Blood orange season is here and I couldn't wait to make Blood Orange Curd. It tasted better than I expected, so I decided to make this Blood Orange Curd Tart with candied blood oranges and whipped creme fraiche. The curd is slightly tart and because the blood orange juice is reduced the flavor is intensified. In reality, you fix this tart anyway you want because the blood orange curd is the star of the show, but the candied oranges taste pretty good too.
Two years ago I'd never heard of blood oranges. I first saw them in the grocery store in 2019 and the first thing I made was a Blood Orange Pound Cake. The intensity of the color of the glaze blew me away. The bright purple color is amazing. Before I could think of other things to make the season was over. I have been waiting excitedly for my second blood orange season.
How to Make Candied Oranges
I recommend making the candied blood oranges first because while they are cooking you can assemble the rest of the tart in the time that it takes to cook the candied oranges. The recipe is simple. There are just three ingredients: sugar, water, and orange slices.
I use a sharp knife with a thin blade to cut the orange slices 1/4-inch thick. I was able to get pretty even slices when slicing the first two-thirds of the orange. I tried using a mandoline, but I had a hard time getting even slices. It was either because the fruit is soft or my blade is not sharp enough. I can slice firm vegetables with no trouble, so I think it might be a combination of soft fruit and not a sharp enough blade.
I use a 12-inch saute pan to candy the oranges because it has a large surface area which makes it easier to arrange the orange slices in a single layer. As you cook the oranges the simple syrup will turn pink and thicken. When the oranges are done they will be translucent and the white pith will be soft and slightly darker in color.
I really like the taste of the candied oranges. They're sweet, soft and really delicious. They can be used with other desserts or just for snacking.
The Blood Orange Curd
The method for making this curd is similar to my recipes for Lemon Curd and Seville Orange Curd, but since the flavor of blood orange juice is not as intense as lemons or limes, I start with 1-1/2 cups of blood orange and reduce it to 3/4 cup. And since it is not as sour, I use less sugar than my recipe for Lemon Curd. The juice will thicken slightly as it reduces.
The final color of the curd will depend on the color of the blood oranges. If the orange peel is partially red, the flesh will most likely be deep red, almost black. If the peel is mostly orange, the flesh will mainly be orange with spots of red. The addition of the egg yolks will lighten the color of the curd.
Assembling the Tart
The tart crust is filled with the blood orange curd and baked for 10 minutes to set the filling. After the refrigerating the tart I decorated it with the whipped creme fraiche and the candied oranges. The tang of the creme fraiche is perfect with the orange filling.
Blood orange season is short, and if you've never made blood orange curd I hope you try this recipe. I love making fruit tarts, especially to share with others. If you try this recipe please drop me a note in the comments section or on Instagram @bakesbybrownsugar.
- 2 cups water
- 2 1/4 cups (450 grams) granulated sugar
- 12 blood orange slices 1/4-inch thick
- 1 1/3 cups (189 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup (60 grams) light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 10 tablespoons (142 grams) unsalted butter, melted
Blood Orange Curd
- 1 1/2 cups fresh-squeezed blood orange juice, 4-5 oranges
- 3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 (100 grams) large whole eggs
- 4 (80 grams) egg yolks
- 8 tablespoons (114 grams) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
Whipped Crème Fraiche
- 1 cup (240 grams) crème fraiche, cold
- 2 tablespoons wildflower honey
- For this recipe I used a 4 x 14-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. You can also use a 9-inch round tart pan.
For the Candied Oranges
- Place a cooling rack next to the stove and place a piece of wax paper under the rack to catch the syrup that will drip from the candied oranges.
- Combine the sugar and water in a 12-inch sauté pan and bring to boil and stir to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the orange slices in a single layer. Simmer for oranges for 1 hour, flipping the orange slices every 15 minutes, until the orange pulp begins to turn translucent and the rind is soft. To test the rind, remove a single orange slice from the syrup and test the rind by squeezing it with your fingers. Be careful the syrup is hot.
- When the oranges are done place them on the cooling rack and allow them to cool completely before using. The simple syrup can be reserved and used for something else.
For the Crust
- Adjust 1 oven rack to the middle position in the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Whisk flour, brown sugar, and salt together in a bowl. Add melted butter and stir with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon until a dough forms and no specks of flour remain. Using your hands, press the dough into the tart pan with a removable bottom. Press and smooth dough with your hands to even thickness, especially on the sides.
- Place tart pan on a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet and bake until the top edges of the crust turn golden brown and firm to touch, 30 to 35 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking.
For the Blood Orange Curd
- Place the blood orange juice in a 2-quart saucepan, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and reduce the juice to 3/4 cup. When the juice is reduced remove it from the heat. And allow it to cool slightly. Place a medium sized bowl with a fine mesh strainer near the stove.
- In a 3-quart saucepan combine the whole eggs, the egg yolks, and sugar and whisk to thoroughly combine. Slowly stream in the blood orange juice, whisking constantly until all the juice is added. Add the butter and place the pan over medium heat. Whisk constantly until the curd is thickened and is 185 degrees F.
- Strain the curd through the fine-mesh strainer when it is done.
- If you're using the curd right away pour the curd into the tart shell and use an offset spatula to smooth the surface. Place the tart pan on a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.
- If making the curd 1 or 2 two days in advance, press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the curd, and refrigerate until ready to use. The curd can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Let the curd sit for 30 minutes at room temperature before filling the tart shell.
- After baking the curd in the tart shell allow it to cool to room temperature and then refrigerate for at least two hours before adding the whipped crème fraiche.
For the Whipped Crème Fraiche
- Chill the whisk and mixing bowl in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Place the crème fraiche and honey in the bowl and with a hand mixer, whip the crème fraiche until soft peaks form. Refrigerate it until ready to use.
Assembling the Tart
- Remove the tart from the refrigerator and decorate it with the candied orange slices and whipped crème fraiche.
This is a thing of total beauty and I want it really bad....
Cheryl Norris says
Thank you Sally. Too bad we don't live closer.
Nice curd recipe (I had a tart shell from a previous bake so I didn't make the one specified here) I did add a little Cointreau and some zest from an orange to up the orange flavor a bit but reducing the juce was a great idea that I will use in the future! The curd started thickening faster then I expected so don't be fooled. You still need to keep it cooking for a while to get it to 185 degrees.
What is the other fruit sliced on top for decorating?
Cheryl Norris says
The other fruit on top of the tart is kumquat. They're usually available starting in January. Please let me know if you make the tart.
Andrea Henchey says
Hi Cheryl! I haven’t tried this recipe yet, but look forward to giving it a go. I love that you’re interested in the science of why some recipes work and others don’t. I have been trying to get a sumo citrus curd tart to work, but haven’t found success yet. Here’s what I notice about citrus curd tart recipes: some have you push it through a fine mesh sieve and others don’t. Some have you cook it only on the stovetop/double-boiler but not in the oven, some, like Mary Berry’s are only in the oven. I want it to be smooth but set up firmly. Oh! And some people add cornstarch to thicken more, too. Do you have any thoughts you’d be willing to share? I’m documenting my trials on Instagram at @only_tarts. Thanks!!
Cheryl Norris says
First of all, thank you for visiting the blog. I really appreciate it. I'm happy to answer your questions. I strain the curd to remove the little bits of cooked egg, which produces a silkier and smoother curd.
I bake the tart with the curd to help ensure that the curd will set firm enough for nice clean slices. Also, a firmer curd will support the addition of whipped cream, meringue, or fresh fruit. The curd is safe to eat after cooking it to temperature on the stovetop, so baking it is based on how you plan to serve it.
The reason lemon curd sets up so beautifully is the combination of the acid, the egg yolks, and the sugar. To make a thicker you don't need cornstarch. Add an additional egg yolk or whole egg to thicken it. The amount you need to add will depend on the amount of juice or fruit you're starting with. For blueberry and strawberry curds, I add lemon juice because the additional acid helps to create a creamier, more stable curd.
I hope I've answered your questions.Please let me know if you have other questions.