Dreaming of Warmer Weather

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!

Now you see why they are called blood oranges.

Now you see why they are called blood oranges.

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.

Blood Orange Tart
Pastry:

  • 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)

Filling:

  • 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
Butter an 11-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom with 2 teaspoons of butter and set aside.Make the pastry by combining the flour, salt, lemon zest, and confectioners’ sugar in a mixing bowl. Add the butter and, using a pastry cutter, 2 knives, or your hands, work in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Combine the egg and orange liqueur in a small bowl and add to the flour mixture. Using a fork, stir until the mixture just comes together. Note: I used my food processor for making the pastry dough. Worked like a charm!Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead just until a dough is formed. Shape into a flattened disk, wrap in plastic, and transfer the dough to the freezer for 15 minutes.Place the dough on a floured surface and roll into a 13-inch round. Transfer dough to the prepared tart pan and ease dough into the edges and up the sides of the pan. Trim excess dough. Transfer to the refrigerator for 30 minutes.Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.Remove the tart shell from the refrigerator and prick it all over with the tines of a fork. Line the pastry with aluminum foil or parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake the crust until the edges just begin to turn golden, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and remove the pie weights and aluminum foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the crust is light golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside on a wire rack to cool.Make the filling by combining the blood orange juice, orange zest, brown sugar, and mascarpone in a mixing bowl; whisk until smooth. Add the eggs and egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating after each addition. Add the liqueur and stir until smooth. Pour the filling into the cooled tart shell. Bake until the filling is lightly browned in spots and the crust is golden, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve.

Pretty in pink! This is so light and not too sweet. This would be a great dessert for a bridal or baby shower.

Pretty in pink! This is so light and not too sweet and the citrus is not overwhelming. This would be a perfect dessert for a bridal or baby shower.

About Eileen Dominick Long

Diva, dog lover, and main squeeze to the Dude.
This entry was posted in Desserts and Sweets and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Dreaming of Warmer Weather

  1. Phylllis Dominick-Greene says:

    Thank you for bringing some warmth to the frigid North East! I can’t wait to try it!!!!

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