Can I be honest for a second here? I just don't get why everyone makes such a fuss about chocolate desserts.
Sure, chocolate is delicious and wonderful, but there aren't enough witty fridge magnets in the world to convince me that it's a) worth killing over, b) a cure-all for PMS or c) better than sex. (A deeply discounted pair of gorgeous shoes, on the other hand? Yeah, all of the above.)
It's not that I dislike chocolate. Quite the opposite, really - a good dark chocolate truffle is a pretty fantastic thing indeed. The problem is, once chocolate grows beyond a two-bite format, it feels kind of obvious. Formulaic. Unsubtle. Maybe even a little boring, after you get past that first couple of bites.
Now, citrus desserts on the other hand, I'm more than willing to make a fuss about.
Citrus is everything chocolate isn't. Smart. Sassy. A little unpredictable, in that it can play it smooth and sweet, or reach out to smack your tastebuds with a punch of tart acidity. It's a pretty killer solo act, but it's just as happy to partner up with a few good friends for a jam session or two. I might not be willing to go so far as premeditated murder for a good citrus dessert, but I wouldn't rule out a misdemeanor or two.
This tart is a perfect example of what I'm talking about. The filling is pure blood orange, through and through, with a curd that's got just enough eggs and butter to hold together without blunting the pure orange flavour, and a sweet almond crust that exists solely to deliver that lovely curd to your mouth.
A thin slice is the perfect ending to a heavy meal (like our homemade sausage extravaganza) - sort of like a palate cleanser and a luscious dessert, all rolled up into one pretty coral-pink slice.
Of course, your blood orange tart might turn out to be an entirely different colour, depending on what's revealed when you slice open your oranges - mine, as you can see, were intensely red inside and yielded a dark cranberry-red juice.
That said, even if your curd only comes out with the faintest pink blush, there's no reason to worry.... the colour might not a little more timid, but the flavour certainly won't be.
Who needs chocolate when you can have an eye-pleasing, tongue-teasing dessert like this instead?
(BTW - If you can't find blood oranges at all, this recipe also works just fine with regular navel oranges, though the curd will be a rather mundane shade of orange instead... or you can substitute with Meyer lemons for an extra-tangy variation.)
Blood Orange Tart
- Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Yield: 12 1x
Depending on the colouring of your blood oranges, the filling for this tart can range anywhere from bright coral orange to a very pale shell pink. No matter what colour you get though, the taste is sure to be the same - tangy and refreshing citrus, complemented by a sweet almond crust.
- 1 cup flour
- ½ cup finely ground almonds
- ¼ cup sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tsp orange zest
- ¼ cup ice-cold butter, cut into ½" cubes
- 1 large egg yolk
- 3 tbsp ice water
- 2 tsp blood orange zest
- ¾ cup fresh blood orange juice
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- ¾ cup sugar
- 3 whole eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- ¼ cup butter, cut into ½" cubes
Prepare the Crust:
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, ground almonds, sugar, salt, and orange zest, and pulse briefly to mix. Add the cold butter, and pulse five or six times, until mixture resembles coarse meal. With the machine running, add egg yolk, then add the ice water, one tablespoon at a time, stopping as soon as the dough starts to clump together.
- Turn the dough out onto a clean surface and gently form it into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least one hour or until quite firm.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 12" circle. Gently fit into a 9" tart pan, folding in the overhang and pressing against the side to create a thicker rim. Freeze until firm, about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375F.
- Line the tart shell with a sheet of aluminum foil or parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 20 minutes, then carefully remove the foil and weights, and return to the oven to bake for another 10 minutes or until golden brown all over.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 350F, and set the tart crust aside to cool on a wire rack while you begin on the curd.
Prepare the Filling:
- In a heavy-bottomed saucepan set over medium-high heat, whisk together the orange zest, blood orange juice, lemon juice, sugar, eggs and egg yolk. Cook the curd, stirring constantly with a heat-proof spatula, for about 5-10 minutes or until it starts to thicken and coats the back of the spatula. (If the curd should happen to curdle at any point, run it through a fine mesh strainer to remove the curdled bits - or, if it's really badly curdled, simply buzz it with an immersion blender until smooth. No one will ever know!)
- Remove from heat and stir in the butter pieces until melted. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
Bake the Tart:
- Place the prepared shell on a baking sheet. Pour the cooled curd into the shell, smoothing it out into an even layer.
- Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the filling is lightly puffed and set on the edges, but still retains a slight wobble in the middle. Let cool to room temperature on a wire rack, then transfer to the refrigerator to chill for 2-3 hours before serving.
- Prep Time: 60 mins
- Cook Time: 30 mins
Peggy Tupac says
Is it necessary to bake the tart after filling with the curd? I was wondering as some recipes don't call for it.
Isabelle Boucher says
For this recipe, baking the tart is necessary because the curd is still quite runny when it goes into the pie shell, and once baked it firms up into a nice even layer similar to what you'd get in a traditional lemon meringue pie.
The no-bake versions tend to have a slightly looser filling, which is also very nice if that's what you prefer... but if that's what you would like to do, I would definitely suggest you use a no-bake recipe instead of this one, so that your curd comes out the right consistency!
Made this filling for gluten-free tart shells. The recipe made six tarts. We loved them here at home and one of my regular customers had them and they were a hit! I made them a second time today and look forward to using this filling recipe again and again. Bravo Isabelle!
Isabelle Boucher says
So glad they were a hit, Jeff!
Kelli R. says
AH-MAZING!!! I made this for my family the other night, and we had to litteraly put rules as to how much we could eat per day...otherwise we would have taken it down in one sitting! My favorite dessert :)
Baker Street says
That's one gorgeous tart!
Congrats on your 24 x 24 and on a beautiful tart... and as to chocolate or citrus... why not combine them! :D
Done ! Very delicious ! Thanks for the recipe !
Kim Bee says
Such a pretty recipe. I love blood oranges but have had some trouble finding them. Congrats on top 9!
[email protected] says
Congrats for being Top 9 on Foodbuzz!
This is a great looking tart! Never had a blood orange curd tart before :D they're so hard for us to find only around for a few months a year ~
Kelsey @ K&K Test Kitchen says
I do love my chocolate, though I admittedly would also take those gorgeous, discounted shoes over chocolate any day. And I love the idea of a blood orange tart even more, so pretty and I'm sure that it tastes out of this world too.
sweet road says
Haha, I love your comment about shoes! I agree, I'm not a shoe person, but good shoes do fit your description well. And I have to say, I am a diehard chocoholic, but I'm not so much a fan of chocolate bread/cake/cookie-type desserts. If I am going to have a chocolate dessert it better be straight chocolate, ganache, truffle... you get the idea, it can't stray far from being pure chocolate. So I guess I believe chocolate can be totally awesome as a dessert and it is way more versatile with other flavors than one might think, but because most recipes leave it at chocolate flavor and nothing else, I sway for the fruity desserts as well! Blood oranges seem to be in season for so short a time I never think to make a dessert out of them, but I'll know what recipe to use now!
[email protected] says
Isabelle....what an absolutely beautiful tart! I couldn't agree with you more. I love chocolate, I really do. But I really love working with citrus (especially lemons). And you can't get a simply gorgeous color like this tart from a bar of chocolate! This looks beautiful AND delicious!
Choc Chip Uru says
What a beautiful tart - I think I would need a chocolate tart base but this recipe is perfect :)
Choc Chip Uru
Latest: Giant Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Stuffed Peanut Butter M&M Cookie For One
Wow this sounds delicious! I love lemon curd - I can't wait to try blood orange curd!
I can't help but smile reading your blog...(okay it was more than a smile, but less than a laugh...)I enjoyed, really! This is a pretty looking dessert. Gotta try this!
Jen @ Juanita's Cocina says
This is absolutely beautiful! I can only hope to be able to recreate it!
Kiri W. says
The color is stunning! I'd love to try a slice, though hey, I'd add chocolate sauce ;) No, I dearly love chocolate, but I do see some of your points. Chocolate doesn't stay subtle forever, but sometimes I don't need exciting, I just need chocolate!
I have to disagree, although your recipe looks delicious I never get tired of chocolate, nor do I think it's obvious I LOVE IT!!!! Still, and despite what you said about chocolate I'm going to pin this recipe because it looks great! hahaha
Nico Achtsis says
Very nice, I'll definitely try this out! (And I agree, chocolate desserts tend to be too heavy and boring.)
Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts says
What a gorgeous tart! I am one of those people who can not LIVE without chocolate. But I am all for a citrusy tart every once in a while!
Deanna B. says
So pretty! I was looking for a blood orange curd recipe awhile ago and all the recipes I found had ridiculous amounts of sugar. Yours looks much more reasonable.
David @ Frenchie and the Yankee says
My kind of dessert. Really pretty! Bookmarked! :)
Kelli @ The Corner Kitchen says
This tart is so beautiful! I'd totally pick this over chocolate.