So, after my little journey of self-discovery yesterday, I said I wouldn’t post more than twice a week. This isn’t really a full-on post, it’s more of a continuation of (an addendum to, if you will) yesterday’s and a small bit of new stuff, which is also a holdover from yesterday.
Torta di Arancia Caprese (Orange Tart Capri-Style)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbs sugar
- finely grated zest of 2 lemons
- 12 tbs unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes and chilled
- 1 large egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tbs orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- finely grated zest of 1 orange
- 1 1/3 cups freshly-squeezed orange juice
- 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup mascarpone
- 7 large eggs
- 3 tbs orange liqueur
Confectioners’ sugar, for garnish.
- To make the pastry, in a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, sugar, and lemon zest. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a small bowl, combine the egg, yolk, liqueur, and confectioners’ sugar, then stir into the flour mixture with a fork until the dough just comes together. Turn out onto a floured board and gently knead until a smooth dough is formed. Press the dough into a disk about 6″ across, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and freeze for 15 minutes.
- Butter a 10-inch fluted tart pan. On a floured surface, roll the dough out to a 12-inch circle. Fit the dough into the pan and trim the excess. Wrap the pan in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Prick the pastry shell all over with a fork. Line the shell with foil and fill with pie weights. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the foil and weights, reduce heat to 375 F, and bake for 10-15 minutes more, until golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a rack. Reduce the oven to 350 F.
- To make the filling, in a medium bowl, combine the orange zest, juice, brown sugar, and mascarpone and beat well with a mixer or whisk. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the liqueur.
- Pour the filling into the pastry shell. Bake util the custard is set, about 45 minutes. Allow to cool, then dust with confectioners’ sugar.
Tarta de Queso Azul con Peras (Blue Cheese and Pear Tart)
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
- pinch of salt
- 10 tbs unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
- 1 large egg yolk beaten with 2 tbs heavy cream
- 1 tbs ice water, if needed.
- 1 3/4 cups half-and-half
- 3 tsp unflavored gelatin
- 6 oz Roquefort or other blue cheese, at room temperature and crumbled
- 6 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 4 large firm Bartlett pears, peeled, cored, and cut in half lengthwise
- 2 cups full-bodied dry red wine (I used Grenache)
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 medium sized cinnamon stick
- To make the pastry, combine the flour, confectioners’ sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the egg yolk mixture with two forks until it is evenly distributed. Pinch a piece of dough between your fingers. If it doesn’t hold together stir in the ice water. Gather the dough into a ball and turn out onto a floured surface. Press the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic, and refrigerate for 2 hours. Roll dough out to an 11-inch circle and fit into a 9-inch tart pan. Trim the overhang and freeze, covered with aluminum foil for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 F. Fill covered dough with pie weights and bake for 12 minutes. Remove the pie weights and bake for an additional 12-15 minutes until pastry is light golden and baked through. Allow to cool completely on a rack.
- To make the filling, pour 1 1/4 cups half-and-half into a medium bowl. Place gelatin and 1/4 cup water in a small bowl for 10 minutes, until gelatin softens. Gently heat in a simmering skillet of water and stir to dissolve gelatin completely. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup of half-and-half. Gently whisk gelatin mixture into remaining half-and-half. Combine cream mixture, Roquefort, cream cheese, and sugar in a food processor and process until smooth. Scrape the cheese mixture into the prepared tart shell, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until set, at least 6 hours.
- To make the pear topping, place the pear halves snugly into a medium saucepan and cover with wine. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then add sugar and cinnamon stick, stirring gently to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, turning pears once. Remove pears with a slotted spoon and allow to cool. Reduce poaching liquid over high heat until reduced to about 1/3 cup, about 12 minutes. Cool syrup to room temperature.
- To assemble tart, slice pears lengthwise into medium-thin slices. Arrange in concentric circles on top of chilled tart filling. Spoon reduced poaching liquid over pears and freeze for 20 minutes to make slicing easier.
That was my Saturday! I did find some time to make some candied orange peel, also from Molto Italiano. I’m going to save these for chopping up into some pumpkin bread this fall and maybe even add it to a Christmas pudding for the holidays for an added special touch.
Candied Citrus Peel
- 1 cup large pieces orange, grapefruit, or lemon peel
- 1 cup sugar, plus more for coating
- 1 cup water
- Place citrus peel in a saucepan, add cold water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for 10 minutes. Drain, repeat two more times.
- Rinse drained peel under cold water until cool to the touch. Scrape away stringy white part of the peel and slice into strips.
- In a small saucepan, combine sugar and water and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the peel, reduce heat to very low, and cook slowly until all the syrup is absorbed. This may take several hours. Stir occasionally and monitor so the peel doesn’t scorch.
- Spread the peel over a wire rack set over a baking sheet, separating the pieces,and allow to cool.
- Toss the candied peel with sugar to coat and spread out again on wire rack. Allow to dry completely overnight. Store tightly covered.
Whew! What a hectic weekend! It was worth the effort to have some of each tart again tonight for dessert, but again, I’ll be keeping things a little more streamlined from now on.
Now what should I bake next weekend? I have a few ideas: this looks amazing! So does this (and I can use my new-found tart-making skills!) Why must the weekends be so far away and so fleeting when they do arrive?