Sometimes one is called upon to make a hasty dessert last minute that is somehow supposed to impress the socks off people. Some call upon a cakeshop, which I have done many a time. The inner masochist however sometimes gets its own way and I feel the need to produce something homemade (although bashing around a cake from a cakeshop slightly can produce a "homemade looking" like cake).
The Orange Confit is certainly not something that can be knocked up quickly. The oranges need to soak overnight and then boil for an hour. However you could easily do the dish without it or if like me, you make a massive jar of it (and the recipe below does produce a lot) and keep it in the fridge to dollop over yogurt. I had two particularly unsweet oranges that were just calling to be made into a more interesting sounding entity. And don't you just love the sound of the word Confit. Only this doesn't refer to anything ducklike cooked in its own fat. Here it means confiture (jam in French).
To make it as easy as possible, I included a microwave lemon curd recipe which is quite foolproof. Don't forget to beat the eggs well though as any stray egg white turns a solid white in the curd once cooked.
I recall a friend having a lemon tart from Laurent Patisserie decorated with a large L, a la Laverne from Laverne and Shirley. Although I could probably pull off an L due to my first name, it seems a bit overly vain to scrawl my first initial, thus the not-quite-Pollock-like speckles.
Lemon tart with confit of oranges and creme fraiche
- 1 sheet sweet shortcrust pastry
- Lemon Curd (see recipe below and use half of the curd, or buy from supermarket)
- Orange Confit (see recipe below)
- 30g Dark chocolate to drizzle over to decorate
- Double cream or creme fraiche to serve if desired
Step 1 - Line a 21cm loose-bottomed tart pan with shortcrust pastry sheet, then freeze for 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 190°C.
Step 2 - Line pastry with baking paper, fill with pastry weights or uncooked rice and bake for 10 minutes. Remove paper and weights or rice and return pastry to oven for five further minutes.
Step 3 - When cool, spoon lemon curd in tart shell
Step 4 - Melt chocolate and with a knife make patterns with chocolate (or make a small cone out of baking paper, fill with melted chocolate and pipe lines or patterns)
Step 5 - Serve with Orange Confit and Creme Fraiche
Lemon Curd in the microwave
Makes 3 cups
- 5 eggs
- 3/4 cup caster sugar
- rind of 1 lemon
- 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 125g butter, chilled, cubed
Step 1 - Combine eggs, sugar, and lemon rind in a 6-cup, heatproof, microwave-safe bowl. Mix with balloon whisk until combined, gradually adding the lemon juice while whisking. Add the cubed butter.
Step 2 - Place onto a microwave-safe rack or upturned microwave-safe plate and cook, uncovered, for 7 to 10 minutes on MEDIUM (50%) power, stirring every minute until thick enough to coat a metal spoon. Pour into sterilised jars, seal and label. Place in the fridge to cool.
Variation: If desired, replace lemon juice with lime juice or passionfruit pulp.
Source: Super Food Ideas - June 2003 , Page 79 Recipe by Janelle Bloom
- 2 oranges, halved, thinly sliced
- 4 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 bay leaf
- 500g caster sugar
- 2 tbs brandy
Step 1 - To make the orange confit, place the oranges in a bowl and cover with cold water. Cover and leave overnight. Drain well and place in a saucepan with the spices, bay leaf and 3 cups (750ml) water. Bring to the boil, then simmer over very low heat for 25-30 minutes until oranges are transparent. Add the sugar and cook for a further 20-25 minutes or until mixture is a thin, jam-like consistency. Discard the spices and bay leaf, stir in brandy, and cool.
And the flowers? They were just pretty.