Fresh Orange Cream Tart

Adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours


  •     1 to 1-1/3 cups sugar
  •     Grated zest of 3 oranges
  •     Grated zest of 1 lemon
  •     4 large eggs
  •     Scant 3/4 cup fresh blood-orange juice or Valencia orange juice
  •     3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  •     1-1/4 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
  •     1 tablespoon cold water
  •     2-3/4 sticks (11 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-size pieces, at room temperature
  •     1 recipe for Sweet Tart Dough for 9-inch tart pan
  •     3 orange segments, for decoration
  •     1/3 cup quince or apple jelly mixed with ½ tsp of water, for glazing


Step 1: Have an instant-read thermometer, a strainer and a blender (first choice) or food processor at hand. Bring a few inches of water to a simmer in a saucepan.

Step 2: Put the sugar and orange and lemon zest in a large heatproof bowl that can be set over the pan of simmering water. Off the heat, rub the sugar and zests together between your fingertips until the sugar is moist, grainy and very aromatic.

Step 3: Whisk in the eggs, followed by the orange and lemon juice.


Step 4: Set the bowl over the pan, and start stirring with the whisk as soon as the mixture feels tepid to the touch. Cook the lemon cream until it reaches 180 degrees F.  


Step 5: Whisk constantly to keep the eggs from scrambling—you'll see that the cream will start out light and foamy, then the bubbles will get bigger, and then, as it gets closer to 180 degrees F, it will start to thicken and the whisk will leave tracks. The tracks mean the cream is almost ready. Don't stop whisking or checking the temperature, and have patience—depending on how much heat you're giving the cream, getting to temp can take as long as 10 minutes.

Step 6: As soon as it reaches 180 degrees F, remove the cream from the heat and strain it into the container of the blender (or food processor); discard the zest.

Step 7: Soften the gelatin in the cold water, then dissolve it by heating it for 15 seconds in a microwave oven (or do this in a saucepan over extremely low heat). Add the gelatin to the filling and pulse once just to blend, then let the filling cool to 140 degrees F, about 10 minutes.

Step 8: Turn the blender to high (or turn on the processor) and, with the machine going, add the butter about 5 pieces at a time. Scrape down the sides of the container as needed as you incorporate the butter. Once the butter is in, keep the machine going—to get the perfect light, airy texture of lemon-cream dreams, you must continue to blend the cream for another 3 minutes. If your machine protests and gets a bit too hot, work in 1-minute intervals, giving the machine a little rest between beats.

Step 9: Pour the cream into a container, press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface to create an airtight seal and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. (The cream can be refrigerated, tightly covered, for up to 5 days and, or frozen for up to 2 months; thaw it overnight in the refrigerator.)

Step 10: When you are ready to construct the tart, whisk the cream vigorously to loosen it. Spread the cream evenly in the crust. Arrange the orange segments in the center of the tart.

Step 11: Prepare the glaze: bring the water and jelly to a boil. Use a pastry brush or a pastry feather to lightly spread the jelly over the orange segments and cream. Serve now or refrigerate the tart until needed.