Blood oranges are bright, aromatic, and have a rich citrus flavour. This rustic tart exploits their beautiful colors and sweet juices so that by the time it’s out of the oven your house will smell and feel like summer. Although the recipe is a slightly laborious process, think of it as an excuse to stay inside. The result is a flaky, buttery crust that enrobes slices and segments of sweet blood oranges whose juices have bubbled just enough to be syrupy, but not so much that the fruit loses its integrity. In between midterms, essays, and the cold we all deserve a good break. And nothing is more satisfying than sitting down to a wedge of sunny, homemade tart.
For the dough
- In a food processor, pulse one cup of flour with two tablespoons of the sugar, baking powder, and salt.
- Add the stick of cold butter and pulse several times, just until it is the size of peas. Sprinkle the dough with the ice water and pulse until the butter-moistened crumbs form.
- Turn the crumbs out onto a work surface, knead once or twice and pat the pastry into a disk. Wrap the pastry in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.
- On a floured work surface, roll out the pastry to an 11-inch round, about 1/4 inch thick. Transfer the pastry to a parchment paper-lined flat cookie sheet and refrigerate for 15 minutesNote: if you do not have a food processor, store-bought crust or pastry will do.
For the oranges
- Peel the blood oranges, removing all of the bitter white pith.
- Thinly slice two oranges crosswise, remove the pits, and transfer the slices to a plate.
- Working over a sieve set over a bowl, cut in between the membranes of the remaining oranges, releasing the sections into the sieve. Remove the pits and gently shake out as much juice as possible without mashing the sections; you will need one cup of sections.
- Arrange the orange sections on the pastry, leaving a two-inch border all around. Sprinkle the remaining two tablespoons of the sugar over the oranges. Using a paring knife, thinly slice the remaining tablespoon of butter over the oranges.
- Fold up the pastry over the oranges, leaving most of the oranges uncovered.
- Brush the pastry with the egg wash and sprinkle one tablespoon of the sugar over the top.
- Arrange the orange slices on top of the sections, leaving a one-inch border of pastry all around. Sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of sugar over the slices.
- Freeze the tart until solid, for at least four hours, but preferably overnight.
- Heat the oven to 375°F and position a rack in the center. Place a baking sheet on the rack below to catch any drips. Bake the tart directly from the freezer for 75 minutes, until the fruit is bubbling and the pastry is deeply browned.
- Transfer the cookie sheet to a rack and let the tart cool for 30 minutes. Carefully slide the parchment paper onto the rack and let the tart cool completely.
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