Greengrocers in Beirut are flooded with clementines these days. One can also find Seville oranges called bousfeir, which are bitter oranges used for orange blossom water and candied orange rind and jams. This tart is a simple sweet crust with a clementine curd. The curd can be made on its own and keeps for a good ten days in the fridge. This recipe is inspired by one for orange curd.
Clementine curd: Makes 2 cups (250 ml.)
- 1 1/2 cups of fresh clementine juice (or tangerine)
- 4 tbsp of fresh Seville orange juice or lemon juice
- 3/4 cup of raw sugar (or white sugar)
- 8 tbsp of unsalted butter
- 2 large eggs + 4 egg yolks
- pinch of saffron (optional)
- 4 drops of red food color (optional)
- a few candied orange rinds to garnish (optional)
- Place the fresh juice in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer; let it simmer gently for about 12 minutes until the juice has reduced to 1/2 cup. Add the zest and the orange juice (or lemon juice if Seville oranges are not handy) and set the mixture aside until it cools.
- Whisk the eggs, egg yolks and sugar until the mixture is thoroughly combined; add the cooled juice with the zest and, using a wire whisk, stir the mixture continuously over very low heat until it thickens; this should take 5 to 10 minutes.
- When the mixture is thick, run a metal spoon in it and swipe your finger on the spoon to see if it leaves a clean mark. If it does, the custard is ready; add the saffron and stir a few seconds longer to spread it around. If desired, add a few drops of food color and stir away from the heat.
- To get the smoothest texture, pour the curd through a sieve and strain it, pressing on it with a large spatula; the zest and saffron threads (if using) will stay behind and the curd will be as smooth as silk.
- 2 cups of flour
- 1/2 tsp of baking powder
- dash of salt
- 1/2 cup of powdered sugar
- 1 stick of unsalted butter (4 oz or 100 g.)
- 1 egg
- 3 or 4 tbsp of whipping cream
- Place the flour, baking powder and salt in the bowl of a food processor or mixer. Mix to combine well. Add the butter, cut in small pieces and mix until the flour is coarse. Add the egg and mix and add the cream and mix until the dough is compact and moist. Transfer the dough to a plastic bag and refrigerate at least one hour. When ready to use, soften at room temperature and roll out into a greased and floured pan, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes in a medium-hot oven (350F) until the crust is dry and golden-browned. Cool.
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