french orange cream tart
Dad is running wild: always look forward to the 10pm phone call from the nursing home saying "your Dad is using his walker as a weapon". Dad's kept me busy this week with a trip to hospital plus two falls at the nursing home (he is fine... though I suspect his leaving a trail of staff and residents in his wake), soooo, I'm behind with my usual blog posts but I have finished my bake for Rose's Alpha Bakers. :)
I'm sure many of you are familiar with (or have eaten 402 slices) of the classic French Tarte Au Citron (Lemon Tart)... today's tart is a lovely alternative to lemon tart using oranges.
Started by making a template as per instructed by Rose to use as my pastry cutting guide. Hmm, The Simpson's ruler probably belies the sophistication of the tart... but I needed "inch" measurements.
Thought I should make it food safe, so wrapped in foil.
Pastry time started with processing the cold butter cubes with raw sugar until the sugar disappeared.
Flour, cream and egg are added and you have a crumbly mix ready to be turned out and pressed together.
Pastry making always has a touch of alchemy to it, the crumbs from the food processor become "pate sucree pastry" with a few simple presses.
Ready to roll, between two pieces of lightly floured plastic wrap.
Here comes the bit I have never done before, the pastry with the bottom layer of plastic wrap is draped over the back of a cake tin.
Then your loose bottomed tart tin is fitted on top and the whole thing is flipped.
I was wondering why I was doing this instead of chucking the pastry in the tin like I usually do (ok, not chucking, don't chuck... gently placing in the tin) but I "got it", the reason for doing it that is. What you end up with is a perfectly shaped pastry case, with flat bottom and neat corners.
Case is blind baked as per normal.
The filling is a breeze to make and if you do get little air bubbles on top of your unbaked poured mix, use your gas torch to lightly go over the surface, it will pop all bubbles before it goes in the oven. Ha, my filling is almost neon orange thanks to local free range eggs that had the brightest yolks I have ever seen!
After baking and chilling it's time to fire up the torch it's time to brûlée. A local cafe uses the term "burnished" when they are talking about their lemon tart "burnished lemon tart" and that's really what the finish is like on this tart. Only a few teaspoons of icing sugar is used/brûléed to become a whisper thin burnished sugar finish.
A small amount of icing sugar is applied and torched, after a brief chilling a second small amount is sifted over torched. I thought at first it the sugar wasn't going to caramelise, but it's just a matter of holding the torch a little closer and a little longer in one spot than you think.
I choose not the neatest tart slice today, but rather a shot of where the icing sugar was a little thick... you can see on slicing the sugar lifting. You don't want the pretty, delicate appearance of the tart spoilt ... although I did crave the "burnt sugar" crust that the word brûlée evokes.
The accidental misfire photograph of the tart shows the light shining through the pastry. Dang, this is the thinnest prettiest pastry case I have ever made!!!
Would I bake again? Yes, I'm going to bake for Christmas this year I do love "Christmas/oranges". I'll skip the torching and go for snow sugar and red currants to decorate.
Would I make any changes? perhaps check the bitterness or not of the zest before I used it. The recipe has a little lemon zest and I forgot how bitter my backyard lemons are! A little bit of bitter aftertaste in an otherwise perfect tart.
How it works... now I've joined the fabulous existing alpha bakers, once a week I will post about what I have baked from Rose Levy Beranbaum's 'The Baking Bible'. This won't include the recipe due to copyright and publisher restrictions however, I will be posting how it went and photos of making/baking the gorgeous baked goods.
Happy Baking :)
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