One fruit I can truly call a favourite is the blood orange. When the short season rolls around I make as many dishes as possible that will celebrate it's bitter-sweet flavour. This frangipane tart is perfect because the oranges are not masked with other flavours and it certainly celebrates their colour. The recipe does take some time and patience, but it's worth it - the look and taste are equally rewarding.
This tart needs some resting time and keeps very well for a few days so you can make it well ahead of time (I think it peaks in flavour after two days). It is delicious served with cream or whipped marscapone and dulce de leche for something extra special.
1 cup (150g) plain flour
1/2 cup (80g) icing sugar
2 tbsp cocoa
90g unsalted butter, chilled
2 egg yolks
2 1/2 tbsp iced water
65g unsalted butter
60g ground almonds
65g castor sugar
1 heaped tbsp of plain flour
5-6 medium blood oranges, segmented
5 tbsp of apricot jam
2 tbsp of water
Chopped pistachios, optional
For the pastry, stir the cocoa, flour, icing sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until combined. Chop the butter into cubes, add to the dry ingredients and mix with the pastry attachment until it looks like breadcrumbs (this step can be done by hand using your fingertips to attain the same consistency). Whisk together egg yolks and water, add to mixture and blend until it just comes together to form a firm but rough dough. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 25 minutes or until firm.
In the meantime, segment the blood oranges without the membranes for a nicer presentation and more enjoyable eating. Transfer to a plate as you work.
Roll the pastry onto a lightly floured surface to form a circle 3mm thick. To prevent sticking, pick up the pastry and gently flip, adding a sprinkling of flour each time you roll (be gentle with the pastry, if mine is being uncooperative I work through some more flour and refrigerate for a longer period). Place the pastry sheet over the tart tin and tuck it gently in; trim off excess pastry (I have used a round, fluted tart tin with a removable base to prevent breakages, 27cm in diameter). Chill the pastry for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 180C.
Remove pastry from fridge and line with parchment paper, then fill with dried beans and bake for 15 min. Remove the paper and beans and bake for an extra 5 min.
For the filling, cream the softened butter and sugar in an electric mixer until it reaches a light and fluffy consistency. Whisk the eggs and very slowly add to the mixture until combined. Add the almond meal and plain flour until you achieve a smooth consistency.
Spoon into the prepared pastry case and spread evenly. Arrange the blood orange segments as you desire on top of the frangipani mixture and bake at 175C for 40 minutes.
When the tart is ready, heat apricot jam with water, stir to a simmer. Push through a sieve and brush the surface of the tart. Sprinkle with coarsely ground pistachios and blood orange zest if desired.