A huge tart
January 15th, 2011 by

Blood Orange Crostata with Passionfruit Curd, Grapefruit Gelee and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

When the restaurant accidentally received a case of blood oranges instead of the navel oranges that had been ordered, it became the pastry department’s job to use them up. I made a batch of blood orange sorbet, but I also made this blood orange crostata for sunday supper. This is a recipe I have been lusting to make for almost a year, ever since I saw pictures on a food blog called smitten kitchen; but I kept forgetting about it until the after the events for which it would have been appropriate. I didn’t even remember it for this project until I was trawling the internet on Saturday night trying to think of something to do with an entire case of citrus. However, as soon as I saw the pictures I was hooked all over again. I made the recipe almost exactly as she suggests but with probably a little more butter and less sugar on the fruit. I also added a little cinnamon to the crust.

A crostada is a rustic, free-form tart which generally has a fairly thick crust that is just folded over to make an outer edge. I think one reason that slices of pies, tarts, and cakes, are generally served with just a scoop of ice cream or maybe a sauce is because there aren’t that many garnishes that can enhance a well made slice. This was how I felt about my crostada. I clearly had my work cut out for me, as my inclination was to say that the tart by itself was perfect but the powers that be did not agree. So, I went in the opposite direction, pulled out all the scraps and extras, looking for delicious bits that I could put together with this tart on a plate. This included a bunch of citrus pieces that we had left over from experiments planning for a grapefruit dinner and for Valentine’s day. I ended up only including the smooth, rich passionfruit mousse, a tangy blood orange sauce, and jello-like grapefruit gelee squares. I also made a very quick, creamy vanilla bean ice cream to balance all of that acidity.

This dish wasn’t bad (besides the fact that I made the tarts so big that they didn’t fit on any of the plates we have in house) but it wasn’t great. It was a tasty dessert, but I don’t think the other elements of the plate improved on the tart. I thought the tarts were beautiful, but their beauty was in their rustic nature, and they really were best alone.

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