Once again, this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe required me to face my nemesis – pastry! I did ok in the past with Dorie’s mustard tart and the chicken b’stilla but I still approached this week with a little trepidation. The Orange-Almond Tart reminded me of a fancy French dessert (well, I suppose because it is!) that you would find in a pâtisserie and I was bringing it to a friends for a dinner party so the pressure was on to make it look *just* like it did in the book!
I made the tart dough the night before I would need it and was a little dismayed that it felt rock hard when I took it out of the fridge in the morning, even though Dorie says it is fine overnight in the fridge. I got all het up and started another pastry crust, prepared to use the “press in” method as opposed to the roll out method which is what I had wanted to try. By the time I got to dumping the second batch out on the table, the first dough had softened considerably – enough to roll out. Thus ensued a complicated procedure involving wax paper and our giant atlas to get the rolled out dough over the tart pan. We were – ahem – not so successful…
I salvaged what I could – knowing that the short crust would be fine once the topping was in there – and blind baked it. The edges came out a little crispier than I had hoped for but it smelled heavenly. Meanwhile, I pressed the second batch of dough into a pie tin and baked that one too – figuring I would just bring it to work – my colleagues are always happy to test my recipes!
The almond cream filling was pretty easy to make and whilst it rested in the fridge, I cut up my orange segments and drained them on paper towels. It was simple to assemble and looked more or less like Dorie’s:
Once it was baked it looked (and smelled) great too – those browner edges were much less noticeable. The orange segments had set perfectly into the baked almond cream…
The crust was a little uneven and the orange segments fell apart a little when I cut into the tart but the taste? Oh my! Buttery short crust, luscious almond cream and bright bursts of orange? Perfection. Maybe not as pretty as a French pâtisserie but certainly, you could close your eyes and pretend
Meanwhile, I had run out of oranges for the second tart shell so I substituted blueberries – Neil had picked up some on special, so we had quite a few. This time I was in a hurry and did not let the almond cream rest in the fridge before I baked it and it was kind of frothy and rose up a lot before it fell and cracked on top. Very rustic, wouldn’t you say?
I brought this into school on a Monday morning and it was gone by lunchtime. People took slices and hid them away for later, lured in by its buttery scent… noone cared about my “the crust is uneven and the top cracked” note – people didn’t even read it until they were finished eating and mostly they said “Really? I didn’t notice!”
Presentation (Dorie) = 10/10
Presentation (Mardi)= 6/10.
À suivre as they say since I know this won’t be the last time I make this!
French Fridays with Dorie participants do not publish the recipes on our blogs, rather, we prefer if you purchase the book for yourselves (trust me, you definitely want this book!) which you can do here on Amazon (great price right now) or here on Amazon Canada (it’s also on special!). Go on, treat yourself join us in 2011!