Mini Desserts,  Tarts

Blood Orange Curd Tartlets

This is the last hurrah of citrus season. I saw some blood oranges at the store and figured I’d send them off in style, in the form of Blood Orange Curd Tartlets topped with vanilla bean Swiss meringue and a sprinkle of chopped pistachios.

I’ve made lemon curd a hundred times before, but never orange. I won’t lie…I was hoping for a more vibrant color on the curd…but the taste! The curd and the sweet pastry have juuuust enough sweetness, and the meringue on top makes these just divine. 

I decided to use six 4″ tart pans with removable bottoms (link [here]) for these Blood Orange Curd Tartlets, but you could easily make one 9″ or 10″ tart. Blind-baking the dough (that is, baking it without a filling) might take a few minutes longer, but other than that, preparation would be the same. Pie weights really do help when blind-baking a crust, helping to keep the dough from rising/getting bubbles as it bakes so that you have the room that you need for filling. You can buy actual pie weights if you’d like (like these [here]), but I just use black beans. They’re cheap and you can use them over and over again. Just don’t try eating the beans after that…

There are endless ways that you can dress these tarts up with the meringue. I used a 1M star tip (link [here]) and a 199 open star tip (link [here]) to pipe the meringue, but you could choose another tip to decorate or just spread it out on top with a spoon like a fluffy sugar cloud. The vanilla bean paste in the meringue can easily be substituted with vanilla extract–BUT–if you haven’t tried vanilla bean paste, it really is awesome (see link [here]). It’s vanilla-bean-flavor meets vanilla-extract-convenience. It can be pricey, but the good stuff really does taste better. You also typically use very little in a recipe, so a bottle will last you awhile. I also loooove the little black flecks it leaves in the meringue. <3

Goodbye, citrus season. See you next year! Maybe by then I’ll find a recipe that does the dramatic color of a blood orange some justice. Strawberry season is soooo close I can (nearly) taste it! I even saw a recipe for strawberry curd (Mind. Blown.). I’ll try not to make strawberry everything, but I can’t make any promises.

Other posts you may like:

Blood Orange Cheesecake

Strawberry Almond Tartlets

Mimosa Tart

Orange Upside Down Cake

Blood Orange Curd Tartlets

Amee
Sweet pastry filled with blood orange curd and topped with Swiss meringue and chopped pistachios. These sweet citrus gems will brighten your day!
Sweet Tart Dough from Sarabeth's Bakery (see here)
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Chill/freeze time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr 50 mins
Servings 6 4" tartlets

Ingredients
  

Sweet Tart Dough

  • 12 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened (1 1/2 sticks)
  • 6 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups flour

Blood Orange Curd

  • 1 cup blood orange juice
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 8 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small cubes (1 stick)
  • 8 egg yolks

Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract; see note)

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup chopped pistachios (optional)

Instructions
 

Dough:

  • Cream softened butter in the bowl of a stand mixer until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • Add sugar to the butter, mixing to combine. Then add egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract. Mix to combine, scraping down the sides of the bowl to ensure all ingredients are incorporated.
  • Add the flour to the butter mixture and mix until a soft dough forms.
  • Scrape the dough from the bowl onto a lightly floured surface, lightly kneading the dough into a ball.
  • Divide the dough in half, forming each half into a disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator 30 minutes.
  • After chilling, working with one disk at a time, roll dough to 1/8" thickness. Line eight 4" tart pans with removable bottoms (see note) with the dough.  Prick the bottom of the dough in each pan with a fork. Freeze for 15 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350F. After freezing, place each of the tartlet pans on a sheet pan. Line each tartlet with parchment paper and fill with pie weights (see note). Bake tart shells 15 minutes. Remove weights and parchment paper. Return tart shells to the oven and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until golden. Cool tart shells completely on a wire rack.

Curd:

  • Combine all curd ingredients in a medium heatproof bowl.
  • Bring a small pot of water to a simmer, placing the heatproof bowl on top. Be sure that the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl.
  • Whisking constantly, cook over medium high heat until curd is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. You should be able to run your finger through it, leaving a line on the back of the spoon that doesn't run.
  • Strain curd into another bowl. Cool slightly, then cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic against the surface of the curd. Cool curd completely in the refrigerator.

Meringue:

  • Combine egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl.
  • Bring a small pot of water to a simmer, placing the heatproof bowl on top. Be sure that the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl.
  • Cook, whisking often, until sugar has dissolved completely. 
  • Transfer mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whip on high speed until stiff peaks form and mixture is no longer hot to the touch.
  • Add vanilla paste (or vanilla extract) and whip to combine, about one more minute. Transfer meringue to a piping bag (I used a 1M star tip and a 199 open star tip).

Assembly:

  • Fill cooled tart shells with chilled orange curd. Smooth curd with an offset spatula. 
  • Pipe meringe on top of curd as desired. You could also just spoon/spread the meringue. Top with chopped pistachios, if desired.
    Enjoy!

Notes

Note on tartlet pans: I used 4" tartlet pans with a removable bottom (like the ones here). These pans are dark, so it may take a bit longer to get your tart shells golden in a lighter pan.
Note on pie weights: Pie weights really do help when blind-baking a crust, helping to keep the dough from rising/getting bubbles as it bakes. This makes sure that you have the room that you need for filling. You can buy actual pie weights if you'd like (like these here), but I just use black beans. They're cheap and you can use them over and over again. Just don't try eating the beans after that...
Note on vanilla bean paste: The vanilla bean paste can easily be substituted with vanilla extract--BUT--if you haven't tried vanilla bean paste, it really is awesome (see link here). It's vanilla-bean-flavor meets vanilla-extract-convenience. It can be pricey, but the good stuff really does taste better. You also typically use very little in a recipe, so a bottle will last you awhile. I also loooove the little black flecks in the meringue. <3

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