It’s funny, really… just a few months ago I was lamenting the lack of chocolate in traditional Thanksgiving desserts, and downright demanding decadent alternatives. And now, in the midst of what may be the most chocolate-filled holiday of them all, I’m doing just the opposite.
Sure, I’ve posted my fair share of chocolate desserts for Valentine’s Day… from chocolate cherry tarts to chocolate creme brulee to chocolate truffles filled with pop rocks.
But to say that chocolate is the only way to go for Valentine’s day would be doing a great disservice.. to this dessert in particular. The creamy texture is simply heavenly, somewhere in between creme brulee and lemon curd, lightly scented with oranges, almond extract, and a splash of orange blossom water, just enough to give it an air of elegance and intrigue but not so much that it tastes like grandma’s perfume. Because that’s a fine line you don’t want to cross.
For years now, I regularly mix a bit of almond flour into my crusts, both cookie and pastry versions. It gives it a boost of extra almond flavor and a unique texture that you simply can’t get with all-purpose flour alone. It’s one of my favorite ‘tricks’ to better-than-average pie crusts (I won’t say perfect because god knows my crusts are never perfect).
I call it a tart for two, but in reality it’s probably more like 3 or 4 servings. But tart for three or four doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, nor does it fit with the Valentine’s day theme. And if you find yourself single on this of all days, don’t deny yourself the pleasure, simply call it a tart for one and know that there’s something to be said for not having to share. More power to you.
I tried out a tart ring for this recipe, instead of my typical fluted tart pan. A tart ring is basically just a stainless steel ring about 3/4-inch tall. You set it on a parchment-lined baking sheet which serves as the bottom of the tart. After baking you simply slide the ring off and let the tart stand for itself.
I love the modern edges. Flutes are nice and all but sometimes you want something just a bit more clean and minimal.
I still battled with a little shrinkage, although my second attempt turned out much better than the first. The key is letting the pastry rest, for at least 30 minutes before rolling it out, then freeze it for another 15 to 20 minutes in the tart ring before baking. Dock the bottom of the crust with a fork (this allows the moisture to evaporate and the pastry to relax a bit), and then bake for about 15 minutes lined (with parchment paper or a coffee filter) and filled with pie weights. Seriously. Don’t skip the pie weights. (You can also use dried rice or beans if you don’t have ceramic weights). Especially for a tart like this where the filling is unbaked, the crust needs to be fully cooked to a nice golden brown beforehand, and pie weights are simply not something that can be skipped.
Oh, and pro tip? You might think that blood oranges would make for a perfectly pale pink tart, but alas, what you’ll actually end up with is more akin to a band-aid than a valentine-suitable pink. Stick with the orange oranges this time, or, as I used, cara cara oranges, which have a lovely blush color to them and yet don’t impart an off hue to the final tart. If you want more color, use a mix of cara cara and blood oranges for the candied orange slices on top of the tart.
Orange Blossom Almond Cream Tart
A perfectly sized mini tart for two, with a creamy orange-almond filling. Double the recipe for a 9-inch tart.
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons almond flour
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 1-2 tablespoons ice water, as needed
- 2 large eggs
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (from 1 orange)
- 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- pinch salt
- 1/2 teaspoon orange blossom water
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter, cut into cubes
- candied orange slices*, for garnish (optional)
- For crust, whisk together flour, powdered sugar, and salt in a bowl. Add butter cubes and cut into flour mixture with a pastry cutter until butter is broken up into pea-sized chunks. Alternatively, you can pulse briefly in the bowl of a food processor. Sprinkle over 1 tablespoon of ice water and mix with a fork until just incorporated. Add more water just as needed until dough comes together in a crumbly, shaggy, mass. Turn out onto a piece of plastic wrap and gather into a ball. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out crust into a round approximately 8 inches in diameter. Gently ease crust into a 6 or 7-inch tart pan with removable bottom or tart ring positioned on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Trim edges with kitchen shears or by rolling over the edges with a rolling pin. Dock bottom of crust with a fork. Place crust in freezer for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line crust with crumpled parchment paper or a paper coffee filter. Fill with pie weights (you can also use dried rice or beans). Bake for 15 minutes or until set, then remove pie weights and parchment and return to oven for 10 to 15 minutes more, or until lightly golden brown in color. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.
- For filling, combine eggs, sugar, orange juice, and orange zest in a blender or food processor. Mix until smooth and sugar is dissolved.
- Pour mixture into a medium saucepan. Wash out blender or food processor canister (you’ll use it again later and don’t want any raw eggs in there). Whisk egg and orange mixture over medium-low heat, until thickened and just beginning to bubble, whisking regularly to prevent scalding.
- Pour thickened mixture back into clean blender or food processor. Add orange blossom water and almond extract and mix to combine. Add butter cubes and blend until thick, shiny, and completely smooth. Pour into baked and cooled crust. Refrigerate until set, at least 1 hour or overnight. Garnish with candied orange slices, if desired, before slicing and serving.
*For candied orange slices, thinly slice an orange (using a mandoline if you have one). Bring 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water to a gentle boil in a saucepan. Place a single layer of orange slices in the boiling syrup and cook, flipping once, for 4 to 5 minutes or until slices are softened and translucent. Use tongs to remove the slices and place on a wire rack to cool.
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Hi. I read your recipe Orange Blossom Almond Cream Tart but I cannot find the kind of four that you are using, not even on WhiteLily’s website.
I live in Sweden and I wonder if it is possible to make a blend of wheat flour and almond flour from the products we have in Sweden? I mean if I try to mix wheat and almond flour what proportions would you suggest of the two sorts of flour?
It’s actually been discontinued here so I need to update this anyway. ;) I’d recommend maybe 1/2 cup regular flour and 2 tablespoons almond flour.
Did anyone else have trouble with the crust? I put it in the fridge for well over 30 minutes and when I went to roll it out it was so sticky! I tried it again and it was too flaky. Any suggestions would help!
With winter approaching, this is a wonderful recipe to keep, especially if you get those lovely warm wintery days. I am so going to be making this recipe. :D
This tart is stunning! I love it! Thanks.
Would love to try this, but my boyfriend is allergic to nuts. Any ideas what to substitute for the almond extract?
You could easily use vanilla instead, or seek out an imitation almond extract which is usually safe.
This is lovely, the flavours are perfect and it is a far nicer dessert for Valentines day than the usual garish heart shaped ones that are so common. It would also totally only serve two in my house…
Really gorgeous and so elegant! I think I might eat the whole dang thing lol.
In my house this would be a tart for two :) because seriously who has one slice?? I love this flour blend too! Can’t wait to try– never thought of mixing the two…genius :)
This sounds every bit as good as a traditional chocolate tart! Love the use of orange blossom flavors, so elegant-sounding :)
I really enjoy your posts because not only are they fascinating, complex recipes but educational. For example, I have never heard of a “tart ring” and I LOVE making tarts. I even have several tart pans (round and rectangle).
Have not seen the new White Lily flour here in DC, either, but it is funny, I have added almond meal or flour to my crusts for ages. Sometimes a little ground flax seed and even a teaspoon of wheat germ. Glad to see this is endorsed by Love and Olive Oil!
So now you’ve put another kitchen toy on my “to-get” list.
I can’t get enough of blood oranges and citrus! This tart sounds super yummy <3
This sounds very nice. I too would like to know a substitute for the flour. Can you add almond flour to regular flour. Also, no Orange blossom water here.
What can be substituted for both.
Love that clean and simple crust, definitely will try tart ring. And that silky smooth filling though!!!
Great recipe, I can’t wait to give it a try. It is also perfect for where I live as we have almond and orange trees in abundance. It is therefore easy to get orange blossom water and ground almonds…… but you seem to be using an almond/flour mix.
It sounds great but I would have to make my own. Do you know, or does the packet say what the percentage mix is for the almond and the wheat flours please?
This looks delicious. I can’t wait to make this. I’m wondering, what is the substitute ratio for the flour? I have both almond flour and white whole wheat flour, just not sure what the ratio should be. I’ll be making a 9″ tart because that’s what size tart pan I have.
Thanks for your time and the recipe!
This is gorgeous! The filling, somewhere between creme brulee and lemon curd, with almond extract and orange blossom water, the flavors have got to be incredible and that texture. That shot with the fork that’s close-up and I can really see the texture, I would go nuts over this! A perfect contrast to the crust!
I love how refreshing the filling sounds! And I still have to practice with tart shells (shrinkage is my biggest enemy), and this sounds like the perfect opportunity.
Even though I’m a complete chocaholic, I have to admit this tart looks fantastic!!!!
This tart is gorgeous! The bright citrusy colours remind me of spring despite the blizzard warning today :)
This tart is stunning! I love it!
So cute! Sounds like the perfect Valentine’s day treat without being to cliché (aka heart-shaped).