I love baking with the citrus family. Every spring I make a citrus dessert to “celebrate” the commencement of this wonderful season. This year’s winter in Vancouver has been colder and longer than usual, hopefully it will brighten up soon like the colours of this dessert. I love citrus tones in desserts because they add a very refreshing tartness that contrasts the sweetness. The medley of blood oranges, lemonade lemons, navel oranges, and grapefruits is delicious with the tea infused cream.This citrus earl grey tart is a guaranteed delightful finish to any meal.
- 170g / 6 oz unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 pinch salt
- 115g / 1 cup icing sugar
- 1-1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 60 g / 1 large egg, slightly beaten
- 355g / 3-3/4 cup cake flour, sifted
- 250 g / 1 cup whole milk
- 20 g / 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1/4 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
- 5 g / 1 tbsp earl grey tea leaves (I used whole leaves)
- 15 g / 1.5 tbsp cornstarch
- 10 g / 1 tbsp cake flour
- 20 g / 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 4 large egg yolks
- 25 g / 2 tbsp butter
- 4-5 citrus fruits of your choice, depending on size, sectioned (I used blood oranges, grapefruits, lemonade lemons, and navel oranges)
- edible flowers for decoration, if desired
- In mixer bowl, place in butter, salt, and icing sugar. Beat with a paddle attachment on medium speed until it is well mixed, becoming pale in colour.
- Add in vanilla extract, and eggs in 3 additions, make sure it is well incorporated before adding more eggs. Scrape down the sides bowl after each addition to ensure even distribution.
- On low speed, add in flour, mix until just incorporated, don't over mix otherwise tart will be tough.
- Shape dough into a round disk, wrap and chill in refrigerator overnight.
- Before rolling, let dough sit out for about 10 minutes to soften. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to about 3-4mm thick, turning the dough after each roll to prevent sticking, flour as needed.
- Measure the size of your tart pan/ring, cut out a 25 cm / 10 inch round shape.
- If the dough is too warm, place it back in the fridge to chill, otherwise you can start lining the pan/ring. When lining, be sure to get into the edges on the bottom, flush the dough right up to the top of the pan, trim off excess.
- Chill lined pan/ring. Prick the bottom of the tart with a fork before baking, or blind bake them (yields nicer looking shells - optional). Bake at 350 F for 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden.
- Blind baking: Line chilled tart pan/rings with parchment, fill with beans or rice, up to the top. Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes until the shells sets, take out and remove paper, beans and take out from the pans/rings, cool until ready to use.
- In small saucepan, heat milk, 20 g sugar, vanilla bean (seeds and pod), earl grey tea leaves until simmering. Turn off heat, cover, and let it steep for 10 - 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a medium mixing bowl whisk together egg yolks, remaining 20 g sugar, cornstarch, and cake flour.
- Temper egg yolk mixture by pouring the hot milk into the egg yolks while whisking. Return mixture into the pot, turn the heat back on medium. Continue whisking until it comes to a boil.
- Strain pastry cream through a fine mesh strainer. Transfer to a clean container to store. Cool and refrigerate. This can be prepared 3 days ahead until assembly.
- Whisk pastry cream lightly and spread onto the baked and cooled tart shell. Drain off excess juice from the sectioned citrus fruits, cover the top of the tart with fruits. Decorate with edible flowers if desired. Serve immediately.
For me, the most enjoyable characteristics of a tart is the interesting combination of textures. The fresh juiciness of the fruits, the velvety cream, and the sandy pastry shell. I am a fan of almost any earl grey desserts because I love the floral and citrus notes of bergamot. The bergamot in earl grey truly enhances the fruits in the dessert. The tart would taste quite different if I have filled it with a vanilla cream. However, if you are not a fan of earl grey tea, then a simple vanilla pastry cream would do the trick too. You can prepare the components ahead of time, but the dessert is best assembled right before serving. That way, you can highlight the freshness of the citrus and the texture of the pastry.
More citrus recipes from the blog:
- Guava Lemon Tart
- Simple Lemon Orange Teacake
- Olive Oil Chiffon Cake with Meyer Lemon Curd
- Lemon Poppy Seed Bostock
After a long freezing winter, I am so excited that spring has finally arrived. Cheers to more warmth, sunlight, and fresh local produce!