Blood Orange Sumac Tart


Yesterday was a snow day.  All previous plans got averted due to nearly a foot of snow.  I had thought that I'd use the extra time to work on some writing projects.  But in the end, I realized that Mamma N. was giving me a big fat message - I was supposed to use the unexpected free time to revel in what may be some of the last cozy snowflakey moments of spring.


Instead of working, I did a lot of neighborhood shoveling, made a snowman with the neighbor kids, and took a long walk in the blinding snow.  I tried hard to appreciate the beauty of the land with a white blanket thrown over it, the feeling of the blood moving through my extremities as I struggled to walk on paths drifted knee high, and the sensation of wind peppering snow into my face.  I also thought about the most miserably hot days of last summer, and how I longed for the joys of snow.

Spring arrives in fits and starts here.  Or at least, it does in the good years.  March is usually the snowiest month of the year.  Last year, we didn't receive so much as a spec of precipitation in March, and it set up one of the most devastating fire seasons on record.  Although this March has been generous with snow, we've still not managed to pull out of drought conditions.  It makes each snow storm feel all the more precious.

It is really lovely to experience snow storms and 70 degree days all in one week.  Just a few days ago, I picked my first greens of the season.  The landscape is still largely barren and winter-brown.  But with some effort, I was able to come home with enough dock, dandelions, and wild onion greens to fill a brown paper lunch bag.

Isn't it just dandy?

Curly dock leaves emerging
Dock, dandelion, and wild onion greens


Then, overnight, the world looked like this.

Robins feeding on crab apples during spring snow storm

Looking up through Blue Spruce boughs

Kitteh thought he wanted to go out, but quickly changed his mind
My garden marker in the snow


In addition to spending some time cozied under a blanket with kitteh reading a book, I also baked like a mad woman on my snow day.  I'm not known for enjoying baked goods, so this was an extraordinary day.  It certainly yielded an extraordinary amount of dishes to wash.  But I also ended up with banana bread, blueberry muffins, and a batch of cast-iron cornbread to go with the night's bean soup.
Lovin' from the oven

Finally, there was dessert, a tart so bright and tangy with blood orange, lemon, and sumac that it earned being called a tart.  I had thought the combination of blood orange juice, lemon juice, and egg yolks would turn the tart pink, but it came out rather orange (perhaps due to those high-quality orange-yolked farm eggs).  The filling was nicely contrasted by the lightly sweet crunch of a pine nut crust.

Blood Orange Sumac Tart


1 batch of blood orange curd made using this recipe that I posted a few years ago. Substitute a combination of blood orange and lemon juice for the called for 2/3 c. lemon juice.  Also, add 1 tsp ground sumac and 1 tsp. blood orange zest to the curd, and strain it out through a sieve after the blood orange sumac curd has cooked.

1/3 batch of pine nut crust, from this Epicurious recipe via Bouchon.  I substituted my own gluten-free flour blend into this recipe.  Also, the directions on the Epicurious site recommend making a full batch, and freezing 2/3 because the full recipe only calls for one egg.  I didn't have nearly enough pine nuts to make the full recipe.  So I put my egg into a cup, beat it with a fork, and used what looked to be about 1/3 of it for the crust, saving aside the rest of the egg to eat with breakfast.


1.  Butter and flour a 9" tart pan.

2.  Press the chilled pine nut dough evenly into the tart pan.  Run a rolling pin over the top of the pan to trim any excess dough and make for a neat presentation.

3.  Bake the crust in a 350 degree (F) oven for 25-30 minutes, or until it is evenly golden.  Remove the pine nut crust from the oven and let it cool while you are making the blood orange sumac curd.

4.  While it is still warm, pour the cooked blood orange sumac curd directly into the cooled pine nut crust, and smooth the top with a spatula.

5.  Let the tart cool to room temperature.  You can either serve it at room temperature, or chilled.


Comments

  1. It must be so hard to endure those sorts of changes in the weather. I'm not sure my body could handle it. I have a hard time when it gets ten degrees above freezing at night after a day of sun, LOL.

    Loved seeing it thogh. Great recipe.

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    Replies
    1. The snow just makes the spring sun feel even warmer!

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  2. Aw, look at those baby plants!

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  3. Yum! Blood oranges are my favorite citrus. My once a year special treat is ordering a box of them from a farm in CA--we still have some awesome blood orange marmalade hanging around from last year.
    We've been seeing some extraordinary changes in weather around here, too. Last week, we had some really mild days in the 70s, and today it's spitting snow. My sinuses are not happy!

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    Replies
    1. Oh, and blood orange marmalade is soooo pretty, too! That sounds like an awesome treat :)

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  4. Can this tart be frozen. I keep thinking it would be nice to have a bite of citrus in the summer some time.

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    Replies
    1. To be honest Rog, I really don't know. I feel like sometimes it can be a little tricky to freeze egg-y dishes. I might try it with one slice before freezing an entire tart. I totally agree with you about having a slice of this in the summer.

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  5. I think blood oranges are one of my favorite fruits. I'm not sure if this opinion is based upon how they taste, or how they look, however. They're such a seductive fruit.

    I've got some pastry crust in the freezer, and believe it or not even have sumac, so I'm going to give this a go tonight.

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  6. This is when I wish I was coming to your house more often to eat the baked treats you don't love so much;)

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    Replies
    1. There's still half of it left in the fridge. You're welcome to it ;)

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  7. I can't believe that you teased us with all of those baked goods! Now, not only do I want this tart, I want blueberry muffins and banana bread and cornbread, too. Torture!!!!

    Pretty snow pictures. Glad you can enjoy it.

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    Replies
    1. Most of the muffins and banana bread went into the freezer to be enjoyed later in the year.

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  8. Just look at that lovely snow. I miss living in a place with snow.

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