Thursday, March 1, 2012

Mini Blood Orange Tarts

Have you ever had a blood orange? They look pretty much like any other orange on the outside, but when you get to the flesh inside, it's deep red. I love the unique color - it's beautiful. The blood orange deserves to be the center of attention and that's what this dessert is all about.

My husband is not much of a dessert fan (seems crazy, right?!) ... he'd much rather have some tortilla chips with salsa. He is always a good sport and tests all of the things I create in the kitchen, but rarely does he request a dessert. This blood orange tart is an exception - it's one of his favorites and he recently requested it when we spotted the display of blood oranges at Whole Foods. I was all over it! Jumping at the opportunity to make something he'd truly enjoy.

Mini Blood Orange Tarts
For the orange curd... 
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup fresh blood orange juice
3 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon grated blood orange peel
1 tablespoon corn starch
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, cut into pieces, room temperature

For the crust...
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon whipping cream
1 large egg yolk

For the caramel sauce...
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons salted butter cubed
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoons heavy cream, at room temperature
1 tablespoon blood orange zest
Check out that gorgeous color!
Make the orange curd...
Whisk sugar, orange juice, lemon juice, eggs, egg yolks, corn starch, and orange peel in medium bowl to blend. Add butter; set bowl over saucepan of simmering water and whisk constantly until curd thickens, about 10 minutes (do not boil). Remove bowl from over water. Press plastic wrap directly onto surface of curd; chill. 

Make the crust...
Blend flour, sugar, and salt in processor. Add butter and cut in, using on/off turns, until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add cream and egg yolk and process until dough clumps together. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Roll out dough on floured surface to 13-inch round. Cut out small circles using a cookie cutter or biscuit cutter. 
Transfer the rounds to mini tart pans placed on a baking sheet. Fold dough overhang in and press onto pan sides. Pierce each crust a few times with fork; freeze 30 minutes. 
Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake crusts until cooked through, about 20 minutes. Cool crusts completely in pan on rack. Remove crusts from pans and place on a large plate. Spread curd evenly in cooled crusts. Cover and chill. (You can make these a day or two ahead of time if needed.)

Make the caramel sauce...
Melt the sugar over medium  high heat in a large pot.  Whisk the sugar as it melts and cook until it becomes a deep amber color. Add the butter and stir it in until melted. Pour in the heavy cream (mixture will foam) & zest and whisk until you get a smooth sauce. You may have some lumps but keep stirring until they have melted.  Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Serve each blood orange tart with a thin slice of blood orange and drizzle with the caramel sauce. Enjoy!!

recipe adapted from and

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