Couple of years ago, the teachers at my daughters primary school decided to promote healthy eating and asked all kids to bring some fruit which they would then share in the class. It turned out there were 2 kids who had never eaten any fruit and were not ready to start just because the teacher thought it was good for them. But most of the kids participated enthusiastically and devoured the many kinds of fruit. All the fruits, except the one my daughter brought: blood oranges. The reason we learnt was the name :BLOOD oranges! The teacher did not succeed in explaining the name only had to do with the colour, no blood involved, swear!
My daughter was rather bitter her contribution was met with so little enthusiasm, but fortunately she did not turn against the oranges and likes them to this day. As for me: I love their colour. The bloodier the better! And for some reason (the name?) organic blood oranges are cheaper than other kinds of orange, so we stock upon them when they are in season.
They make a delicious juice and are also great combined with velvety custard in this beautiful tart. The peel is left on, giving a bitter marmalade flavour that cuts through the richness of the custard.
I should add that while we grown-ups loved this bitterness, the kids did not. But since they both ate two servings anyway, the objection was not that strong. If bitter is not your cup of tea, consider removing the peel.
Blood orange custard tart
Adapted from Monty and Sarah Don: Fork to Fork
I played a little with the recipe, adding orange zest to the dough, adapting the method for pastry and baking at a lower temperature.
Sweet pastry dough:
110 g butter
25 g sugar
pinch of salt
grated zest of 1 orange
½ vanilla pod
150 ml milk
150 ml double cream
3 large egg yolks
60 g golden caster sugar
1 heaped teaspoon flour
1 and a half blood orange thinly sliced (discard the top and bottom pieces)
Make the dough:
Cream the butter with sugar, then add the egg and mix well. Add the flour, salt and zest and mix everything but do not overwork the dough. The dough will be fairly stiff. Put in the fridge for about 20 min – not much longer or it will be difficult to roll out.
Take the dough out of the fridge and roll it out to about 3 mm thick. Line a 24 cm removable bottom tart pan with the dough and put it back to the fridge for at least 2 hours.
Infuse the vanilla pod in the warmed milk and cream for about 20 min. Remove the pod, split it open lenghtways and scrape out the seeds. Return the seeds to the milk and cream. Add the egg yolks, sugar and flour and whisk together.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Prick the bottom of the tart several times with a fork, line it with baking parchment and fill with beans. Bake the tart for about 15 minutes.
Take out the beans and the parchment and pour in the custard. Place the slices of the orange over the custard. Bake for about 20 to 25 min, until the custard is set.
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