Tangerine Tart

When winter comes and it’s cold out and your feet get wet because you didn’t feel like wearing boots and carrying your shoes and the slush slipped through that space between the upper part of the shoe and the sole, it’s nice to daydream about sunnier places like Tangier, Morocco. I thought of Tangier rather than Aruba or Cancun or some other well-known beach because I’m in the food business, not the travel business and I recently learned that tangerines were named after Tangier, the original place from which tangerines were shipped to the West back in the 19th century. I guess that’s not so important, but I like to know things like that. What is important is that tangerines are the bright orange sunny happiness that warms up the winter.  Peel a tangerine while you’re sitting under a blanket watching TV in your easy chair. Eat a tangerine at 3:00 p.m. at your desk. Send a tangerine in your child’s lunchbox (tangerines are easy enough for even pre-schoolers to peel). This is a fruit with such a welcoming color and refreshing tart-and-sweet flavor that it can brighten anyone’s day. Tangerines have a citrus taste similar to oranges but are sweeter and less acidic. To me, tangerines are richer tasting, more intense. You can squeeze tangerines for juice to make this festive looking tart (or use already squeezed tangerine juice). The tart freezes nicely for a month or so. Tangerine Tart CRUST 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon sugar 2 teaspoons grated fresh tangerine peel 1/2 teaspoon salt 6 tablespoons butter, cut into chunks 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening, cut into chunks 3 to 4 tablespoons tangerine juice FILLING 4 large eggs 3/4 cup sugar 1/2 cup tangerine juice 2 teaspoons grated fresh tangerine peel 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1/2 cup cream (any kind) Confectioners’ sugar or whipped cream, optional TO MAKE THE CRUST Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine the flour, sugar, tangerine peel and salt in a food processor. Process gently on pulse to blend the ingredients. Add the butter and shortening and pulse several times until the mixture looks like small crumbs. With the processor on, add the tangerine juice gradually, using only as much as is needed to form a soft ball of dough. Roll the dough out on a floured surface and place in a 9- or 10-inch tart pan. Prick the dough with the tines of a fork. Cover the dough with aluminum foil and add pie weights or dry beans on top of the foil. Bake for 12 minutes. Remove the pie weights and foil. Return the pan to the oven for 6 minutes or until the crust is lightly browned. Remove from oven. Reduce the oven heat to 375 degrees. TO MAKE THE FILLING Beat the eggs and sugar until well blended. Stir in the tangerine juice, tangerine peel, vanilla extract and cream and blend ingredients thoroughly. Pour into the partially baked tart shell. If desired, to prevent over-browning, place aluminum foil over the crust edges. Bake for 25 minutes or until set. Let cool. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar or whipped cream. If you use confectioners’ sugar, use as is or broil the tart for several seconds to caramelize the surface. Makes 8 servings

When winter comes and it’s cold out and your feet get wet because you didn’t feel like wearing boots and carrying your shoes and the slush slipped through that space between the upper part of the shoe and the sole, it’s nice to daydream about sunnier places like Tangier, Morocco.

I thought of Tangier rather than Aruba or Cancun or some other well-known beach because I’m in the food business, not the travel business and I recently learned that tangerines were named after Tangier, the original place from which tangerines were shipped to the West back in the 19th century.

I guess that’s not so important, but I like to know things like that.

What is important is that tangerines are the bright orange sunny happiness that warms up the winter. 

Peel a tangerine while you’re sitting under a blanket watching TV in your easy chair. Eat a tangerine at 3:00 p.m. at your desk. Send a tangerine in your child’s lunchbox (tangerines are easy enough for even pre-schoolers to peel). This is a fruit with such a welcoming color and refreshing tart-and-sweet flavor that it can brighten anyone’s day.

Tangerines have a citrus taste similar to oranges but are sweeter and less acidic. To me, tangerines are richer tasting, more intense.

You can squeeze tangerines for juice to make this festive looking tart (or use already squeezed tangerine juice). The tart freezes nicely for a month or so.

Tangerine Tart

CRUST

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoons grated fresh tangerine peel

1/2 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons butter, cut into chunks

2 tablespoons vegetable shortening, cut into chunks

3 to 4 tablespoons tangerine juice

FILLING

4 large eggs

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup tangerine juice

2 teaspoons grated fresh tangerine peel

1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup cream (any kind)

Confectioners’ sugar or whipped cream, optional

TO MAKE THE CRUST

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine the flour, sugar, tangerine peel and salt in a food processor. Process gently on pulse to blend the ingredients. Add the butter and shortening and pulse several times until the mixture looks like small crumbs. With the processor on, add the tangerine juice gradually, using only as much as is needed to form a soft ball of dough. Roll the dough out on a floured surface and place in a 9- or 10-inch tart pan. Prick the dough with the tines of a fork. Cover the dough with aluminum foil and add pie weights or dry beans on top of the foil. Bake for 12 minutes. Remove the pie weights and foil. Return the pan to the oven for 6 minutes or until the crust is lightly browned. Remove from oven.

Reduce the oven heat to 375 degrees.

TO MAKE THE FILLING

Beat the eggs and sugar until well blended. Stir in the tangerine juice, tangerine peel, vanilla extract and cream and blend ingredients thoroughly. Pour into the partially baked tart shell. If desired, to prevent over-browning, place aluminum foil over the crust edges. Bake for 25 minutes or until set. Let cool. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar or whipped cream. If you use confectioners’ sugar, use as is or broil the tart for several seconds to caramelize the surface. Makes 8 servings