This weekend was pretty blissful with all the heat and sunshine we received, that we spent the majority of the day basking outside in our little garden and in the evening setting up a wonderful BBQ to share with our neighbours. I happily made some strawberry and raspberry eton mess which always goes down a treat with everyone I know, and enjoyed Djamo’s BBQ cooking which I cannot wait to have again – Djamo, if you are reading this, maybe we could have another one tonight? Hint hint, wink wink 😉
Monday saw the start of culinary refreshment in our flat since Djamo now insists that there is to be no more cake in the house for at least 6 months. Which can only mean that there must be more tarts, pies and other such delectables instead :). Which brings me to the topic of Instagram. Last week, I asked a couple of you which ingredients really remind you of the summer, and, to tell you the truth, I got some amazing replies! Thank you so much for that. Kay from House of Coce mentioned citrus and tropical fruits as her summer-dream-inducing produce and immediately, I was transported to a magical world of orange groves, heavily scented with their blossoms, spreading as far as the eye could see. I was completely inspired and this little number was the fruition of my subsequent culinary endeavour. Summertime always speaks to me of flowers and lightness, with golden, sunshine yellow colours. Summer in tart form, guys?
I’ve used a few botanicals here in this tart to really give a completely new dimension to the orange, and my favourite new ingredient has to be the orris root powder whose taste is fairly similar to that of violets. I wanted this to feel like you were walking through a scented garden with your taste buds freely running around, and I really feel that this tart achieves that.
Basic Pastry Crust
Cooking time: 1+ hours
Makes: 1 x 8inch tart
250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
50g confectionary sugar
1 egg yolk
2-3tbsp cold water
Preheat the oven to 200ºC (180ºC fan-assisted) 400ºF. Combine the flour and sugar in a bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and, one tablespoon and a time, also add the water and work until a firm dough is formed.
Wrap the dough in cling film and set aside in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. When ready, roll out the pastry on a floured surface and use to line an 8inch fluted tin (ideally with a loose bottom). Using a form, prick the pastry lightly all over before lining with baking parchment filled with dried rice or baking beans. Place the tart into the oven for about 20 minutes or until the pastry is a pale golden colour. Take out of the oven in order to remove the baking parchment and rice before placing back into the oven for a further 5 minutes. Allow to cool completely.
Botanical Orange Filling
Cooking time: 35 minutes plus cooling
Makes: enough to fill one 8inch tart
170g caster sugar
5 egg yolks
1tbsp orris root powder
1tbsp crystallised jasmine
1tbsp ambrette seeds, finely ground (optional)
1tsp ground vanilla
1/2 tonka bean, grated
1tsp orange blossom water
1-2tbsp orange zest
200ml fresh orange juice
Reduce the heat of oven to 150ºC (130ºC fan-assisted) 300ºF.
Pour the orange juice, cornstarch and water into a saucepan and place over a medium heat. Stir until thickened.
Meanwhile, whisk the eggs with the rest of the ingredients until evenly distributed. Whilst you continue to whisk briskly, pour 50ml of the hot, thickened orange juice, one tablespoon at a time, into the egg mixture. When all the juice has been added, pour the egg mixture, back into the saucepan with the rest of the orange juice. Whisk continuously until a custard is formed. Take off the heat and allow to cool slightly before pouring into the tart case.
Place the tart into the oven for 20-25 minutes (the centre of the filling should still jiggle). Allow to cool completely before making and decorating the top of the tart with torched meringue. Serve immediately.
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Makes: enough for 1 tart
2 egg whites
100g caster sugar
Whisk the egg whites until they begin to foam. Whilst continuing to whisk, add a tablespoon of caster sugar into the egg whites until no more sugar is left. Continue to whisk until there are no sugar granules left in the meringue and the meringue is able to hold its peaks.
Spoon the meringue into a piping bag and pipe over the top of the tart. Using a kitchen torch, brown the top of the meringues until golden.
Thank you for reading.