Isn’t this time of the year perfect for making some citrussy treats?! This past weekend I was totally obsessed with thoughts of making a dessert with the citrus fruits that were waiting in my fridge for their turn to be used. I went through pages and pages of familiar recipes but nothing was really calling my name.
That same weekend my daughter asked me to take her to the library, and while I was waiting for her to checkout her books, a displayed cookbook caught my eye. I went over to take a look and saw that it was John Barricelli’s “The Seasonal Baker”. I picked up the book, which suddenly flipped open to a recipe for a French Lemon Tart. Ha! It sounded super delicious so I decided to give it a try. Instead of just using only lemons I used some oranges and a lime. I also adapted ingredients for the filling and maybe next time I would reduce the baking time because my crust turned out quite dark. Nonetheless, the tart was to-die-for, citrussy, sweet with a hint of pungent lime. For those who don’t favor lime taste, I would suggest to go for oranges and lemons only (or lemons only as the original). And yes, I am totally ordering this cookbook from Amazon! 🙂
Crust: this quantity of ingredients is enough for one double crust or two single 9-inch crusts
- 2 cups (255 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (225 g) unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup (50 g) sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk.
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup (200 g) sugar
- 6 TBSP (85 g) melted butter
- 3 TBSP crème fraiche or sour cream
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) heavy cream
- Zest of 1 organic orange, 1 organic lemon and 1/2 organic lime (coarsely grated)
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3/4 TSP salt
- 1/2 TSP almond extract
Candied lemon and orange slices:
- 2 cups (400 g) sugar
- 1/2 lemon and ½ orange sliced thinly
- 1 cup (236 ml) water
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) of orange jam
- 1 TBSP of freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 TBSP water
- In a mixer bowl beat the butter, sugar and salt until light and fluffy. Add the whole egg and the yolk and mix to combine. Add the flour and mixed until it has been absorbed. Divide the dough in half, flatten each half into a disk, wrap in plastic and leave to rest in the fridge for about 2 hours.
- On a floured surface roll out the half of the dough and press into a 9 –inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Chill 15-20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 365 F. Put the tart pan on a cookie sheet and place it all together into the lower part of the oven. Bake until edges just start to darken (about 15 minutes). Remove from the oven and cool completely.
- To make the filling in a medium bowl whisk together eggs, sugar, melted butter, crème fraiche, citrus zest, lemon/orange juice, salt and almond extract. Let stand for 5 minutes.
- Place the tart shell on to a baking sheet. Place the baking sheet into the oven. Carefully pour the filling mixture into the tart shell. Bake until filling is completely set and no longer jiggles in the center (about 30 minutes). The filling will remain bright yellow.
- Transfer baked tart to a wire rack and let cool. Chill completely in the refrigerator.
- To make the candied citrus slices place the sugar and water in a medium sauce pan and bring it to boil. Reduce to a simmer. Add the lemon and orange slices and poach at very low simmer until the rinds are translucent (about 40 minutes). Let cool completely in the syrup. Drain the slices and pat dry with paper towels.
- Set the cooled tart on a top a large can and allow sides of the pan to fall. Place the tart on a serving plate. Arrange candied lemon and orange slices on the top of the tart. In a small saucepan, stir together jam, lemon juice and water. Bring to boil. Set a fine strainer over a small bowl. Strain the glaze into the bowl. With a pastry brush, brush the glaze over the candied fruit slices and crust.
It’s that time of the year again when I open up a Christmas Bakery in my own little kitchen to do labor of love. Baking has always been one of my favorite hobbies but baking Christmas cookies goes into a special category. I try to involve the whole family in the process. Kids and I are usually mixing, baking, assembling, decorating and guess who is tasting? The man of the house! That was easy to predict, wasn’t it? 😀 These cookies are one of my favorites. You should try and see how date and orange filling fits perfectly into the cream cheese pastry!
Date-Orange Swirl Cookies
- 1 ¼ cup dates (pitted and finely chopped)
- 3/4 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 TBSP butter
- 3 cups + 1 TBSP all purpose flour
- 2 TSP vanilla extract
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 4 oz cream cheese (softened)
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2 eggs
- 1 TSP baking soda
- 1/2 TSP salt
- Mix dates, orange juice, sugar, butter and 1 TBSP flour in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook stirring often, for about 10 minutes or until thick. Add 1 TSP vanilla; set aside.
- Beat brown sugar, cream cheese and butter in a large bowl until creamy. Add eggs and remaining TSP vanilla; beat 2 minutes.
- Combine remaining 3 cups flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Add to cream cheese mixture and stir until blended. Divide dough in half. Roll one half of the dough on a lightly floured surface into 12 X 9 inch rectangle. Spread half date mixture over dough and tightly roll it up jelly-roll style. Wrap in plastic wrap and leave it in the freezer for at least 1 hour. Repeat with remaining dough and date mixture.
- Preheat oven to 350 F ( ). Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Cut dough into 1/4 inch slices. Place them 1 inch apart and bake about 12 minutes or until golden.
For Valentines to all of You:
My all time favorite love poem and some heart shaped mini chocolate cakes!
i carry your heart with me by E. E. Cummings
i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)
Valentine’s Heart Mini Cakes
~ Orange flavored cakes dipped in chocolate ~
For the cake:
- 8.8 oz (250 g) softened butter
- 1 cup (200 g) sugar
- 1 pack Vanilla sugar (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
- 6 eggs
- 4 tbsp sour cream
- 1 organic orange (zest and juice)
- 3 ¼ cup (400 g) flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
For the chocolate dip:
- 7 oz (200 g) semi-sweet chocolate
- 5.5 tbsp (80 g) butter
- ¼ cup (50 ml) milk
For the white chocolate dip:
- 7 oz (200 g) white chocolate
- 5.5 tbsp (80 g) butter
- ¼ cup (50 ml) milk
- Various kinds of Valentines sprinkles
- 12 x 17 in (32 x 44 cm) baking sheet
- Cooling wire rack
- For the cake, mix softened butter and sugar until foamy, add eggs one by one, mixing about 1 minute after each addition.
- Add sour cream, orange zest and juice, mix for another minute or two.
- Combine flour and baking powder. Fold into butter mixture by hand.
- Line baking sheet with parchment paper, pour the batter and evenly spread in the pan.
- Bake at 375 F (190 C ) until light gold color. Cool completely.
- Use a large heart shaped cookie cutter (about 2.5 – 3 in ) and cut out individual cakes. I had about 28 of them.
- For the dip, break the chocolate into small pieces, put it into a stainless steel bowl, add butter. Place the bowl over a dish with boiling water, let it all melt, mix until smooth, at the end add milk.
- Dip each heart cake into the melted chocolate, put sprinkles on and place on the wire rack to cool down. Keep in the fridge and remove at least 30 minutes before serving.
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!