Friday brings mixed feelings to surface every single week. It is the only day of the week we get to spent together. Yet, before the day starts, fear of the day ending too fast starts evading my mind. The idea of sleeping through the day without having talked enough, cooked enough and done enough just scares me. Friday has to be special, something I can hold onto all week and look forward to the next.
My expectation of this single day often leaves me feeling a little under the weather. For every extra hour of rest, I wish we could have gone to the vegetable market or a morning jog, a cup of coffee instead. While I wake up with a buzzing mind, straight to work, furiously trying to cover up for the lost time, dropping things, slipping, breaking, forgetting to drink water. Every action hurried up, like life would slip away.
M, slowly gets out of his bed. None of his moves are hurried or calculated, his mind blank and clear. His eyes still sleepy. He walks to the kitchen, slowly pouring himself tea after tea in his pitch black coffee mug. There is no sense of urgency or panic. It is just a good old morning, with good old ginger tea. I often wonder if I love that about him or hate it. It’s a mixed feeling kind of day, that Friday.
When we do manage to get to vegetable market, the scenes change. I'm calm and collected. Taking every moment to look at every single produce. Capturing the beauty of vivid colors in my memory. A thousand possibilities running through my mind. A tender, sweet smile on my face while I stand gazing at the zucchini flowers still attached with the fruit. But the widest smile came when I spotted blood oranges!
For a while, I was keen on doing something with the blood oranges so I could enjoy them all throughout summer, so I could hold onto this ruby treasure. But like Fridays, I wanted to bring myself to enjoy the moment, not cry over what we missed, or preserve things for future, but live in the moment. For now at least, that's what I did. This flaky, buttery and rustic tart is one of the best tarts I have made lately. The filling almost turns into sweet buttery jam while the slices on the top are best way to show off the beautiful orange hues. It is basic recipe and can be used for other fruits and citrus as well. Just be warned, its buttery deliciousness.
Flaky Blood Orange Tart with Salted Caramel Sauce
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, the stick cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled
3 tablespoons ice water
8 blood oranges
1 large egg yolk mixed with 2 tablespoons of water
Before you start with the recipe, keep your flour and cut butter in the freezer for 15-20 minutes.
Pulse the flour, 2 tablespoon of sugar, baking powder and salt in a food processor. Add the butter and keep pulsing till you get pea size crumbs. It doesn't have to be consistent pea size all around; little larger chunks of butter are good too!
Sprinkle in the cold water and pulse just until the dough is moistened. You don't want to pulse too much at this point.
Turn the crumbs onto a work surface, and bring it together into a disk. Wrap the pastry in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.
On a floured work surface, roll out the pastry to an inch round, about 1/4 inch thick. The original recipe calls for using a parchment paper before placing it on a cookie sheet, but I didn't bother with that. Refrigerate the pastry along with the tray for about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, peel the blood oranges, removing all of the bitter white pith. Thinly slice 2 of the oranges crosswise; remove the pits.
Working over a sieve set over a bowl, cut in between the membranes of the remaining oranges, releasing the sections into the sieve. Remove the pits and gently shake out as much juice as possible without mashing the sections; you will need 1 cup of sections. Reserve the orange juice for another use.
Arrange the orange sections on the pastry, leaving a 2-inch border all around. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the sugar over the oranges. Using a paring knife, thinly slice the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter over the oranges.
Fold up the pastry over the oranges, leaving most of the oranges uncovered. Brush the pastry with the egg wash and sprinkle lightly with 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Arrange the orange slices on top, leaving a 1-inch border of pastry all around. Sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar on top. Freeze the tart until solid, at least 4 hours or preferably overnight. I actually misread freezing for chilling and chilled the dough overnight. Having realized, I then put it in the freezer for couple of hours and baked it from there. Works perfectly well.
Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F). Bake the tart directly from the freezer for 1 hour and 15 minutes, until the fruit is bubbling and the pastry is deeply browned. Let it cool on a cooling rack.
Deep, Dark Salted Butter Caramel Sauce
Makes about 1 1/3 cups
1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons salted butter
1/2 cup plus two tablespoons heavy cream, at room temperature
Melt the sugar over medium to moderately high heat in a large pot, whisking the sugar as it melts to ensure it heats evenly.
Cook the sugar to a nice, dark copper color. Add the butter all at once and stir it in, before turning off the stove and pour in the heavy cream (The sauce will foam up quite a bit when you add it; this is why you want the larger pot.), whisking it until you get a smooth sauce. Let it cool.
Pour is all over the tart. Don't get crazy though, save it to eat spoonfuls of. Just kidding. Store the remaining in jar for up to 2 weeks.