Citrus Tart

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! 🙂

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Citrus Tart

[print recipe]

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.

Filling:

  • 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

Preparation:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Transfer baked tart to a wire rack and let cool. Chill completely in the refrigerator.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

 

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Citrus Zest

Citrus Tart

Orange slices

Citrus Syrup

Citrus Tart

 

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Red Currant Meringue Pie (Tom and Jerry would be proud)

I have finally decided to give it a try and make a pie. As you may have read in my previous posts, pies are not my specialty… I didn’t grow up in the United States and my grandma didn’t bake pies, so I never learned how to make them. The first time I saw a pie was in a Tom and Jerry cartoon when I was a kid. I wasn’t sure what it was, I knew it was some kind of desert that you can throw in a person’s face! 😀

The first time I ever tried a pie was when I came to live in the United States. Since then, I’ve made many deserts, but never a good old, classic pie. It took me quite some time to work up the courage to make one and here it is:

Red Currant Meringue Pie

[Printable recipe]

Crust:

  • 1 ½ cup (200 g) flour
  • 1 stick (115 g) butter
  • 2/3 cup (80 g) powdered sugar
  • 0.7 oz (20 g) ground almonds
  • 1 egg yolk
  • A pinch of salt

+  wax or parchment paper (to fit the bottom of the pie dish), dry beans or chick peas

Pie Filling:

  • 10 oz (285 g) red currants
  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cup (100 g) powdered sugar
  • 2/3 cup (150 ml) heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

Meringue:

  • 3 egg whites (weighed)
  • Sugar (double weight of the egg withes weight)*

* 1 measure of egg whites = 2 measures of sugar

Preparation:

  1. For the crust combine flour, powder sugar, ground almonds and a pinch of salt. Add sliced butter and work it into flour, add the egg yolk. Mix and knead until well combined. Form a dough ball, wrap in plastic and let it rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Prepare a pie dish, grease it well with butter. Heat the oven to  355 F (180 C).
  3. On a floured surface roll out the dough in a circle to fit the pie dish. With the help of the rolling pin transfer the dough from the working surface to the dish, poke the bottom few times with a fork, trim the dough evenly and crimp the edges.
  4. Place the wax paper on the bottom, place the dry chick peas on the top of it. Bake for about 10-12 minutes (don’t let it brown).
  5. Remove the pie crust from the oven, cool for just a few minutes, then remove chick peas and the wax paper.
  6. Place the washed red currants on the top of the crust.
  7. In a bowl mix together eggs, powder sugar, heavy cream and corn starch until smooth. Pour over red currants and bake for another 20-25 minutes until pie sets. If desired place a ring of aluminum foil over the edges of the pie to prevent burning.
  8. While the pie is baking, weigh the egg whites. Your sugar amount will depend on the weight of the egg whites (egg whites 1 measure = sugar 2 measures).
  9. Prepare the meringue: combine egg whites and sugar and mix together until combined using a whisk. Heat it lightly over a hot water dish (bain marie) about 3 minutes mixing constantly. Don’t let the water boil. Transfer the mixture into a mixer bowl and mix on high speed for about 10 minutes or until mixture becomes very shiny and firm.
  10. Place the meringue in a cake frosting bag and decorate the pie top. Place in the oven to 250 F (120 C) for 5 minutes and then lower to 200 F (95 C)  for another 10 minutes until nice crust forms.
  11. Cool completely and enjoy!

Bon Appetite!