The oranges. The variety. They’re so juicy and sweet; I just can’t seem to get enough.
If I had an orange tree, I’d have already stripped it clean.
I decided it was time for something sweet. I needed to bake with these perfect drops of sunshine. Orange tart crumble with vanilla bean was born.
There were so many options, from cookies, to quick breads to cakes, but curd was calling my name.
So, I chose orange curd. What better way to enjoy orange curd than atop a shortbread vanilla bean crust?
My orange of choice right now, when I can find them, is Cara Cara. Lower in acid, they taste a bit sweeter than many other oranges. Cara Cara has a complex flavor with notes of cherry, blackberry, citrus and rose petal. Oh, and did I tell you…..
they’re juicy. Real juicy.
Have you tried a Cara Cara orange?
The first time I tried them was in Seattle; I was offered a sample. I thought I’d bitten into sunshine.
The rind peeled so easily and I needed a bucket to catch all the juice. I returned the following week for more, but I couldn’t find any. I asked where their Cama Cama oranges were. Duh. I was shuffled over to the Cara Cara.
Orange crumble tart with vanilla bean is made up of just two components; crust and curd. The short-dough crust comes together in no time with just a quick rest in the fridge and a scoop reserved for the crumbly top. The crust is par-baked with just enough time to whip up the curd. Once assembled, the tart is baked again, cooled, cut and best served at room temperature. It’s at this temperature where the creamy, almost gooey curd is at its best.
It’s hard to resist.
This tart is crunchy, crumbly, creamy, buttery and citrusy with a hint of vanilla. Serve with a dusting of confectioners sugar or a dollop of sweetened whipped cream. It’s a bite of sunshine.
Orange Crumble Tart with Vanilla Bean
For the Crust:
For the Curd:
- 1 1/4 C Granulated Sugar Evaporated Cane Juice, 222 g
- 7 g Organic Egg Yolks *See Notes 128
- 2 Tbs Orange Zest (2 large oranges I used Cara Cara)
- 2/3 C Orange Juice from Zested Oranges 157 mL
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste or Vanilla Extract
- 7 Tbs Unsalted Butter room temperature, cut into 1/2-Tbs pieces (96 g)
- 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
- 1-2 Tbs Confectioners Sugar for dusting AKA Powdered, 8-16 g
- Sweetened Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream optional
For the Crust:
In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat the sugar, butter and vanilla bean paste for 5 minutes, or until light in color. Add the flours and salt and mix on low for 20 seconds, scrape the bowl down and mix again on low for 10-20 seconds until the ingredients are just incorporated. The mixture will be very crumbly.
Scoop out 1 C of the mixture and set aside for the crumb top. Pour the remaining crumbly flour/butter mixture into the prepared sheet pan and press the mixture into pan to create a level, flat crust, making sure the corners are well covered. Press the mixture up and onto the sides of the pan just below the rim. Refrigerate for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 350F.
Bake crust for 30 minutes or until light and golden. Rotate the pan 1/2 way through baking.
For the Orange Curd:
Set up a bain marie by filling a 4 quart sauce pan 1/2 full with water. Bring water to steaming, not to a boil. A stainless steel bowl will need to fit in the bain marie, touching the water, without touching the sides. A double boiler system works well too. Have ready a fine mesh strainer and bowl for straining the curd.
In the stainless steel bowl, add the sugar and yolks. Whisk briskly and immediately place bowl in ban marie. Continue whisking until mixture is viscous and sugar is melted. Add the zest, orange juice, vanilla bean paste and salt. Stirring frequently, cook to 175F or swipe your finger across the back of a spoon. When your finger leaves a clear path on the back of a spoon without any curd running into that clear path, the curd is ready. Be sure to watch the water as it needs to remain steaming, not boiling.
Strain the curd into a bowl and stir in the the butter, 1/2 tablespoon at a time, until it is fully incorporated.
Cover the curd placing plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd. Place in refrigerator until ready to use.
If the baked crust developed any cracks, take a bit of the crumbly topping and gently patch the cracks.
Pour the curd over the baked crust using an offset spatula to spread the curd evenly.
Sprinkle the crumble topping over the curd distributing it evenly across the tart.
Bake at 350F for about 35 minutes, rotating the pan 1/2 way through baking. You'll notice the top will caramelize a bit.
Remove from oven and cool completely before finishing.
Once the tart is cool, unclip the parchment paper and gently lift the tart out of the pan using the parchment as handles. Place on large cutting board. Use a serrated knife to trim the edges off, to make clean edges (save for snacking!).
Cut into bars or squares. For bars, cut into 1 1/2" x 2" pieces. For squares, 4" x 4". The serrated knife works well here, but instead of sawing all the way through, cut with firm pressure all the way through the tart.
Sift confectioners sugar over the tart or serve with sweetened vanilla bean whipped cream. Serve at room temperature.
Store in a lidded container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Saved egg whites can be frozen and later used to make many different confections, including meringue, Italian buttercream, angel food cake, macarons or macaroons!
Inspired by The Grand Central Baking Book tart recipe.
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