Blood oranges lend a stunning color to the curd that fills these tartlets. If you can’t find them, the juice of regular oranges can be substituted. Blood orange juice, however, is typically more tart than the juice of other varieties, so you will need to reduce the amount of sugar in the filling to about 2/3 cup (5 oz./155 g).
Blood Orange Tartlets
For the dough:
8 Tbs. (1 stick) (4 oz./125 g) unsalted butter
3 oz. (90 g) cream cheese
1 cup (5 oz./155 g) all-purpose flour, sifted
For the filling:
2 whole eggs, plus 3 egg yolks
1⁄2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) fresh blood orange juice, strained
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice, strained
3⁄4 cup (6 oz./185 g) sugar
1⁄2 cup (4 oz./125 g) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 tsp. grated blood orange zest, plus more for garnish (optional)
Lightly sweetened whipped cream for serving
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter and cream cheese on low speed until smooth and blended, about 45 seconds. Add the flour and mix until a smooth dough forms. Transfer the dough to a work surface and shape into a thick log. Wrap with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator until ready to use, up to 3 days.
Cut the dough into 6 equal portions, and place one portion in each of six 4-inch (10-cm) tartlet pans. Press the dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of each pan until it is even with the rim. Trim any overhang. Freeze until the dough is firm, about 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line the tartlets with foil and fill with pie weights. Place on a baking sheet and bake until the crusts start to look dry, about 15 minutes. Remove the weights and foil. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (180°C) and continue to bake until the crusts are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Let cool on the sheet.
Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F (165°C). In the top of a double boiler over (not touching) barely simmering water, whisk together the whole eggs, egg yolks, orange juice, lemon juice and sugar. Whisk constantly until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and registers 160°F (71°C) on an instant-read thermometer, about 12 minutes. Remove from over the water and pour through a medium-mesh sieve into a bowl. Add the butter and orange zest and stir until the butter melts and is incorporated. Let stand for 10 minutes, then spoon into the cooled tartlet shells.
Bake the tartlets until the centers are set, 12 to 15 minutes. Let the tartlets cool on the sheet on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to overnight. The filling will thicken
To serve, unmold each tartlet and top with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of zest. Serves 6.
Find more mouthwatering ways to end a meal in our
cookbook Dessert of the Day, by Kim Laidlaw.