Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Blood Orange Tart

February 24, 2015 at 8:05 am | Posted in BCM, groups, pies & tarts, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 16 Comments
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blood orange tart

I only seem to get my hands on a few blood oranges each winter and when I do, I always think I should to do something special with them.  That’s why last week I took Dorie’s Pink Grapefruit Tart and turned it into a blood orange one.  This tart is a take on a favorite of hers called Pétale de Pamplemousse from Hugo & Victor, a swanky shop in Paris.  It has a sweet tart shell with a layer of lemon-almond frangipane cream hidden under a rich citrusy crémeux.  Frangipane we’ve done before, but crémeux is a pastry cream luxuriously enriched with heaps of butter and softly set with gelatin. These several steps each have their own wait times as well, so it’s best to spread the process out over two days.

OK, here’s where I ran into trouble on this one…I’m not a vegetarian, but I don’t eat red meat so I try to avoid gelatin, too.  I also try to not get too crazy about it, because I’ve worked in kitchens for years and I know that gelatin gets slipped into things one would never even suspect.  But if I know it’s in there, I don’t go for it on a menu and I don’t make it at home.  The word “crémeux” is a tip-off that gelatin is involved (although some chocolate ones don’t need it to set), so I wanted to find my way around that to make this tart.  I tried agar-agar once, likely messed it up, and haven’t tried it again (although Zosia did and it looks great!).  I tried fish gelatin another time, had good success, but have since decided that I’m creeped out by it.  Poking around, I found that I had half a packet of a plant-based kosher gelatin in the cupboard.  I have absolutely no clue what I did with the other half of the packet…I remember buying the stuff but have no memory of using it….but it was about equal in amount to half the gelatin called for in the recipe, so I made a half-batch of everything (for a 7-inch tart) and added that to my cremeux base.  The next morning, however, my crémeux was still very loose, so either the setting ratio is different (the packet didn’t compare it to regular gelatin), or it was too old (I admit that I’d had it in the cupboard for quite a long time).  I broke down and brought home a leaf of sheet gelatin from work that night, scraped the cremeux back into the mixer, blitzed in the bloomed gelatin leaf and poured it straight into the crust to set.  Fine, that worked.

This tart was beautiful and perfectly delicious, and fresh citrus can certainly brighten up a frosty late Februaury day.  Dorie says you could omit the almond cream to skip a step and keep it simpler, but I really think the flavor adds a lot to the tart.  All that said, while I’m willing to tinker around with different gelatin alternatives (has anyone tried Natural Desserts Vegan Jel??), I’m not sure this will be a repeater for me.  If I make something this butter-heavy, generally I want it to be because frosting is involved…yeah, yeah, I’m a cake person.

For the recipe, see Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

P.S.:  Enter my blogoversary GIVEAWAY here!


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  1. Looks amazing! I love blood oranges, what a great idea to use them for this. I can’t wait to make it for the rewind next month!

  2. I love using blood oranges in the winter, but they’re rarely around. When I do find them, they’re usually so expensive that I eat them fresh! Your tart looks gorgeous. Love the color of the filling.

  3. I was tempted to use a mix of grapefruit and blood oranges – so pretty! I may attempt to redo my grapefruit segments for the other two tartlets I have left, if I’m feeling better. I’ve had no problems cutting supremes before, but today was a different story. The gelatin was interesting. Mine was so firm after refrigerating, so I was surprised I was able to whisk it smooth again.

  4. Your cremeux looks so lovely and pink — the blood oranges were a great addition!

  5. What a great choice to use blood oranges. The colours of your tart are absolutely stunning.
    I’m sorry the kosher gelatin didn’t work out for you. I have yet to get a handle on using agar agar dissolved in hot liquid but I’ve had great success in adding the powder directly to the whipped component of desserts – usually the cream – if I’m looking for a soft set. It doesn’t seem to be as potent and is much more forgiving than when it’s dissolved.

  6. Very pretty with the contrasting colors…and I am definitely a citrus tart person so this is making me want to make it all over again with these blood oranges!

  7. Looks beautiful and a great idea to use blook oranges if you are not sweet on grapefruit. This was like a litle taste of summer

  8. I love blood oranges, they taste like childhood to me. I hope I can get my hands on that tart this weekend! Thanks for sharing!!

    • give yourself plenty of time if you make it! spreading it out over two days is best.

  9. Beautiful tart! I’m thinking I need to find blood oranges while they are in season, they are so pretty and tasty 😉

  10. Your tart is really beautiful. I’m loving the pale colour of the cream. Admittedly, I have never had a blood orange (blasphemy! I know), but it is on my to-do list. In supermarkets around here, they only come in large bags and aren’t sold individually – bummer.

    It would be a bit extra work, but I imagine that candied orange peels would be beautiful on this! Or perhaps even a meringue!

  11. Blood oranges made a beautiful dessert. You were smart to break this up over a couple of days.

  12. Your blood orange tart looks gorgeous. I deal with gelatine by not thinking about what it is made of.

  13. Oh wow – this looks fantastic!

  14. This looks great even after all the gelatin experimentation. I’ve used vegetarian gelatins in the past without problems in most recipes. Most of my local stores sell it and it generally works. I like the idea of using the agar agar though.

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