The orange trees in Rome were covered in fruit, I was so tempted just to reach up and pick one. But having already attracted attention by taking pictures of a tree I don’t think stealing oranges would have done me any favours! Fortunately I picked up some lovely oranges which were on offer at the greengrocer back home and used them to make this gorgeous twist on a custard tart.
The base is buttery and crumbly, more like shortbread than pastry. It’s a little hard to work with but worth the fuss – any left over scraps make fine biscuits. The base is lined with a layer of dark chocolate which seals in the zesty, orange custard which has a very tempting wobble and a subtle sharpness. I love a good custard tart but this was even better than I could have imagined; a perfect dessert for a special occasion which you can make a day in advance.
Chocolate orange tart
Adapted from BBC Good Food
For the base:
- 175g butter, cold
- 100g sugar
- 250g plain flour
- 25g ground almonds
- 1 egg, beaten
For the filling:
- 150g dark chocolate
- 5 eggs
- 180g sugar
- finely grated zest of 4 oranges and the juice of 3
- juice of 1 lemon
- 150ml double cream
Start by making the base.
In a food processor mix the butter, sugar, flour and almonds until they resemble bread crumbs.
Add a little egg at a time and pulse until the dough comes together. You probably won’t need the whole egg. (Save any leftover egg.)
Wrap the dough in cling film, pat into a flat circle and chill for at least 30 minutes. (Speed this step up by popping the dough in the freezer.) Put a metal measuring cup or spoon in the freezer to chill.
Heat the oven to 200°C.
Press the dough into a 23cm tart tin with your hands. Use the chilled cup or spoon to press right into the corner. Allow the dough to go over the edge of the tin. Save a little spare dough to patch up any holes.
Line the base with baking paper and baking beans. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the paper and beans, seal any cracks with the spare dough and bake for a further 10 minutes until the base is golden. Leave to cool.
Turn the oven down to 150°C.
Once the base is cool trim the sides and make the filling.
Melt the chocolate and pour into the cool pastry base. Brush evenly over the base and sides. Chill until the chocolate is set.
Whisk together the eggs, sugar, zest, juices and cream. Beat in any leftover egg from the pastry.
Put the chocolate lined base on the middle shelf of the oven and carefully pour in the custard.
Bake for 45–50 minutes until the custard is set but still wobbly in the centre.
Leave to cool then chill until ready to serve.