citrus love



smitten with the abundance of citrus varieties during the winter months, i always hang on to pastries and desserts incorporating them as long as i can. i love the citruses’ wild scent and untamed taste, never overpowering but ever so distinct. pairing the sweet and soothing orange flavors with the wild aroma of the rosemary is a combination particularly close to my dessert lover’s heart. ever since i have fallen in love with rosemary shortbread and the orange version of a curd, i have envisioned to combine them in fine pastry. only recently was i self-confident enough to give it a try: a sweet tart crust infused with the mediterranean herb, filled with sweet and creamy orange curd, perfect combo for chilly late winter days.

rosemary and orange curd tart
ingredients for the crust:
190 g all-purpose flour (1,5 cups)
a pinch of salt
170 g butter (1,5 sticks)
2 tbsp rosemary needles, chopped
30 ml cold water (1/8 cup)

ingredients for the orange curd:
juice of one lemon and 1,5 oranges, about 80 ml total (1/3 cup)
2 tbsp of orange zest
150 g sugar (3/4 cup)
4 eggs
pinch of salt
115 g butter, cubed (1 stick)

make the crust:
in a small saucepan melt the butter and add the chopped rosemary needles. bring butter to a boil, take off the heat and let cool down for about 20 minutes. strain butter and discard the rosemary needles. chill the butter in the refrigerator until it settles.

in a large bowl, mix dry ingredients. add chilled butter and with your fingertips work the mixture into coarse crumbs. add some water and work the dough until it comes together. between two sheets of wax paper or plastic wrap, form dough into a disk and roll to the size of a 9 inch tart pan. chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

make the curd:
in a small sauce pan, whisk together the orange and the lemon juices, the orange zest, sugar, salt, and the eggs. slowly heat the mixture over medium heat while continuing to whisk for about 12 to 15 minutes. Once mixture thickens, remove from heat and stir in the butter cubes. keep stirring until the butter is fully incorporated. set aside to cool.

bake the crust:
preheat oven to 350 F or 180 C. butter and flour a 9 inch (23 cm) tart pan with a removable bottom or a spring pan.
take the crust from the refrigerator and let it soften at room temperature. you can speed up the process by slightly smoothing the crust with your hands. roll out the softened crust to the size of the baking pan. remove wax paper or plastic wrap an press dough into the baking pan. pull the dough up to form a rim about an inch (2,5 cm) high. bake about 15 minutes until the edges turn golden brown. cool down on a cooling rack.

bake the tart:
reduce the heat of the oven to 320 F (160 C). pour the orange curd into the tart crust and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes until the curd is set completely. if the orange curd is still wobbly, add another 5 to 10 minutes to the baking time.
cool the tart on a cooling rack, remove from the form and decorate with blood orange slices. keep in the refrigerator for up to two days.

inspiration and guidance for the crust came from the Cook’s Atelier’s simple but effective pate sucree recipe and the orange curd is based on Sarah C. Owen’s lemon curd recipe in Sourdough.

not ready to let go of citrus yet!


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