| 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