Goat Cheese and Blood Orange Sweet Tart

An essential part of the kitchen is indeed choosing the right products to cook with. I believe that quality and freshness impact significantly in the result of a recipe, hence I like to seek and buy exclusively seasonal alimonies.

January, for example, is the month of the year in which blood oranges ripen in Sicily, therefore I’ve decided to honor this fabulous fruit by entering it into the monthly specials. The following recipe doesn’t really belong to any Italian tradition, but it’s something I’ve created myself.

 Recipe For 6 Tarts (medium size)

THE DAY BEFORE

prepare the bitter blood orange marmalade using a quick recipe I wrote below.

Ingredients for marmalade

  • 2 Blood oranges
  • Water
  • 5 tbsps. of caster sugar

Method

  1. Cover the oranges with water in a small pot, add the sugar and bring to boil. Let the oranges cook between 3 and 5 hours until soft (do not exercise too much pressure while checking the texture as you can harm yourself with the hot water).
  2. When ready, let them cool down just enough to be handled. With a skewer (or something similar), pierce the oranges and let them drain down into the pot you’ve used for boiling. Our goal is to gather all the syrup contained in the oranges you will need later along with the water you have used in the previous step.

Ingredients for sweet pastry

  • 225g whole wheat flour
  • 75g butter at room temperature
  • 25g Extra virgin olive oil
  • 75g Sugar
  • 1 Yolk and ½ egg white
  • ¼ grated lemon and ¼ of lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. anise liquor
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla essence
  • 1 pinch of salt
  1. Join all the dry ingredients on the working station creating a volcano shape.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix all the wet ingredients except for the butter and the olive oil. Place the wet mix at the center of your volcano, incorporate just now butter and olive oil and start kneading with cold hands. At the beginning, It can appear to be messy but once the mix will be uniform, you will be able to collect all the flour (Tip: there might be chances of the mix being too soft, in that case, add some extra flour, however be careful to don’t handle the mix too much).
  3. Once the dough has reached a semi-solid consistency, make a cylinder shape and wrap it up using the cling film and let it rest in the fridge for 24h (this step is fundamental because is a softer kind of sweet pastry).

THE FOLLOWING DAY

Ingredients for the goat cheese filling

  • 250g Goats Curd
  • ¼ lemon juice and zest
  • 2 Tbsp anise liquor
  • 3 and a half Tbsp of sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. Vanilla essence
  • 1 whole egg

Whisk all the ingredients in a container so to obtain a homogenous cream, then leave it on a side to reach the room temperature while we keep ourselves busy preparing the tart’s base.

Preparing the tarts

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 Celsius degrees.
  2. Take out the fridge the sweet pastry and slice it in 1 cm each (Tip2: there’s no need to remove the cling film at this stage because it will make the slicing process much easier).
  3. Dust with flour every single portion of pastry and roll each slice in order to achieve a layer of 3/5 mm.
  4. Adapt the layer to the Tart form and cut the excesses.
  5. Put back the tart in the fridge

Making the marmalade

  1. Lay the whole oranges in a blender and leave it aside.
  2. Bring to boil once again the saucepan with the water and the juice gained until you will have obtained a golden caramel reduction (do the spoon proof: dip a spoon into the pot and if the liquid stick to the spoon and flow down slowly, it’s ready).
  3. Combine the reduction with the oranges and blend them all.
  4. The result should be a warm, not hot mix.

Assembling and cooking

  1. Grab the tarts from the fridge and add to each of them a spoon and a half of marmalade. Spread it evenly then top up with the goat mix (Tip3: leave a bit of margin because the cheese mix will swell while cooking).
  2. Using the lowest shelf, leave the tart in the preheated oven for 15/20 minutes (Tip4: avoid using a tray as they won’t cook properly).
  3. If all the steps were done correctly, a golden color on the top of the tart will indicate your dessert is ready.
  4. Let them cool down and serve them with nuts, dark chocolate chips or something you like. I’ve chosen for example a caramelized blood orange.

Buon appetito!

Bitter Blood Orange Marmelade premade for the Tarts

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