Cara Cara Orange Tart

With Spring nearly here, I haven't been in the mood to cook much.  I get fixated on dirt, and there is no time for the kitchen.  This afternoon was the exception.  I have been dreaming of Cara Cara Oranges, they are my favorite oranges and they are in season right now.  I picked a few up at the store the other day and there were three sitting on the counter last night begging for something to be done with them.  I grabbed my mandolin and sliced an orange super thin and made it into quick sliced candied oranges.  Then, this afternoon, I whipped up a little pastry cream, orange curd, and paté sucre, and made a fantastic orange tart.  It turned out beautiful, and it was just what I wanted...yum!!!  Plus, it's Oscar night and what goes better with Oscar than something shimmery, tropical, and  I think that this one takes the cake on the red carpet!  

This recipe takes just a bit of juggling.  You want to start with the candied orange slices and let them sit overnight to dry.  Then, tackle the paté sucré, then pastry cream, and lastly orange curd.  Each little recipe really isn't that difficult, I promise, it looks a little intimidating, but it's not.  Make all of the pieces in advance and then put it all together a few hours before serving.

backyard farmgals, with a bit of inspiration from Alice Waters

backyard farmgals

1 cara cara orange
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar

With a mandolin, slice the orange on the thinnest setting, if you have trouble getting a perfect slice, try turning the setting up one notch so it's barely thicker.  In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the water and the sugar and stir to slightly dissolve, add the oranges and stir carefully to incorporate without breaking the oranges.  Allow to come to a boil and then turn the heat down until you get just a slight bubbling.  Cook the oranges until most of the liquid has evaporated and oranges are soft, about 45-60 minutes.  (Watch these carefully while they are cooking.  If you let it get too hot, you can burn the sugar.)  

Remove the oranges from the pot and spread out onto a sheet pan covered with parchment and sprinkled with extra fine sugar.  Lay the oranges in the sugar, not overlapping.  Sprinkle a little more sugar on the tops of the oranges and then set aside overnight to dry. 

Alice Waters: The Art of Simple Food

8 tbsp butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 egg yolk
1 1/4 cup flour

Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy.  Add the salt, vanilla, and egg yolk and mix until completely combined.  Add the flour and mix well until there are no dry patches.  Chill for 4 hours or up to overnight.  Allow to sit at room temperature for 20-30 minutes before rolling.

Between two pieces of parchment, roll the dough to slightly larger than the pan.  Place the dough into the pan and press it down.  Flatten the top edges with your fingers and patch in any cracks with extra dough.  Prick the bottom of the tart with a fork.  Bake at 350º for 15 minutes.  After removing the tart shell, you may have to press the bottom of the tart down with a spatula to relieve any air pockets that developed while cooking.  Set aside.  

Alice Waters: The Art of Simple Food

(option: you can omit the pastry cream and double the orange curd - fill the tart with curd and top with orange slices)

1 cup milk
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp flour
1 tbsp butter
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp Grand Marnier

In a small saucepan, heat milk until steaming, but not boiling.  While the milk heats, beat eggs and sugar in a small bowl until thick.  Add the flour and beat until smooth.  Continue beating while slowly adding the hot milk to temper the eggs.  Pour the mixture into the saucepan and place over medium heat.  Continue beating until mixture thickens and comes to a simmer.  Stir with a wooden spoon or a spatula 2 or 3 minutes more, carefully scraping down the sides and bottom of the pan to prevent scorching.  Remove from heat, add butter, salt, vanilla and stir until the butter is melted and the cream is smooth.  Add the Grand Marnier and stir.  Transfer to a small bowl and cover with plastic right on the surface of the cream to prevent a skin from forming.  Chill thoroughly.

backyard farmgals

4 large egg yolks
2 whole eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup cara cara orange juice
4 tbsp butter cut into pieces
grated zest of 2 oranges (grate the oranges first)

Whisk together the yolks and whole eggs.  Add them to a saucepan with the sugar and orange juice.  Cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens to a pudding-like consistency, 8-10 minutes.  Remove from heat, stir in the butter mixing with the wooden spoon until incorporated.  Add the zest and transfer to a small bowl, cover with plastic right on the surface of the curd.  Chill. 


Preheat the oven to 350º.  Fill the tart shell with pastry cream leaving a 1/4-inch of room at the top of the shell.  Place in the oven to bake for 15 minutes or until edges begin to brown and cream is set.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.  

Once cooled, top the pastry cream with the orange curd, spreading evenly.  Top with slices of candied orange and chill.  Cut into small slices to serve and then's sooooooo good!


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