BLOOD ORANGE RASPBERRY AND BLACK TAHINI TARTS
When the blood orange season comes around every year, in the winter, my mind goes into a tornado mode of what fun desserts can I make with the prettiest fruits that nature has given us! Blood oranges get me excited! The pretty orange, deep red hues on the outside, and magenta shades on the inside, make me want to squeal with joy, like a little girl in a candy store!
So I have quite a few blood orange desserts up by sleeve this year, and I cannot wait to share them with you! I am particularly excited to share this one, because it was the first time that I was making the pate sable pastry shells, that you see in a Parisian pastry store, or a fancy pastry store, the one you think you can never make, but when you put it together, it gets you so excited, and you want to share it with the world!
When Bob’s Red Mill asked me to partner with them last year, for a yearlong partnership in 2022, trust me, I was SO excited and overcome with joy! I have loved their products for a long time, used their almond flour, unbleached all purpose flour, and even their oat flours and gluten free oats for breakfast dishes! They have a fantastic array of products, right from different kinds of starches and flours as thickening agents, nut flours, grains and grain flours, and also breakfast products such as oatmeal cups and bars!
HISTORY OF BOB’s RED MILL
Bob started Bob’s Red Mill in 1978, when he and his wife Charlee went on a long walk one day in Milwaukie, Oregon, and chanced upon an old red feed mill and that was the beginning of Bob’s Red Mill and their journey towards a successful business.
In Bob’s words “Food is powerful. It breaks down walls and feeds the soul. We know it and we live it. We believe in good food for all”. You can read more about Bob and Charlee’s story here.
The first recipe that I am showcasing and sharing are these mini Blood Orange Raspberry and Black Tahini Tarts. The dessert starts out with a Pâte Sablée base, Black Tahini layer, and then a blood orange and raspberry curd layer, finally topped with an Italian Meringue, that is torched, and with a grande finale garnish of candied blood oranges, freeze dried raspberries and edible gold leaf!
With Valentine’s Day coming up, these mini desserts would make the perfect dessert to share with your loved ones. They are individual sized portions, perfectly sweetened, not too sweet and delicately, beautifully and elegantly decorated.
Pâte Sablée base
Pâte Sablée dough is made with all purpose flour, almond flour, confectioner’s sugar and eggs. You have to weigh out the dough to get the right proportions and texture of the tart shell every time. The shell is not too sweet, it is like a biscuit, and forms the perfect vehicle to carry fillings of your choice.
The dough is easy to make, and you do not need a stand mixer to make it. I love making the dough with my bare hands, because you can feel the dough come together beautifully. You have to massage the dough – a process called frisage (that I learnt when I had taken an extensive pie and tart course ions ago), to get the lovely consistency. You are basically spreading the butter with the process. You use your heel to knead the dough.
I used ground cardamom in my dough to give it a bit of flavor.
Once the dough is made, you have to chill it for a bit so that you can roll it into a perfect layer, between two silicone mats to get an even layer. Trim the sides, which may be thinner than the middle portion of the dough.
The silicone mats that I use are linked here.
If you want flat bottoms for the tarts, it would be great to use perforated baking mats linked here. You can use the normal silicone baking mat, but you may get a slight concave on the bottom, which is not that bad. Once they come out of the oven, simply use a paper towel and press on the inside of the tart shell.
Once you roll out the dough, you want to work fast through the process of cutting out the rounds, based on the tart ring shape, and cutting out the strips to put around the inside of each tart ring.
What I like to do is divide the pate sable dough into 2. Keep one wrapped in the fridge. Use the other one to roll out, and form the round shapes. The second dough I use to make the strips inside each tart ring.
Both the sheets need to be frozen in the freezer for half an hour. Then bake them in the oven for 30 minutes, until slightly golden brown in color. You want it just slightly golden else the shells will get hardened.
The tart shells can be kept in an airtight container for upto 2-3 days.
Blood Orange and Raspberry Curd
I love blood orange curd. I have been making it for years now, and I love adding floral notes, or other fruity notes to make the color vibrant. Blood orange curd by itself is a very pale orangish-pinkish hue, and is not very attractive.
My cookbook Mumbai Modern has my Blood Orange and Hibiscus Curd Tart with a Gingersnap Crust. The dried hibiscus gives the curd a very pretty color, and floral and tartness to it too. Blood oranges by itself are sweet. They do not have tartness as such. So hibiscus balances it really well.
Here, I have used fresh raspberries to the blood orange, to give the curd flavor and color. It enhances the fruitiness, and tartness and gives it a pretty color too. I do add a drop of pink food coloring to make it a pretty pink.
The ingredients of the blood orange and raspberry curd are pretty simple:
- Blood Orange Juice and zest(zest has a lot of flavor that should not be dismissed!)
- Pureed raspberries(that I puree with the blood orange juice to give it even consistency)
- Lemon juice
- Whole eggs
- Egg yolks
- Granulated sugar
- Unsalted butter
- Pinch of salt
The curd is very simple to put together. It is amazing on pretty much ANYTHING. Think toasts, waffles, pancakes, filling for cookies, macarons, or eat it just AS IS!
I think this is my new favorite combination – blood orange and raspberries!!! This tart is ADDICTIVE AS HELL! You will not stop licking it!
The most important tip for curd is, that do NOT taste it right away. You have to wait for it to cool down, and make sure that the plastic wrap is on top of the curd, so as not to form a film. Make sure that the curd is in the fridge to cool down and set as well. That is an important step too.
Black Tahini Paste:
There is something about black sesame and citrus, that is a fantastic combination. I LOVE this pairing.
The black tahini that I bought is linked here. The brand is PURE black sesame seed paste. No additives, no sugar added, thus you can control the amount of sugar going into my black tahini paste for the tart. I simply add confectioner’s sugar to the black tahini, mix it well with a rubber spatula, and immediately spoon it into all the tarts so that it does not harden.
The tarts are really simple to put together. All you are doing is baking the tart shells.
Layer ½ a tablespoon of the black tahini paste into the tart shell. Add a blood orange and raspberry curd layer uptil the top of the tart. Now set them all in the fridge for a couple of hours to set.
Then we go ahead with the decoration of the Italian Meringue piping and adding candied blood oranges(optional), and other fixings!
If you do want to make the Candied Blood Oranges, you can find the recipe here.
I have to admit, and be honest here. I was afraid to make Italian meringue. The thought of making a hot sugar syrup first, and then whisking at fast speed into the egg whites to make a meringue, scared me. But then I thought, I have made marshmallows in a similar fashion, except you have corn syrup in the hot sugar syrup, that you pour into egg whites as well. This is NO different!
I love the way Stella Parks explains it in this Serious Eats article, and that it is easy to control the ratio of the Italian Meringue. It is all about the ratio. So I used a ratio that worked for the quantity I wanted to make for the tarts. I always make extra, to practice the piping before I pipe it onto the tarts. This helps me to gauge the pressure I need to put on the piping, steadiness, and preciseness.
Italian Meringue is very light, and the pressure required to pipe it is very little. It does not take much to pipe out a beautiful pattern.
All the information about accuracy in recipe, and piping tip used is in the RECIPE BELOW.
I am in love with these tarts and the flavor. I loved decorating them with Candied Blood Oranges, and freeze dried raspberries, and edible gold leaf to make them elegant and pretty. I love exploring making the tart shells and how perfect they turned out.
This dessert screams elegance, finesse and love, perfect for Valentine’s Day. I hope you get a chance to make this tart for your loved ones. The recipe makes 12 tarts and you can distribute it amongst your friends and family for a special treat.
IF you do make them, please do not forget to tag #thejamlab on Instagram and/or leave me a comment on this blog post!
Love and hugs,
This blog post is sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill. All opinions expressed are my own.