Happy Valentine’s Day!
What better way to celebrate than to make a tasty dessert for your sweetheart? I remember traveling to France for the first time and tasting a candied orange peel dipped in chocolate, called an orangette, and tasting my way through countless patisseries. In Paris, tarts are practically their own food group, and one of my favorite things to eat, whether savory or sweet.
I’ve combined a few of my favorite things to bring you this orangette tart, especially for Valentine’s Day. When we cook with love, our food is sure to taste amazing, and I’ll hope you’ll pour your heart and soul into making this delectable tart for that special person in your life.
1 stick unsalted butter (4 oz), room temp
4 oz sugar
½ tsp vanilla
½ tsp lemon zest
1 large egg
12 oz AP flour
¼ tsp salt
2 cups sugar
2 cups orange juice
A couple whole cloves
A couple whole allspice
1 cinnamon stick
3 navel oranges, sliced, peel on
4 oz. 60 - 70% chocolate, chopped
1 cup whipped cream
3 egg whites
3 oz sugar
3 tbsp jam, light colored such as apricot, melted
Starting with the tart dough, cream the butter and the sugar in a mixer. Slowly add the egg, followed by the vanilla and the lemon zest. Mix until incorporated and then lower the speed and add the flour and salt that you will sift together beforehand. Remove from the mixer and form into a ball. Wrap with plastic and flatten. Put into the refrigerator to rest for at least 30 minutes (can leave overnight). Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Remove from plastic wrap and place in between two piece of plastic and make sure it is well floured. Roll out the dough (not too thick or too thin) into an even layer and roll onto the rolling pin to easily carry onto the tart pan. Form into the pan and push in the sides. If there are holes, cover them with extra dough. Poke holes in the bottom with a fork so it doesn’t bubble up. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside.
Next, for the candied oranges, cut the oranges in half and thinly slice with either a mandolin or knife and set aside. Add the sugar and the orange juice to a pot and turn the heat on medium high. Add the spices and boil for about 10 minutes or until it thickens and becomes syrupy. Then add in the orange slices and reduce heat to a gentle simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove the orange slices from the syrup and lay on a wire rack to dry. Strain the syrup and reserve to add to the mousse later.
For the chocolate mousse, place the chocolate into a boil on top of gently boiling water (double boiler) and stir with a spatula until melted. Remove from the heat and set aside. Pour the egg whites into the mixer and mix until frothy (soft peaks). Place the sugar into a pot with a little water to coat. Make sure the sides of the pot are clean so the sugar does not burn. Boil the sugar for a couple minutes and dip your finger into a glass of ice water then quickly into the sugar and back into the ice water, rubbing the sugar between your fingers. Continue to do this until you feel a soft ball form between your fingers. You could also use a candy thermometer to measure 235-240 degrees. Start the mixer again, and when the sugar is cooked to soft ball stage, slowly pour into the egg whites, mixing until stiff peaks are formed, making an Italian meringue. Remove the bowl and slowly fold in the chocolate (both should be warm). Next fold in the whipped cream, and a little of the reserved orange syrup, until incorporated.
Fill the tart shell with the chocolate mousse, making an even layer. Next arrange the orange slices in a pattern on top of the tart. With the melted jam (can melt in the microwave), brush a thin layer on top of the oranges to create a glaze. This tart is best served chilled or at room temperature. Enjoy!