It's almost my favorite month of the year! For baking, at least. I have so many Valentine's Day recipes I want to try out and this one was first on my list. I found a great deal on blood oranges and decided to make this blood orange curd tart inspired by this recipe but tweaked. The curd was super simple to make and the crust set up really well and lifted out of the tart pan beautifully. I didn't get to taste any because I am temporarily on a no sugar challenge O_o (more on that in a future post), so I sent it with my mom to work because she is a teacher and anything left in the teacher break room always gets eaten!
Blood oRange Curd Tart with BrownED Butter crust (makes 1 9x9 square tart and 6-7 small tartlets
For the crust:
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
- pinch salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 cups flour
For the blood orange curd:
- 1/8 cup cornstarch
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 6 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 1/4 cups of freshly squeezed blood orange juice, strained
- 1 stick of unsalted butter
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
First, brown your butter. Start with 2 sticks of butter in a pot. Heat on medium until the butter turns dark and has a nutty smell to it, but doesn't smell burned. Pour butter into bowl with sugar and vanilla and salt and stir until sugar is almost entirely dissolved (make sure you get the browned bits from the bottom of the pot because that is where the flavor is!). Add flour 1 cup at a time. It will go from being a soupy mess to resembling a crumbly dough. If dough is too crumbly, add a tablespoon of melted butter (no need to brown first).
Take approximately 1/2 of your dough and begin pressing into your tart pan (circular will also work). Shape sides as shown to make sure you have a sturdy layer. Try to make it as even as possible, without any super thick places on the bottom (no one wants an inch of crust an scant filling in a bar).
With leftover dough press out a small piece using the palm of your hand until it is bigger than your tart pan. Lay crust over pan and then press over the edges to cut the excess away as seen below. Repeat for all tart pans. With the rest of your scraps you can use cookie cutters to cut out whatever shapes you want (I did a bunch of hearts).
Bake your large tart for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. The edges will look slightly brown. Your scraps will cook in 10 minutes so watch them closely. The small tartlets cook in about 20-22 minutes.
While the crust is baking make your curd. Start by juicing and zesting your oranges, and get a pot of water boiling on the stove in preparation for a double boiler. Using a heat-resistant bowl, combine all ingredients *except butter* and stir well. Using whisk, place bowl over boiling water and whisk constantly. The mixture will begin to thicken. When it coats the back of the spoon thickly and seems curd-like, remove from heat and add butter, a tablespoon at a time. Keep whisking.
Finish curd by pressing it through a fine mesh sieve. *You do not want to skip this step!!!!* You'd be surprised how even with a ton of constant whisking, a little bit of that egg white will be cooked, leaving you with a lumpy curd. This part also removes the orange peel that you added in earlier for flavor. Pour hot curd into crust shells and bake again at 350 for 15 minutes.
Remove tarts from oven and allow to sit for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, to decorate mine I crumbled some of the extra baked tart scraps in a ziplock and sprinkled them on 1/2 of the tart after it had cooled.
With an extra blood orange I cut thin slices and cut out 3 hearts for the large tart. I also used some of the mini heart shapes to decorate. You can really do whatever you want, I think it would look just as good with a light dusting of powdered sugar to keep it simple.
This is what mine (below) looked like when it was finished! It should cool in the fridge for 4 hours before serving, and is best eaten chilled. Once cool to touch, you can also remove it from the tart pan if you have the kind that has a separate bottom (highly recommend!).