Christmas is here and that can only mean one thing — baking and Christmas markets! I’ve got some sweet recipes to share the forthcoming weeks so get your pot and pans ready and join the Christmas bake ride!
And so it just happened that I found myself selling delicious baked goods and sweat treats at an organic Christmas Food Market, that took place this passed Sunday. Once again I took the opportunity to do something I’d never done before and once again, I had a blast! Also I got a quick lesson in the art of preparation when you are to become a market vendor. I was prepared and had quite a lot of pastry with me – like the deliciousness that are about to be revealed in the next paragraph – but let’s just say that turning up at the market with ten different bags of things you don’t need and then trying to pack your little gift bags on site, well it ain’t gonna work when all you should be focusing on is interacting with your customers. That you should do at home. Before the market. Less is more, more or less.
One of my favourite pastries to make this fall has been tarts. Scavaging through a pile of old recipes a couple of weeks ago, I found one I’d totally forgotten existed. It was a cut out from a vegetarian food magazine I used to buy in college. The recipe is a French classic, Tarte Orange, or more correctly Tarte à l’orange which was a popular dessert at my dinner parties during this time of my life. Baking it again after all these years brought the memories back and oh my G! — the amazing flavour explosion was still there! I am so d**n — excuse my French — excited about this simple but still so luxurious pastry, that I just had to share it with you as a Christmas sweet. I believe this tart to be a perfect dessert alternative if you want to try something new this year. During my tart adventures I have come a cross a pastry dough with cornmeal. It has an almost cake like, buttery texture so I thought it would go well with the warm, creamy orange filling. The conclusion is this combo is definitely a keeper! I like to make pastry in smaller sizes and this darling tastes wonderful as a petit four.
Now, go, bake!
FOR THE CORNMEAL CRUST
115g /4 oz. organic butter
75g /2.6 oz. raw sugar
A pinch of salt
A splash of organic vanilla extract
25 ml organic honey
1 egg yolk, organic, free range
zest from 1/2 organic lemon
75g /2.6 oz. organic bread flour (in swedish: vetemjöl special)
75g /2.6 oz. organic yellow cornmeal
1. In a bowl, combine butter, sugar, salt, vanilla, honey, egg yolk and lemon zest until blended.
2. Mix bread flour with cornmeal and add to the batter. Form gently into a dough. It should be a little sticky.
3. Press the dough into a larger tart pan (24 cm/8″) or use mini petit four pans, and chill in fridge for at least 1 hour . You can also wrap the dough in plastic, chill and then roll it before pressing into your tart pan.
FOR THE ORANGE FILLING
50g /1.8 oz. organic butter
90g /3 oz. raw sugar
1 egg, organic, free range
zest and juice of 1 organic orange
1 tbsp Cointreau
1. Melt the butter on low heat and remove from the stove.
2. Cream egg and sugar until light and fluffy.
3. Add the orange zest and juice and Cointreau to the eggs and sugar. Finish with the melted butter.
4. Pour the filling into the tart shell or mini petit four pans. Bake for 15-25 minutes, depending on pan size, in 180 C/356 F or until the filling has set. Be sure to check the tart once or twice so it doesn’t burn. You can place a piece of parchment paper if you think the surface has got enough color but still needs to bake longer. Let the tart cool before service.
Serve your Tarte à l’orange with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream — organic of course – and just be happy!