|THIS TART JUST MIGHT HOLD A TOP ROW PLACE IN OUR HOUSE DESSERTS FOR THE COMING YEARS|
|LOTS OF YUMMY LAYERS: SHORTBREAD CRUST, ALMOND CREAM FILLING, GLAZED FRESH ORANGES ON TOP---BAKED TO PERFECTION|
|MADE FROM NAVEL ORANGES FROM MY TREE|
This week’s Orange-Almond Tart is one of my favorites so far with the FFwD group. (You know this group has become a part of my life when my 8 year old granddaughter interviews me to find out if I’m on track with FfwD.. She wants to know if I’m prepared for my next “assignment”, and she asks if my postings are up to date. And she wants to know if this is a “dessert week.” And she is well trained...she also wants to know if this is a chocolate “dessert week”.)
This recipe is:
1.) Perfect for this season in AZ
It is citrus season. I have about 20 citrus trees in my back yard; two are navel orange trees.
2.) I tried something new
We have been brainwashed to know that one does not cook with or juice navel oranges. They are meatier and drier than the juice oranges, and about 20 minutes after peeling they become a bit bitter...our juice is not as good if they have been added to the mix. I have taught classes for the Town of Gilbert, AZ and for Church on how to use our local citrus, and I have used info from ASU and the county extension service who all confirm that cooking with navel oranges is not a good idea. BUT THE ORANGES IN THIS TART WERE WONDERFUL!!! Sweet, tender, and perfect! (And even though dried out, they are still juicy.)
3.) I found relief!
Last week was the coldest in decades. When the northern and eastern states were bombarded with blizzards and frigid temperatures, we wimpy Arizonans had to endure a hard frost...hard enough to do major damage to our citrus crop. I carefully covered up, with many layers of blankets, sheets, and towels, my young, small trees, and just said a prayer for the big ones. A few mornings ago they all looked terrible, but after tending, watering, talking to them, and praying more for them, they are all looking much, much better today.
When the fruit freezes, it becomes dry and often rots. The juice oranges have no juice...it just retracts back into the tree to nourish the branches and to save the tree from freezing. Or it just is damaged, the fruit eventually turns black and falls off. Normally. when there is no hard frost, we have fruit well into July. If you have ever peeled a lovely orange just to find it dry and yucky on the inside, it was probably frost bitten before it was harvested.
|BLOSSOMS ARE YIELDING TO THE TINY NEW FRUIT|
|PICKED JUST 5 MINUTES AGO|
My relief came when I dared to use some of our fruit, and it is juicy, sweet, and seems to be OK. There are even new blossoms that seem to be fine. We did lose most of our garden, some shrubs, etc...but all our citrus has survived!
|PEELING MY JUICY ORANGES|
I decided to double the recipe. This tart has several steps: Make the art crust dough, mix the almond cream, refrigerate these two steps, partially bake the crust, prepare the oranges ahead so they can dry and not be too juicy, put the tart together so that it is beautiful, and then bake the tart. And then...glaze the tart and dust with confectioners’ sugar. It makes a bit of a mess and with all the steps and clean-up, it is no trouble to make an extra tart. So...one for the office and one for home. YUM!
|PREPARED ORANGE SLICES ARE DRYING--OVER NIGHT|
I’m not an alcohol user, so I just used a teaspoon of rum flavoring, and I added two teaspoons of water to the sweet tart dough, which, probably due to dry AZ, was just too dry without a tiny bit more moisture. With these exceptions the recipe was followed with wonderful results.
Joe, down at Liberty Market in downtown Gilbert near our office, puts out some great desserts using family recipes. Hubby complimented me when he said that my tart would be a hit down at Joe’s market. Hubby ate 3 slices and then went to the gym to work it off. I’ll bet that when he gets home, he will down another piece. And, of course, I have to keep up with him!
|THE TART DOUGH ROLLED OUT NICELY|
|ONE IS SQUARE|
|AND ONE IS ROUND|
|TINY ONES FOR THE KIDDIES--THE RE-ROLLED SCRAPS WORK JUST FINE|
|THE ALMOND CREAM FIRMED UP NICELY WHEN REFRIGERATED|
|FILLED AND READY FOR THE OVEN AS SOON AS TOPPED WITH THE ORANGE SLICES|
It’s always nice to find recipes that use what I have on hand. It was a joy to step outside into my little piece of heaven (72^ today) where I could pick fresh fruit for this recipe. And the other ingredients are always in my pantry...nothing unusual.
|MY PIECE TO TASTE...WELL, ONE OF THEM|
It was also nice to try something new and to learn to use my oranges in a new way. I am excited to see all of your tarts. I wish I could have had you all over to pick fresh oranges for this assignment. You are such a positive and fun group of people; I’m sure we would have had a good time.
|HOME BAKED TO PERFECTION!|
Hope you all have a Valentine Sweetheart to share this wonderful tart. I will definitely try this recipe again and maybe use pears or some other tasty fruit.