The holidays are over and things are getting back to normal – whatever that means. It was a great holiday season for The Dude and I, spent with family and friends. We also had opportunities to visit some great microbreweries, which I’ll be telling you about in future posts.
Here in the Midwest we are facing a pretty awful winter. Cold? You bet! Quite a few sub-zero days have made going out a real chore. Just ask our dogs! Snow? Oh, we’ve got that too. The last big storm brought us around 20″ of snow. Of course, the snow came right when the sub-zero temps hit us. Win-win! Not….
On Facebook I’ve noticed that friends have taken off for warmer climates. The photos posted of Florida and Hawaii get pretty depressing when you are stuck in the Midwest all winter. Sounds like I’ve got cabin fever, right? So, when I went to the grocery store and found blood oranges – difficult to find in my neck of the woods – I immediately grabbed some, since they remind me of Italy and warmer weather. If you’ve never had a blood orange I’ll try to describe them. Yes, they taste like oranges, but they also have a berry flavor as well. They are sweet but have a tart, slightly bitter note. And the color is amazing! You slice into it and find a deep red fruit. Gorgeous!
Blood oranges are often used in fish dishes and in a variety of vinaigrettes. I especially love blood oranges in an arugula salad. The sweet/tart/bitter fruit combined with the peppery greens – awesome! But if you’ve read this blog for any length of time you know I have a real sweet tooth and love to bake. So, I did some research and found an incredible recipe on the Food Network website. It’s a Blood Orange Tart and the recipe is attributed to Emeril Lagasse. It’s really lovely, with a sweet crust and a light custard filling laced with mascarpone cheese – very, very tasty! So, thanks to Emeril for knocking this one out of the park! Here is the recipe.
- 2 teaspoons unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest, finely grated
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon orange-flavored liqueur (recommended: Grand Marnier)
- 3/4 cup fresh blood orange juice (5 oranges yielded 3/4 cup of juice for me)
- 1 orange, zested and zest finely grated
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/3 cup mascarpone cheese
- 3 large eggs
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon orange-flavored liqueur (recommended: Grand Marnier), optional
- Confectioners’ sugar, for garnish, optional