Thursday, January 12, 2012

Right now is the best time to take advantage of citrus fruits whether it's at your local pazar or the supermarket.

Mandalina go best with breakfast or as a late afternoon snack.

Fresh portakal suyu is full of vitamin C and blends perfectly with ruby red nar suyu. I love being able to buy a blended mix of these juices on the Istanbul streets for just a few lira.

Of course, my candied kumquats from the Yalıkavak Pazarı made another appearance this week in the form of a Citrus Curd Tart. (Last week, the kumquats starred in a pound cake.) I made the curd with a mix of fresh lemon and orange juices.

Curd, usually in the form of lemon curd, is a thickened, creamy mixture made by carefully cooking eggs, sugar and citrus juice together over a bain marie until the mixture thickens. Then, throw in a bunch of butter and you have one of my favorite sweet treats!

I've used curds as fillings for tarts and in cake layers or cupcakes, a glaze for pound cakes and mini muffins, to flavor buttercream and even as a totally sinful smeared topping on French toast! Can you guess yet that I like sweets?

One word of caution - do NOT make this tart, pre-slice it and then walk up a 500-meter hill to deliver the tart to a friend - in the rain! By the time, I arrived at my friend's apartment yesterday, the tart had slid all over in its container and was a mess!

I salvaged what I could and served this citrus curd tart on a plate. At least my friends know my baked goods always taste good and we enjoyed it anyway!

Afiyet olsun!
Garnish your finished tart with sliced candied kumquats or other citrus zest.
Citrus Curd Tart with Candied Kumquats

Joy’s Basic Sweet Tart dough
Yields: approx. 2 tart shells

255      g.         butter, room temperature
200      g.         sugar
1/4       tsp.      salt
2          ea.        large eggs
500      g.         flour, sifted

Using a stand mixer or hand blender, cream together the butter, sugar and salt with a paddle until smooth.

Add eggs, one at a time, scraping down sides of bowl until mixture is smooth. Add the flour and mix on low until incorporated. If the dough seems a little sticky, add a pinch more flour. Shape the dough into two flat disks and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for at least 30 minutes before rolling out.

Using a rolling pin, roll out dough on a floured surface and cut into a circle. Line the selected tart pan with parchment paper and lightly spray with a non-stick spray. Press the dough into the selected tart pan. Allow to chill at least 30 minutes before baking.

Dough scraps can be pressed together, refrigerated and reused one more time.

Baking the tart:
1          8-inch or 20 cm. metal tart pan
1          previously rolled out/frozen tart shell

Line the tart shell with pie “baking weights” or raw beans to prevent dough from bubbling up while baking.

Bake at 350 F/175 C until lightly browned. For a 7”-9” tart shell, this will take about 7 to 10 minutes.

Let cool slightly before adding filling.

Optional: Once cool, you also can brush a thin layer of melted dark chocolate across the bottom of the tart shell. I love the combination of lemon or oranges with chocolate!
Here, you can see the thin layer of dark chocolate I painted onto the bottom
of my tart shell before adding my citrus curd.
Citrus Curd
(You can use any combination of citrus juice such as mandarin, lemons, oranges, grapefruit, etc.)

85        g.         3          oz.       fresh lemon and/or orange juice, freshly strained
2          ea.                                Large eggs
170      g.         12        oz.       granulated sugar
85        g.         3          oz.       butter, cubed

In a metal bowl, combine the juice, eggs and sugar. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water, not touching the bowl, to create a bain marie. Continue to whisk until curd thickens, being careful not to curdle the eggs on the side of the bowl - about 15 minutes.

When nearly thickened, whisk in the butter. If needed, continue to cook to thicken.

Strain through a chinois/sieve. Then, pour in the curd into your prepared tart shell.

Let the tart rest/cool in the refrigerator for several hours, or preferably overnight, before serving. 

Tagged: , ,


jaz@octoberfarm said...

wow,,this looks great! i love the touch of adding the candied cumquats!

Cuisine de Provence said...

So pretty and I bet very delicious, too!

Joy said...

Thanks ladies! The citrus is sooo amazing right now! I'm using it all the time.