchd into long thin strips.
Tablespoon by tablespoon add in the cold water, with the help of a pastry scraper gently mix the flour and butter with the water. You want to keep the butter in strips as much as possible.
Once the dough has begun to come together flatten it with your palms, and fold the dough in half. Do this again and again until the dough has lots of layers, but before the dough begins to get tough. It’s best to stay on the side of too soft, and only fold the dough a could times.
Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Roll the dough into a large rectangle and fold it gently into quarters. Lift the rectangle and place it onto the lined tray.
Scrape out the pastry cream into the middle of the dough. Spread it out, and cover the whole thing except for an inch and half border around the edges.
Layer the slices of oranges on top.
Fold the edges of pastry up around the fruit, pleating as necessary.
Put the tray in your freezer for at least 25 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Take the tart out of the freezer.
Mix together the yolk and milk in a small bowl.
Brush the edges of the pastry with egg wash and sprinkle liberally with the sugar, both on the fruit and on the edges.
Bake for 35-45 minutes, until the pastry is nicely browned.
Let the tart cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting and eating!