Already one month down of 2018! January is usually our slowest month at the restaurant, so I’ve had lots of free time these past few weeks. I’ve started a new workout routine that I’m very excited about. Aside from baking and pastry, my health and fitness has been a long-time passion of mine. I started running years ago and it not only helped with my confidence, it helped with my mental clarity and ability to handle stress. I lost 50 pounds since I first began my fitness journey, and I’m very proud of that! People ask me all the time if I eat my own desserts. The answer: OF COURSE! I maintain a regularly healthy and active lifestyle so that i can eat desserts (and pasta, and steak, and buttery potatoes) when I want to. All about moderation right? It would be a sad, sad world for me if I deprived myself of simple joys like sweets. Dessert for me is something special. Anniversaries, holidays, new jobs, house warmings, dinner parties, THE SUPER BOWL, birthdays; any celebration would be less celebratory without a dessert! These are the times where I come in, with sweets in both hands.
Which brings me to today’s recipe. This simple but stunning tart is the perfect end to any Valentine’s Day meal. If you like blood oranges, now is the time to eat, cook, and bake with them as much as you can!
To explain how I achieved the swirled meringue, let me introduce you to my favorite piping tip of all time; the St. Honore piping tip. There’s really no effort or technique involved besides pushing the meringue out of this specific tip. Don’t you just love it when it’s that simple? I do! You can find the piping tip here:
Side note: sadly, some raw turkey juices dripped all over this tart in my fridge so I was unable to indulge. But I will survive!
Blood Orange Meringue Tart
8” or 9" fluted tart pan
Flour 1 ¼ cups
Powdered sugar ½ cup
Salt ¼ tsp
Cold butter ½ cup (4 oz.)
Blood Orange Custard
Blood Orange juice ½ cup (4 oz.)
Lemon juice 1 T
Sugar 2/3 cup (6 oz.)
Cold Butter ½ cup (4 oz.)
Egg whites 4
Sugar 3/4 cup
First, make the dough. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until it all comes together. Next, wrap with plastic and chill for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C).
Dust work surface with some flour and roll out pastry until 1/8” thickness. Roll dough onto rolling pin then invert onto tart pan. Quickly press down into sides.
Use a pairing knife to cut the excess off. Use a fork to dock the pastry all over. Place the pastry in the freezer for 10 minutes.
Before you bake, cover the pastry with a small piece of parchment paper, then fill with rice or beans to blind bake the tart shell. This is the only time the tart will be cooked so it needs to cook all the way through.
Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the parchment and rice and bake another 7 minutes or until golden brown edges.
While the tart shell is cooling, make the orange curd.
Set up a double boiler with simmering water.
Combine blood orange juice, zest, lemon juice, sugar and eggs, in a bowl and place over simmering water.
Whisk while the steam cooks the eggs for about 10 minutes. The custard should turn pale and double in size. Add cubed cold butter and take off heat. Whisk until butter is thoroughly combined.
Pour curd into pastry shell then chill for about 2 hours.
Lastly, make the meringue.
Setup a double boiler again with simmering water.
Place egg whites and sugar in a bowl over the water. Whisk until the sugar dissolves and egg whites are warm to the touch. Transfer to a mixing bowl fitted with a whisk attachment and whisk on high until you get stiff peaks.
Fit a pastry bag with your piping tip, then fill with meringue. Pipe entire amount of meringue onto tart. Use a torch to lightly toast the meringue.
Slice, and ENJOY!