Let’s be honest people, one can never have too much shortbread in their life. It’s just one of those things that never lets you down. No matter how much you fudge up the recipe, somehow it always seems to turn out just right. Maybe that’s just because it’s 90% butter, but still, I think that last 10% is pure magic!
So this week, because I’m tired/lazy/mentally burnt out, I decided to take advantage of this simple easy dessert while adding a little somethin’ somethin’ to keep it interesting. And that is how I came to make the Tangerine Tart. While roaming the internet for inspiration I came across a recipe on this awesome little food blog called Butter Me Up Brooklyn. This award winning site is full of amazing recipes and I highly recommend perusing their library of recipes.
What caught my attention was a recipe for a tangerine tart with a vanilla bean shortbread crust. HALLELUJAH! I honestly had never experimented with tangerines in desserts so this sounded like the perfect blend of ease and excitement!
So there I was, collecting my ingredients when I saw my least favorite yet favorite thing on the list: vanilla beans. While these little suckers never disappoint in the flavor department, they cost as much as a new pair of shoes! And you know I love me some new shoes, so I thought nay! I will not buy you, you little pods of flavor filled gold! So, I tweaked the recipe ever so slightly to meet my monetary budget (does this mean I can buy new shoes?).
After compiling my ingredients I went to work, and this recipe took me about 30 min total to make. It was simple, fast, and, of course, delish! I substituted the missing vanilla beans for a touch more vanilla extract and my taste buds definitely didn’t complain. For those wishing to amp up the recipe try adding a few drops of orange extract, or even almond (don’t mix em!) to the shortbread mixture. My only qualm with this recipe is that it needed a little more oomph so I recommend substituting half of the lemon juice with orange juice, so that sweet citris flavor isn’t overpowered by the lemony bitterness. So get baking!
Oh My Ganache
Tangerine Tart with Vanilla Bean Shortbread Crust
Makes one 8-inch tart
Recipe from Butter Me Up Brooklyn
For the shortbread crust:
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
one vanilla bean, seeds scraped (or 1/4 teasp. more vanilla extract)
one egg yolk
pinch of salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/4 cups flour
For the filling:
2 egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup freshly-squeezed tangerine juice (from about two medium tangerines)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
juice from half a lemon (Try mixing with orange juice)
powdered sugar, for dusting
Make the crust: In a medium bowl stir together powdered sugar, vanilla extract, vanilla bean seeds, egg yolk, and salt until smooth. Add melted butter, mix until combined, then add the flour all at once and stir vigorously until the dough comes together in a smooth ball. Don’t fret if it looks a little oily.
Press walnut-sized balls of dough evenly around the edges of an 8-inch tart pan with a removable bottom then crumble the remaining dough over the bottom of the pan, and use your fingers to press the dough into an even layer. Use a fork to lightly prick the dough (every few inches or so) and freeze for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350. Remove the crust from the freezer and press a piece of foil very tightly up against the bottom and up the sides of the crust. This avoids the need for using pie weights! Yay! Bake the crust for 15 minutes. Remove foil and use a spoon to press back the dough if it has puffed up then continue to bake uncovered for another 15 minutes.
While the crust is baking, make the filling: In a medium saucepan whisk together eggs, yolks, salt and sugar until smooth and slightly thickened. Whisk in the tangerine juice. Add the butter and set the pan over medium heat, stirring constantly with a heatproof spatula, until the butter has melted. Reduce the heat slightly and continue to stir until the mixture has thickened and coats the back of a spoon, or about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the juice from half a lemon. Transfer the curd to a small bowl until the crust has finished baking.
Bring it all together: Remove the crust from the oven and pour the tangerine curd over the warm crust. Smooth the top and bake for 5 minutes to set the curd. Remove from the oven, and cool on a rack until the tart comes to room temperature. Chill for several hours or overnight. When you are ready to serve, sprinkle with a dusting of powdered sugar, slice into small wedges and enjoy.