I have shown two types of pastry that could be used for these tarts, a plain shortcrust flavoured with orange and Pâte Sablée, a sweet crisp pastry with the consistency of biscuit and a delicate texture, the addition of an egg make it both rich and light. This is a special occasion dessert which can be served with the Crystallized Citrus zest or Caramelized Oranges (recipe at the end of method).
If preferred, you could use blood oranges or any sweet orange.
Crystallized Citrus Peel
2 organic unwaxed Mandarin oranges
100 grams golden caster sugar
100 ml cold water
Orange Shortcrust Pastry
225 grams self raising flour
Pinch fine sea salt
1 tbsp golden caster sugar
110 grams unsalted butter
1 tsp mandarin zest, finely grated
Iced orange juice and water in equal quantities – 3 to 4 tbsp
Pâte Sablée with Ground Almonds
250 grams plain white flour
1 pinch sea salt
175 grams unsalted butter
1 large fresh egg
60 grams golden caster sugar
60 grams ground almonds
8 large fresh egg yolks
2 level tbsp cornflour – sifted
60 grams golden caster sugar
1 Mandarin orange – finely grated zest
600 ml double cream (or half crème fraîche and half double cream)
400 grams Hotel Chocolat dark chocolate drops
- Pare the peel from both oranges, cut into thin strips.
- Pour the water into a saucepan and bring to the boil, while stirring constantly to dissolve the sugar.
- Add one third of the peel, cook for approximately four minutes then remove using a slotted spoon, roll in caster sugar and put onto greaseproof paper in a single layer.
- Repeat step 3 twice then leave to dry overnight.
- If the Mandarin orange is not organic, wash under warm running water brushing lightly with a soft (preferably bristle) brush, dry well and use a fine grater to remove the zest.
- Squeeze the orange and put the juice into the freezer until cold, but not freezing.
- Mix the butter and zest, wrap in original wrapper or greaseproof paper, place the butter into the freezer for 20 about minutes, or until firm but not frozen.
- Sift the flour, salt and sugar into a bowl; remove butter from the freezer, dip in the dry ingredients (repeating this often), grate into the flour.
- Rub in using fingertips only until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of chilled liquid at a time over the dry ingredients and begin to bind the ingredients together using a round bladed knife.
- As the mixture starts to come together, use your hands to a form round a smooth ball of dough; wrap in clingfilm, chill for a minimum of 30 minutes in the fridge.
- Divide into eight evenly sized pieces, roll each out on a floured surface (or pastry between 2 sheets of baking paper) to line eight 9 or 10 cm round loose bottomed fluted tart tins.
- Prick the base with the tines of a fork and bake in a preheated oven 200°C (390ºF, gas mark 6) for 10 minutes or until light golden.
- Chill the butter, wrapped in clingfilm or its original wrapper, until firm.
- Sift the flour and salt into a large baking bowl; grate in the chilled butter – dipping in flour throughout, then rub in until the texture resembles a coarse meal.
- Stir in the sugar and ground almonds.
- Finish mixing the dough with a soft plastic spatula.
- Shape into a round flat disk then wrap in clingfilm and chill then proceed – step 13 and 14; alternately grate into the tin, lightly pressing into the base and up the sides.
- Sift the cornflour and sugar into a heavy based saucepan, whisk in the egg yolks, zest and cream. Add the chocolate and warm over a gentle heat, stirring occasionally until the chocolate has melted and filling is smooth.
- Remove from the heat and pour into prepared bases, bake in a moderately slow oven 160°C (320ºF, gas mark 3) for approx. 20 to 25 minutes or until just set.
- Transfer tins to a wire rack and leave to cool before turning out.
- When ready to serve decorate with the crystallized zest, serve with fresh berries or caramelized oranges.
2 tbsp natural golden caster sugar
2 tbsp organic orange flower honey
2 large blood oranges
- Remove the peel and pith, segment the oranges over a bowl to catch the juice.
- Warm the sugar and honey over a low heat (without stirring) until the sugar dissolves and the sauce is bubbling gently.
- Add the orange segments and any juice, cook for 3 minutes over a gentle heat, remove and allow to cool then cover the bowl with clingfilm, chill until ready to serve..