Blood oranges are definitely the jewels of the citrus world. Their red vibrant red color makes them a standout, and they’re known for being very sweet, with floral and berry notes that you don’t find in other citrus varieties. I often eat them plain, as their color gets lost in most recipes that call for oranges, but their flavor can be a great addition to many desserts.
This Blood Orange Tart has a curd-like filling made with fresh blood orange juice and orange zest. The filling takes on a slightly pinkish orange hue from the blood oranges. It is creamy, with a bright orange flavor, and is a nice match for the shortbread-like tart dough. The filling is not very thick, which makes this tart seem quite light. Using a 9-inch tart pan will get you a slightly thicker layer of filling, which might take an extra minute or two in the oven to bake all the way through.
I made an Orange Almond Tart Dough for this recipe, adding some fresh orange zest to an almond-enriched tart dough. The dough is fairly sticky and it is very tender, so use flour generously when you roll this out on your work surface and have a bench scraper handy to make it easy to transfer to the tart pan. Fortunately, this dough also patches very, very easily so if it tears as you put it into the pan or isn’t quite even, you can simply break off another small portion of dough and press it into place. The baked crust is slightly crisp, buttery and very tender – so it is worth a little extra effort getting it into the pan.
Blood oranges can vary quite a bit in their color, from light orange with a few red streaks to a dark purple. No matter the color inside, any blood orange is going to give you good results in this recipe. The only difference will be some slight variation in the color of the curd. This tart can be made with other oranges (cara cara and naval oranges are good choices), too, if you can’t find blood oranges to work with. Regardless of the type of orange, be sure to use freshly squeezed juice for the best results.
Blood Orange Tart
Orange Almond Tart Dough, recipe below
1/3 cup blood orange juice, freshly squeezed
2 tsp blood orange zest
1/2 cup sugar
5 large egg yolks, beaten
1/2 cup cream
Preheat oven to 400F.
Roll out tart dough on a very well-floured surface until it is large enough to fit a 9 or 10 inch tart pan. Transfer to pan and press firmly into the corners. Trim excess dough.
Allow to rest in the refrigerator for 20 minutes before baking.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, until crust is a very light golden brown.
Allow to cool before filling.
Reduce oven to 350F.
In a small bowl, whisk together blood orange juice, orange zest and sugar.
In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks and cream until smooth. Whisking constantly, stream in the blood orange mixture and stir until everything is combined.
Pour filling into cooled tart shells.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until set.
Allow to cool before slicing.
Orange Almond Tart Dough
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup almond meal (ground almonds)
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp orange zest
1/2 cup butter, chilled
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 large egg
In a food process, whizz together all purpose flour, almond meal, sugar, salt and orange zest. Add butter and pulse until butter is well-incorporated and mixture is sandy. Add almond extract and egg and whizz until dough comes together.
Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill until firm (30 minutes in the freezer, about 60-90 minutes in the fridge).
Roll out on a well-floured surface.