Friday, February 11, 2011

French Fridays with Dorie: Orange-Almond Tart

Fat chance I was going to sit out on this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe, a classic French tart with a twist. If you're strolling down the streets of Paris, you're likely to see this Orange-Almond Tart displayed in the window of Patisserie Gérard Mulot.

 Photo:  Orange-Almond Tart,  from
Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours

If you’ve visited There's a Newf in My Soup lately, you know I am cooking my way through Dorie’s beautiful cookbook, Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours. Although FFwD members are not required to participate every week, I’ve found it impossible to resist any of the recipes thus far.

This tart is composed of a delicate, buttery, pâte sablée crust and a silky, luscious, almond cream filling. The surprise twist is the use of oranges, a fruit you don’t typically associate with a baked tart.

I added a few twists of my own, by adapting the 9" tart into pretty, four-inch tartlets. I also used a combination of blood and navel oranges, and arranged them in an overlapping rosette pattern. The crimson oranges provided a little burst of color and sweetness. Dorie recommends leaving a little more space between the orange supremes so the almond cream can puff up around the fruit, but mine managed to do its thing.


To achieve the most flavor and texture from the fruit, the cut supremes are dried for at least an hour, preferably several hours, between triple layers of paper towels.



The tart shell is made using the recipe for Sweet Tart Dough. The dough comes together quickly in the food processor by pulsing all-purpose flour, confectioners' sugar, salt, unsalted butter, and an egg yolk. Just when you're tempted to add a few teaspoons of ice water, it instantly clumps together and is ready to be dumped out, lightly kneaded, and refrigerated. The tart shell is partially baked and cooled prior to filling with almond cream and fruit, and then the tart is baked again.



Almond cream is a pastry chef's building block for baked fruit tarts. I was surprised to learn it is customary to add a splash of dark rum. No turned up nose in this kitchen...next to my expensive bottle of Armagnac, is a bottle of Myer's Dark Rum. The almond cream is also prepared with ease in the food processor, with butter, sugar, almond flour, all-purpose flour, cornstarch, an egg, and dark rum. It can be made in advance and refrigerated for up to three days.


Granted, there are a few steps involved in creating this tart, or tartlets - cutting and drying the orange supremes; preparing, rolling and partially baking the tart shell; preparing the almond cream; assembling the tart; and baking. However, preparation can be spread out over two days and you will be rewarded with a refreshing, light and magnificent dessert, without a flight to Paris. Bonne idées include variations with poached pears or sugar plums.


You don't need to get as carried away with the design, but I find myself easily entertained at times.


Just before serving, you have several options...dusting with confectioners' sugar, brushing an apple jelly glaze over the top, and/or adding a dollop of whipped cream. I went with confectioners' sugar and a dark rum spiked whipped cream.


The tartlets made their way down the street to Kai and Hill's for Super Bowl Sunday. Thank goodness they were light, and not too sweet, after filling up on John's spicy Red Beef and Black Bean Chili and Kai's succulent ribs.


"And every day when I've been good, I get an orange after food." - Robert Louis Stevenson

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27 comments:

Sinful Southern Sweets said...

Just perfectly lovely!

Sarah said...

I can't believe how gorgeous your tartlets look. That rosette idea is genius! I was just happy that I got my oranges in a circle. Beautiful!

Kudos Kitchen said...

Oh my, you're tartlets are simply perfect! Love the addition of the blood oranges. Such nice contrast on the top and the way you made them look like roses....AMAZING! Wonderful to look at and I'm sure they tasted scrumptious too.

Ms. Hobby said...

The blood oranges give it great color, and the rosettes turned out wonderful after baking!

Creating Amazing Meals said...

Absolutely lovely! I made mine with pears this time, but I will remember yours with blood oranges when I make the orange version.

KB from Prof Who Cooks said...

I have no words for the beauty of those tarts. And I bet they tasted just as good as they look! You are really an inspiration.

Cher said...

The look of the blood oranges in the tartlets is just stunning. Beautiful work.

slongcoat said...

Beautiful! The rosette design is just amazing!

Steph said...

Your photos are so beautiful! The blood oranges were inspired and the tarts are so lovely. I'm in awe...nice work!!!!

Lizzy said...

Gorgeous!!! That splash of red in the middle was ingenious!!!

Kelly said...

I just LOVE the use of the blood oranges--and gorgeous arrangement you made! I am a huge dog lover, so glad I stopped by!

lola said...

Okay, you win the prize. Your tartlets are truly beautiful. Your pictures are good too.

DessertByCandy said...

I love your photos! And using the smaller blood orange segments for the centre is absolutely brilliant. Looks like a rose with the gradiant colours.

Jennifer (Delicieux) said...

I love the rosette decoration on your tarts and especially the use of blood orange, which I love.

Lindsey said...

Such a great idea to mix the citrus! Beautiful photos!

SoupAddict said...

Well done!

yummychunklet said...

Your blood orange tarts look so good! Congrats on having that photo on foodgawker! And, thanks for commenting on my blog. I've added your blog to my Google Reader and look forward to reading your future posts!

Candy Girl said...

Your mini tarts with the rosettes are gorgeous! I'm incredibly impressed!

tricia s. said...

Spectacular results ! Your choice for the blood oranges was genius. The photos are also amazing... extra credit for the adorable Eiffel tower decor :)

Jen @ My Morning Chocolate said...

The rose pattern is so pretty! Very creative.

Kris' Kitchen said...

I love your tartlets with the beautiful oranges in a creative design looking like a beautiful rose...what a great idea. You are creative and your tarts are inspiring.

Kudos Kitchen said...

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You're in the company of some other great and stylish food bloggers so I hope you'll pay this award forward. Congratulations again and Happy Valentine's Day!

Betsy said...

Gorgeous! I made tartlets too, but couldn't fit much fruit on top. Your rosettes solved that beautifully. I've been filling the shells one at a time, so I'll try your design on the final one. Thanks for the inspiration.

Lana said...

Beautiful tartlets! I covet the mini pans, and I don't even own a regular size tart pan. Greedy me:)
Great job on the tarts and photos. I used blood oranges, and they were gorgeous - I was reluctant to put them in the oven knowing it would ruin the look:)
Greetings from Orange County, neighbor!

Ally said...

Beautiful!

Anonymous said...

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Edouard

guilelessgourmande said...

Wow, those look really lovely! I think I'll try that recipe again :)