Sunday, February 12, 2012

Simply Sublime


This February 14th Day (known in some circles as "Single Awareness Day"), we'll be celebrating the orange. I have nothing against chocolate - in fact I am sitting in my kitchen in sweet bliss munching on Bissinger's Dark Chocolate Wine Grapes which counts as one of my fruits for the day.

But this Sicilian Orange Tart - sparkles - in aroma and taste. It brightens the kitchen - it lightens winter.


True - it emerges from the oven a wee bit homely. Lightly browned - asking for a dusting of confectioner's sugar. Chocolate shavings wouldn't hurt.


As winters go - we are a balmy 27 degrees F which is most welcome after two days of 1 degree F.


The only snow is in the back of the yard waiting for longer days of sun.


It's coming. But if the days are not long enough, this dessert brings the sun into the kitchen long after our nurturing star has left.


The Sicilian Orange Tart is from Giuliano Hazan's Every Night Italian. He promises "a refreshing and aromatic dessert that leaves a clean taste in your mouth. It has received rave reviews whenever I have made it."

The orange tart lives up to its press. My February-Minnesota kitchen was an orange grove for a few hours. My daughter was shocked that I was going to let it sit in the fridge over night - telling me I shouldn't tease her with baking aromas.



And it was easy - I am a non-baker who likes to estimate and add pinches and fistfuls of stuff - and not rely on things such as measuring spoons. But I followed the recipe and dotted my i's and crossed my t's and was rewarded with a smooth, sublime tart that gave me the warm Sicilian sun.

Sicilian Orange Tart (Crostada all'arancia)
Crust:
Grated zest of 2 oranges
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter cut into 12 pieces
3 extra-large egg yolks (I used large)
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon ice water or more if needed (I needed 3)

Filling:*
2 extra-large eggs (I used large)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (the juice from the zested oranges is usually sufficient)

You will need an 11-inch tart pan with a removable bottom.

*If you can look past the sugar, this is breakfast. Orange juice and eggs. Check off another fruit for me and protein.


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. For the crust: Zest your oranges. Make the crust by placing the flour, sugar, butter, egg yolks, orange zest and salt in the food processor. Process it until it is well mixed. Add the ice water and process again until a dough is formed. If the mixture is dry add a little more water - 1 teaspoon at a time. (I did need 3 teaspoons - not surprisingly as the kitchen is dry these days and the furnace was working away!)

3. Remove dough from processor (carefully!) and place it on the removable bottom of the tart pan. (Note: Next time I will spray the tart pan a bit.)  Using a rolling pin, roll dough until the dough is 1/4 inch thick - allowing the dough to extend over the edges. Carefully slide the removable bottom off the edge and lift it into the tart pan. Press the dough against the sides of the pan and trim any overhang.

4. Cover the dough with aluminum foil and weight it down with rice or dried beans (or pie weights!). Bake for ten minutes. Remove foil and weights and bake for another ten minutes.

5. While crust is baking, juice your oranges. Put eggs and sugar in the bowl of a mixer and beat at high speed until pale, yellow ribbons form - 2-3 minutes. Reduce speed to low and pour in your orange juice beating for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

6. Pour mixture into baked crust and place tart in oven. Bake until the filling is set and the top is browned - about 40 minutes. Allow the tart to completely cool before serving. Hazan advises putting it into the fridge - and I let if chill there over night. (Love make-ahead-desserts even if my daughter doesn't.)

And if your heart is set on chocolate for Single Awareness ... make that Valentine's Day, remember that President's Day is a good day for a tart... and Carnevale... and Leap-Year-Day... and you really don't need an excuse to make a tart. Everything should be celebrated, right? Surprise someone and make it "just because." But - do make it.

47 comments:

Pegasuslegend said...

Not only is this packed with flavor its a glorious color with brightness of a sun shiny day! :)

Wanda..... said...

Wish I had a piece at this moment, Claudia...will definitely put this on my list to bake!

Lizzy said...

LOL, you're right...excellent breakfast food! Great looking tart, Claudia~

Sofie Dittmann @thegermanfoodie said...

IT'S WINTER IN OHIO... LOL and this recipe brought a little ray of sunshine into this cold and dark weather!

Vianney Rodriguez said...

A slice of sunshine in these dreary days, wonderful!!

Rebecca Subbiah said...

wow this pie looks amazing :-)

Proud Italian Cook said...

You took the words right out of my mouth with your title! I would love a piece of that, I just bought a big box of navel oranges from Costco today! Lucky me!

beti said...

it looks pretty good and it screams spring! lovely colors

Gina said...

Please, who needs a Hallmark holiday for a dessert like this, I think it would make a fine replacement for my lowly piece of wheat toast in the morning. I'm going to the store this week to see if they have anymore blood oranges, I bet they would be great in here. So glad the weather isn't too bad. We've been lucky here too, it's been nice. Hope you had a wonderful weekend.
-GIna-

Tina said...

This tart does look fabulous! I do like the fact that there is zest in the crust. This is the perfect way to get your citrus fix. You do have some great close ups here-well done.

Rosemary said...

This is mouth-watering good. It's breakfast time for me . . . and I want it. Maybe you don't crave chocolate, Claudia, but I make a great orange and chocolate tart I'd love to make for you!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Indeed! That tart looks wonderful. I love lemony treats.

Cheers,

Rosa

Joanne said...

Hmm so maybe instead of Single Awareness Day (SAD) or v-day (ugh), I'll just call it Citrus Love Day and make this delicious tart!

Jill Colonna said...

Ah, Single Awareness Day. Well, I agree with Joanne - and celebrate our love for oranges and your tart. Lovely sunny photos with that snow in the background, Claudia.

The Mom Chef said...

Single Awareness Day? I know too many singles who are well aware of the fact that the are just that. I'll bet they don't want to be singled out with a day (no pun intended). These awareness days are really very obnoxious.

I'm loving this tart. I love the fact that you didn't feel the need to put chocolate anywhere near the tart (thank you), but allowed the citrus to shine all on its own. I could use a burst of sunshine and summer in my house right about now. I want my kitchen to smell like an orange grove too!

Jeannie said...

Oh yes, I am with you for the orange or other citrus fruits:) I love their tangy flavor in cakes and other dishes:) I am salivating over that slice on the top!

Ruth said...

looks truly sublime! Like the single awareness comment.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

What a delightful looking tart, Claudia! I bit of sunshine on the plate. I love the photo where a slice is gleaming in sunlight..just perfect! I am pinning it in my "pies and tart" Pinterest folder! Thanks!

Fresh Local and Best said...

Hahaha! This is a protein and fruit served up in a sassy tart. Delicious!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Like a ray of sunshine coming through the window to warm the heart on a cold day here in the Northeast.

Cucina49 said...

Claudia, I always love your posts! This is my kind of dessert, and I had to snicker a little at "Single Awareness Day," also known as "Hallmark Holiday" in this part of the woods.

Barbara GF said...

I would welcome some sunshine into my home, Claudia, and I think a slice of this luscious tart would do the trick!

Amy said...

This tart sounds amazing! The oranges are so good this time of the year, and used like this even better :)! Beautiful as well!

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

What a beautiful orange tart! But remember orange goes really well with tart... =) I'd love to eat both! =)

My Little Space said...

Happy Valentine's Day to you & your loved one, Claudia. Hope you're going to have the romantic evening. Btw, the orange tart looks perfect for this special day. Enjoy!
Cheers
Kristy

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

Looks like sunshine on a plate. I'm always ready to celebrate the orange.

Happy Valentine's day Claudia.
Sam

Angie's Recipes said...

I love orange sweets, this is such a pretty and delectable tart.

Juliana said...

Claudia, this tart looks fabulous...orange zest in the crust and orange in the filling...absolutely delicious...
Happy Valentine's Day :)

Hutchinsons said...

I bet your kitchen smelled wonderful! I really need to get myself a tart pan.... like Yesterday!!

Natasha Price said...

A terrific looking tart, gorgeous!

Reeni said...

Oh goodness I need some Sicilian sun in my kitchen! Oranges are so overlooked when it comes to baking. This is heavenly! Happy Valentine's Day! xoxo

Katy ~ said...

LOL about Single Awareness Day.

I cannot wait to try this tart. I am completely won over by orange... and the thought of warm Sicilian sunshine in my kitchen is too overwhelming to resist!

Sandi said...

YUM...Simply Sublime is right, beautiful!

Especially after seeing your pics of the backyard, I'll take my 65* TX temps any day ;)

FOODESSA said...

I second your daughter on feeling teased...I wouldn't be able to resist either ;o)

Thanks for sharing a Hazan family recipe...sounds promising.

Loving the pics of your surroundings.

Ciao for now,
Claudia

Catherine said...

Dear Claudia, That is absolutely beautiful!!! I would just love it! It is beautiful in color and does look light and fresh. Blessings my friend, Catherine xo

p.s. The chocolate wine grapes should count as a fruit!xo

Marcellina said...

I had trouble getting onto your blog - I think it must be my computer. But I was dying to see you Sicilian Orange Tart and I certainly was not dissappointed. A simple but delicious looking tart with brilliant flavours!

Mary said...

I think I'm in love. I have never had this tart and it sounds fantastic. I think it will shortly be making the trip from your kitchen to mine :-). I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

SKIP TO MALOU said...

Claudia, you need to send me some. I need some color... a hint of spring at least under this grey skies hihi.
but really, a slice of your orange tart will disappear fast :P
malou

Beth said...

Yes, that definitely fills a breakfast requirement. Thanks for pointing that out! Seriously, that orange tart looks just lovely.

Lynda said...

I'd certainly eat this lovely tart for breakfast, or any time of day.
Another great looking recipe, Claudia-my mouth is watering, so I've got to bookmark it!

Sue/the view from great island said...

This tart is amazing. I'm speechless and I need to make it right away. I can't believe how simple that filling is, just eggs, sugar and oj? It all looks so luscious.

Jeanette said...

I agree, this tart definitely would brighten my kitchen and lighten the winter - lovely!

annie said...

oh this looks so good and pretty as well. I'm going to make this before the day ends.
annie

Lyndsey said...

It is so nice that citrus is in full season during the winter to brighten up the short days. This looks so good! Yum!

Magic of Spice said...

What a bright and refreshing tart! Citrus is my favorite part of winter...lovely sunshine :)

Island Vittles said...

It looks so good! I think it's simplicity is doing a number on my brain -- MUST HAVE NOW! theresa

oysterCulture said...

I love the sound of this cake and as someone said a bit of sunshine on the plate especially in chilly places. I hope the Minnesota winter is not too bad as you've added some sunshine into my life. Cannot wait to give this a try.