Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Mandarin Orange Curd Tartelettes

Remember the all those fabulous Mentonnaise mandarins I rescued recently from my neighbour's garden?  Well this afternoon I locked myself in the kitchen, sun streaming in,  to  create a few recipes with them.  Happy work indeed!

These little tartelettes are filled with a tangy, creamy curd made with fragrant, perfumed Mentonnaise mandarins and lemons.  If you're lucky enough to get your hands on some, this recipe will do them justice although mineolas and tangerines work well too.  Either way, I think these have a pleasing balance of sweet and sour, and aren't so rich that you wouldn't reach for a second one.

To concentrate the flavour of the mandarins, you'll boil the juice gently to reduce it by half and then add the lemon juice.


Mandarin Orange Curd Tartelettes

Makes 9 Tartelettes

Fine grater
9 -  3" (7½ cm) Fluted tart tins
Round cookie cutter, 4" (10cms)
Rolling pin
Medium sized, fine sieve
Small fine sieve

(Pâte sucrée)
100g cold, unsalted butter
70g icing sugar
200g all purpose flour, sifted
⅛ teaspoon salt
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon milk

Mandarin Curd (makes 14oz (400ml))
2 tablespoons(22g)  lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
1 cup mandarin juice (225g), about 12
Fine zest of one lemon 
2 teaspoons mandarin  zest
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon (112g) granulated sugar
2 teaspoons(4g) corn starch
4 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons (26g) cream
4 tablespoons (57g) unsalted butter at room temperature
Pinch of salt

2 teaspoons (4g) icing sugar OR
1 cup (250ml) lightly sweetened whipped cream

1. Put the tart tins in the refrigerator to chill.

Prepare the pastry
1.  Mix together the egg yolks and milk.  Set aside.
2.  Using your hands or a food processor, mix the butter, salt, and icing sugar together until well mixed. There shouldn't be any lumps of butter visible.  If you're using your hands, work quickly so you don't melt the butter.  The final mixture will be a thick paste.
3. Add the flour and mix gently or pulse a few times.  Add the egg yolk and milk mixture and mix until just incorporated.  Do not overwork the dough or it will become tough.  Knead once or twice to bring the mixture together. 
 4.  Form the dough into a flat disc, wrap in plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator to rest while you prepare the curd.

Prepare the Curd
1.  In a saucepan over medium heat, boil the mandarin juice gently to reduce it to 1/2 cup.  This should take about 10 minutes.  Pour the reduced mixture into a bowl,  then add  the lemon juice and the zests.
2.  Place the medium sized, fine sieve over a medium bowl and set aside.  In a medium saucepan, mix the egg yolks, sugar, salt, corn starch and cream.  Add the juice mixture and stir well.
3.  In a medium bowl over simmering water, the mixture stirring constantly until thick and translucent. Remove from the heat and pour  the curd through the fine sieve into a bowl.
4.  Add the butter in small pieces and stir until melted.  Press some plastic wrap directly on the top of the curd and refrigerate.

Prepare and pre-bake the tart shells
1.  Lightly flour your work surface and pin and roll out the pastry dough to about 3mm thick.
2.  Using your cookie cutter, make about 9-10 circles. Gently press each of the circles into the tart tins, trim any overage and refrigerate them for at least 1/2 hour.
3.   Preheat the oven to 360°F(185°C)
4.   Prick the dough on the bottom of each pastry shell a few times.  Line each with foil or parchment and fill with baking weights.  Arrange them on a cookie sheet. 
5.   Bake the shells for 15 minutes, then remove them from the oven, remove the foil and baking weights, and return them to the oven  for another 5-8 minutes until golden brown.  Remove and set aside to cool.
6.  One at a time, flip them over onto your hand and very gently squeeze the sides of each of the tart tins.  They should pop out easily.  Set them aside

1.  Stir the curd a bit to soften it.  Spoon the curd into each of the tart shells, placing each onto a cookie sheet as you go.  Refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour.

1.  Put the icing sugar in the fine sieve and tap it gently to evenly dust top of the tarts.   Arrange them on a serving plate.  These tarts are also great with a dollop of whipped cream on top.

  • Don't over mix the pastry dough, your tart shells will be tough.
  • Keep an eye on the mandarin juice when you're reducing it.  It can go from ready to syrupy and overcooked in a few minutes.  Set a timer at 5 minute intervals just to be sure!
  • Because there is corn starch in the curd mixture, you can cook it directly on the stove instead of a double boiler but  you should still keep an eye on it though - if it boils it will still curdle.
  • Refrigerating your tart tins will make it easier to line with dough.
  • Tea pairing:  an aged Pu'er goes well with these tarts and balances out the acidity of the curd quite nicely.

1 comment:

Hannah said...

What a smart way to use up your bounty! The tartlettes are really lovely, so cheerful and perfect for spring.