As you can see from some of my previous posts I have nothing against a chocolate dessert. There are times, however when more than a few bites of chocolate can feel like overkill. This is my antidote.

Blood orange brulee tart

Tangy and refreshing, this is the perfect dessert to round off richer meals. The filling has a creamy, mousse-like texture which works really well against the crisp pastry case and crunchy caramel top.
I wanted to make something along the lines of tart au citron but with a bit of a twist. Obviously it’s not essential to use blood oranges, any orange will suffice, but I couldn’t resist their colour when I saw them in the supermarket.
I can never quite persuade myself to make recipes like traditional tart au citron because of the number of egg yolks that are required. I always imagine that I’ll end up with a freezer full of egg whites and will have to exist on a diet of meringues. That’s partly why this ended up with a lighter texture to the filling. The other reason is that I didn’t have many eggs in the first place and would have been forced to choose between using one in the pastry or an extra one in the filling.

Blood orange brulee tart
This keeps for a couple of days (un- brûléed) so you can make it ahead of time if you need to.

Ingredients
serves 8-10

Sweetcrust Pastry
85g butter
50g icing sugar
1 egg yolk
200g plain flour
splash of water

Filling
juice and zest of 2 blood oranges
1 egg
2 egg yolks
1 tsp cornflour
80g sugar
200g sour cream

In a large bowl cream together the butter and icing sugar before adding in the egg yolk. Tip in all the flour and mix to combine. Depending on the size of your egg yolk you may need to add a splash of cold water to enable you to gently bring the dough together to form a ball. Flatten this, wrap it in cling film and chill it for about 30 mins. This gives the dough time to rest and allows the gluten to start working in the flour.
Unwrap the dough and gently roll it out into a large, thin disc on a lightly floured surface. Use this to line a well-greased loose bottomed 9″ pie tin. Gently push the dough well into all the edges on the tin. Recover with the cling film and return to the fridge for a further 15 minutes or so.

tart shell
Preheat the oven to 180°c. Uncover the pastry case, trim away any excess, prick the base all over with a fork and pop a piece of greaseproof paper over it before covering it with baking beans. Bake in the centre of the oven for 20-25 minutes. Ideally it should be cooked through but only just starting to colour. If the base isn’t completely cooked then remove the paper and baking beans and cook uncovered for another 5 minutes. When it’s done leave it on a wire rack to cool.
For the filling, allow your oven to cool to 150°c.
In a large bowl whisk the eggs, cornflour and sugar until you have a pale yellow, fluffy mixture. Stir in the grated orange zest and juice. Finally whisk in the sour cream, ensuring that it is fully incorporated.
Pour this mixture into your prepared pastry case. Pop it into the oven and bake it for around 45 minutes. It shouldn’t really colour at all and will still have a tiny bit of wobble to it when it’s ready to come out of the oven.
Allow this to cool to room temperature before chilling in the fridge until you’re ready to serve it.

Blood orange brulee tart
Just before serving give it its crunchy brûlée top by dusting liberally with icing sugar and browning with a kitchen blow torch. Let the caramel set for a minute or two before cutting.