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A Vibrant Tart

>> Tuesday, June 19, 2007

After a little sunshine yesterday and early this morning, the weather turns grey again. A typical winter day I suppose. To combat the dull and cold weather, I decided to make something vibrant to cheer myself up. And this time, it's an orange tart!

The crust is made of butter and almond meal, which yields an incredibly rich and buttery result. But that’s not all. Underneath orange slices is a layer of soft and rich custard. And of course, there are lovely homemade candied orange slices over the top, which are sweet and zesty. Combined together, it’s a tart to dream for and a perfect way to escape the winter blue…

However, I wish I handled the tart a bit better. It might be my skills or the recipe was not 100% practical. I had hard time handling the dough free-form style. It would have been much better and easier for this type of rich crust to be baked in a tart tin. Sure, it wouldn’t look as rustic, but the dough would be less likely to get cracked in the end (the tart was rather versatile when I transferred it to a serving plate). Another note, it was quite hard to cut through the candied orange slices. So, if I bake this again, I will use individual-sized removable bottom tart tins instead. I also love candied orange slices dipped in chocolate, so perhaps the modified tart will have some exotic chocolate flavour added in!

I ended up with a kinda messy looking tart, but to the very least, it tasted delicious. I truly enjoyed its rich and sweet flavor… If only it looked better in the end!

I have included here the recipe, which I adapted from the Australian Gourmet Traveller (I follow the pastry recipe though). Please read my note above and any further suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Candied Orange Tart

For the pastry

185g plain flour

100g ground almond

55g castor sugar

55g old unsalted butter, coarsely chopped

1 egg, lightly beaten

For the candied oranges

2 oranges, end trimmed and discarded. Cut into 5mm-thick slices

325g castor sugar

2 tbsp honey

1/3 cup water

For the custard filling

160ml milk

3 pieces orange rind

1 tbsp lemon juice

110g castor sugar

1½ tsp plain flour

50g soft unsalted butter

40g almond meal

Egg glaze 1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp milk


  1. For the pastry: Process flour, almond and sugar in a food processor to combine. Add butter and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Transfer mixture to a bowl, add egg. Mix to combined. Turn to a floured surface and knead until smooth (do not over-knead). Wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
  2. For the candied oranges: Place orange slices in a saucepan, add water just to cover and bring to the boil. Drain and repeat 7 times to softened the peel and remove bitterness. Combine sugar, 1/3 cup water and bring to the boil. Add honey, and orange slices. Bring to the boil and reduce heat to low; simmer for 1 hour or until the oranges are translucent and the syrup is thick. Remove the oranges and place in single layer on a metal rack to drain & cool. Reserve the syrup.
  3. For the custard: Combine milk, orange rind and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil over medium heat. Whisk egg yolk and half of the sugar in a bowl until thick and pale, then add flour and whisk to combine. Pour milk mixture onto the egg mixture, whisk to combine, bring to the boil. Remove from the heat when the mixture thickens. Leave to cool.
  4. Meanwhile, beat butter and the remaining sugar until pale, and add the cooled custard. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
  5. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a 30cm round. Transfer to a baking paper-lined tray, refrigerate for at least 30 mins. Spread the almond filling all over the pastry, leaving 4cm border. Arrange the oranges slices on filling. Fold over the border, pleating as you go. Brush the pastry with egg glaze. Then brush the orange slices with the reserved syrup. (*)
  6. Bake at 180C for 35-40 mins or until golden. Cool on tray for 10 mins then transfer to a rack. Serve drizzle with the remaining syrup.

(*) Please read my note above about pastry handling.


I made this tart to participate in my good blog friend Sharmi’s blogging event. She is the host of this month’s A Fruit A Month. Sharmi has chosen orange as the theme, which I think is a fantastic choice. Please head to her lovely blog for the round up at the end of this month.


Truffle 8:33 PM  

I think if anything it would be a show stopper when placed on the table! Sounds like it would taste absolutely brilliant too.

Lydia 9:28 PM  

The candied orange slices are absolutely beautiful. I'm not a good enough baker to help you with the dough formula (honestly, I often use storebought pie dough for pastries like this).

Angie 9:51 PM  

This doesn't look messy at all, it's the opposite - vibrant and beautiful!

Sharmi 9:57 PM  

Thanks a lot for such an awesome entry. the tart looks so pretty. I wish I could taste some. beautiful picture. will try out sometime.

Patricia Scarpin 11:31 PM  

I'm speechless, Anh - this is just so beautiful! I can't tell you how much I love this tart!

Ellie 11:42 PM  

What a gorgeous tart - I'm sorry to hear that it wasn't all that you wanted, but it looks totally droolworthy, and I'm sure that its next appearance with your changes will be even more so :)

lynn,  12:05 AM  

Wow, that's amazing. Homemade candied orange slices? Could only be improved on by dipping in chocolate. I love the idea of making it in individual tarts. Well done, Anh!

The Cooking Ninja 12:28 AM  

It looks absolutely divine.

Linda 12:42 AM  

gorgeous tart!

Asha 12:45 AM  

Great entry!Beautiful Tart!:))

Meeta 12:51 AM  

That really looks incredible. I cannot see where it's supposed to be messy LOL! The candied oranges sound just awesome here.

Meena Kandlakuti 3:05 AM  

HI Anh,

you have good bundle of good dishes here and great presentations.NIce photography too.I liked the tomato pickel(spicy) and chicken puffs.Sorry Iam commenting at wrong post;-)...Will come here again:-)

Callipygia 7:39 AM  

Oh this looks wonderful, I love the idea of a chewy intense orange against the creamy custard. Perhaps cutting each slice in 1/2 and then laying them out overlapped like apple tarts might make it easier to not have to cut through the bigger pieces?

Helen 9:07 AM  

This looks so vibrant. Candied orange is like jewelry. I love the look of free form tarts, but I don't like messing with it. You did a great job!

Nora B. 9:21 AM  

Anh, I don't know what you are talking about - I think the tart looks perfect as it is. But you are right about making it in individual tarts for ease of serving it if you intend to serve it to guests. I like the idea of choc covered candied oranges. As for the fragile pastry, I had the same problem when I made my ricotta torta. What i did that helped a little was putting it back in the fridge as soon as I rolled it out. But I think a pastry with ground almond is bound to be quite fragile, so I think you did a great job!

Eva 10:27 AM  

Wow, another wonderful tart - it's definitely tart weather out there! I've been always a bit shy when it comes to orange with the peel on - it's not hard to bite and it doesn't get bitter? Will have to try and find out myself one day...

Anh 11:15 AM  

Truffle, it tastes very good. I have a very sweet tooth now, so things like this suits me!

Lydia, I love chewing the candied oranges... They are just so lovely.

Angie, thanks pal. Your comments always mean a lot to me. :)

Sharmi, thanks. I hope you enjoy the round up.

Pat, *hug*. I love all your tarts, too!!!

Ellie, I will make an improvised version of this later... :D

Lynn, I love individual tarts, too. They are just lovely!

Cooking ninja, thanks.

Linda, thank you.

Asha, I was attracted to the recipe because of the colour, too :P

Meeta, the mess was when I cut through the tart. Of course enjoying the broken pieces wasn't too bad though ;)

Meena, thanks for your sweet words about my blog.

Callipygia, your idea is great! I'll incorporate that in my next try.

Helen, you are one of the best baker I have come across! I am sure you can do an excellent job with any baked goods!

Nora, I chilled the dough in between each handling time, too. It must be the almond and butter... And because less gluten to bind things together!

Eva, I actually like the bitterness in orange rind :). But after the 7-time boiling treatment, the bitterness will go away!

Oh for the love of food! 11:39 AM  

Hi Anh, Your candid orange tart looks amazing! If it was a bit fiddly I certainly couldn't tell. It's simply Gorgeous!

Arfi Binsted 11:45 AM  

oh i should try making orange tart like yours. sometimes there's no mood to even pulse a food processor to make the pastry. it looks great, anh!

Amy 12:04 PM  

I think it looks gorgeous. I really love its rustic appearance. It's perfect the way it is though I'm sure mini tarlets would be adorable too. :)

Cynthia 1:31 PM  

Hi Anh, I don't know if I am missing something here. You said the tart looked messy? It looks fine to me or are you referring to when you cut a slice?

tigerfish 3:30 PM  

Orange (the color) reminds me of summer and the scorching sun :)

Johanna 5:59 PM  

that looks fantastic - a friend and I made candied oranges recently and they were sensational - I agree with you that chocolate would be a good accompaniment - orange and chocolate go so well together - even a chocolate sauce on the pie would be nice - it looks like a lot of work but will put it aside as a recipe for a rainy day (which might well be soon with the weather as it is)

Sylvia 10:03 PM  

This crust looks delicius. And the combination with candied orange was perfect !!!

valentinA 11:50 PM  

Hi Anh! thanks for visiting Sweet temptations!:)
Your photos are absolutely gorgeous, makes me wish I could simply reach out to grab a slice of your vibrant tart!

Sandeepa 3:51 AM  

Since its cold now, I plan to move to Australia around October :) and also take up a house near you. Then I can enjoy all these amazing stuff you bake

Rose 6:36 AM  

Yum! it looks delicious with all the oranges, from fresh to candied. Beautiful

Anh 8:29 AM  

Carol, you are so sweet!

Arfi, it took me a while to get around making these. But I do love baking tarts, since I love eating them! :D

Amy, i love the look! But it was hard to cut through, so individual tarts will be better...

Cynthia, yes, the mess started when I was trying to cut through the candied oranges. But having learn this, I hope my next try is better. :)

Tigerfish, I adore orange - both as color and fruit.

Johanna, so true. We have so many rainy days now, so it's good to bake something like this.

Sylvia, thank you.

valentinA, thanks for dropping by. Your blog is very beautiful and inspirational.

Sandeepa, come come! I will wait for you with this tart on the table. Dessert first? ;)

Rose, thank you. :)

Susan 1:44 PM  

Anh, This looks just like a Tart Tatin, the French classic. It's supposed to wrap around the filling in a casual, rustic way. If you make it again, you could try cutting it with a very sharp pizza wheel. I think it's lovely; glazed oranges are wonderfully bittersweet.

Sia 5:50 PM  

Anh, i cant think of better looking tart than this:) u must be kidding girl...tart looks really rustic and gorgeous! messy? where? i really cant see that:)

Saffron 11:22 PM  

Beautiful tart! You're cooking tart for a cold day of winter, I make a salad for the first very hot days of summer! :))
This tart looks delicious!

Emilie 2:06 PM  

You're being too hard on yourself. I think it looks very beautiful and rustic.

Elle 2:27 PM  

What a beautiful tart. I like the rustic look, but individual tarts baked in small tart pans would be lovely, too.
If you like chocolate with orange, you could try making the custard chocolate by melting chopped chocolate in the milk when you start the custard.

Kajal 12:15 PM  

What can I say for this delicious words I find in my dictionary, Looks yummy.:)

Lucy 2:33 PM  

Gorgoeus Anh.

Beautiful tart.

neil 3:46 PM  

Perhaps if you detached the candied rind and finely sliced it and added it to the custard mixture, then put the orange slices on top, but you would still need a very sharp knife. If you wanted to be really neat, use a round cutter to get even sized rindless orange slices. Even rustic, it still looks delish!

Cris 2:40 AM  

Oh my, that looks so good! I have never used orange for cooking, besides jams!

Paz 4:06 AM  

Very vibrant indeed. I love it!


Susan 2:32 AM  

Oh, this is divine. Messy looking? Are you kidding me? It's perfect.

ovenhaven 1:43 AM  

Hey there, I bloghopped my way here, and all I can say is I'm in for a treat. Lovely blog with great recipes! I'll definitely be dropping by again :)

Priyanka 5:44 AM  

Looks very yummy..... its by no means messy. will give it a try.

Shayne 11:24 AM  

this looks great. I am going to keep this in mind for Thanksgiving.


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