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Orange Passionfruit Curd Mini Tarts

Orange Passionfruit Curd Mini Tarts

You would agree with me when I say that you can tell a lot about a person just by looking at the food they post on their blog.  Right?  Well, today I’m going to introduce you to Xiaolu from 6 Bittersweets blog.  First she’s extremely talented.  I can’t even begin to tell you about how detailed and amazing her creations are.  This Mangomisu Cake should speak for itself.  Then, she’s a great photographer.  Here is a link to when she turned a  S’more into a cupcake which won her first Does My Blog Look Good in This Award!  She’s also mainly vegetarian and can make any meat eater seriously consider giving it up.  Check out her Roast Sweet Potato with Miso-Tahini glaze and Spiked Spaghetti so you  get an idea of the super healthy dishes she comes up with.  I could probably go on and on but the one thing that really strikes me is her beautiful writing and how her personality shines through her stories.  When you read Xiaolu’s blog – you feel like you are meeting one of the sweetest persons.  So after you check on these super yummy looking Orange Passionfruit Curd Mini Tarts, please head on over to Xiaolu’s blog so you can see what I’m talking about (make sure you have lots of time because her blog is incredibly addicting!)…. But in the meantime, I’m handing my blog over to Xiaolu….

Thank you so much Xiaolu – you are my first guest post on this blog and it is an honour to be able to have you do this for me.

I’ve had a food blog for 1 1/2 years now. And while the simple desire to catalog and share delicious recipes got things started, it’s the wonderfully talented and caring blogger community and a passion for photography that keep me hooked. I recall Trissa was one of the first bloggers to reach out to me as a new blogger. Her consistent encouragement plus each mouthwatering post to this site really inspired me to build something wonderful for myself. And now, at the start of a new year, she’s bolstered me once again by allowing me this small addition to her lovely site. Thanks so much to Trissa and all of you for having me today!

What is it about miniature treats that gets us so excited? Is it simply the cuteness factor of a regular dessert shrunk down? Perhaps some people favor their portability, as with cupcakes. Or is it simply that getting an entire treat to ourselves, rather than just a sliver, makes us feel that much more special ;p? Whatever the reason, I’m certainly not immune to it and couldn’t resist buying the mini tart pans used to make these orange passionfruit tartlets.

Even if you’re somehow immune to their petite charm, I think these tarts will win you with their refreshing flavors and contrasting textures. They’re a happy meeting of tangy yet sweet fruits whose flavors dance across your tastebuds with every bite. Plus the addition of crunchy poppy seed to the crust means that it’ll hold its own, even against such a luscious curd filling. These tarts are great to serve to guests (mine even licked their plates), but be careful during the preparation. They’re so moreish that you may just decide to keep them all to yourself if you taste one ahead of time ^_^.

Orange Passionfruit Curd Mini Tarts

Orange Passionfruit Curd Mini Tarts

Orange Passionfruit Curd Mini Tarts from 6 Bittersweets

Recipe from Xiaolu of 6 Bittersweets Blog Printable Recipe

Adapted from several recipes in The Pie and Pastry Bible
Makes six 4-inch mini tarts

XIAOLU’S NOTES: You can use any combination of citrus fruits that you want for the topping, really. I chose navel orange, blood orange, and cara cara oranges. Practically all components of this recipe can be prepared in advance, leaving only minor assembly to be done the day you want to serve the tarts.

Tarts were baked using a conventional (non fan-forced oven).  Adjust oven temperatures if necessary.

Poppy seed Mini Tart Shells (Recipe Below)
Passionfruit Curd (Recipe Below)
3 assorted citrus fruits, ends and peel sliced off and sectioned

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150c) at least 15 minutes before baking. Smoothly fill the prebaked tart shells with passionfruit curd and bake for 7 to 10 minutes. The filling shouldn’t change color and should barely jiggle when the pan is moved. Transfer tarts to a rack to cool.

Once the tarts have completely cooled, arrange several citrus segments atop the tarts. Then remove tarts from their pans and enjoy!
Poppy Seed Mini Tart Shells

  • 8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold
  • 1 1/3 cups (6.5 oz.) bleached all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
  • 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 Tbsp ice water
  • 1 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
  1. Divide cold butter into 5 tablespoons and 3 tablespoons. Cut all butter into 3/4-inch cubes, and wrap each portion with plastic wrap. Place the flour, poppy seeds, salt, and baking powder in a resealable gallon-size freezer bag. Freeze all of the above for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Transfer the frozen flour mixture into medium bowl. Whisk to combine this mixture. Then using a pastry cutter or your fingers, work the larger portion (5 Tbsp) of butter cubes into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal.
  3. Transfer this mixture and the smaller portion (3 Tbsp) of butter cubes into the freezer bag used earlier. Remove any air from the freezer bag and seal it. Now, use a rolling pin to flatten the butter in the bag into flakes. Freeze the bag until the butter is very firm, another 10 minutes.
  4. Transfer the contents of the bag back to the bowl. Sprinkle 2 1/2 tablespoons ice water and all the vinegar onto the mixture, tossing it lightly with a rubber spatula. If the mixture still seems very dry, sprinkle 1 tablespoon more ice water and toss again with the spatula.
  5. Move the mixture back into the freezer bag. Keeping the bag unzipped, knead the mixture by alternately pressing it, from the outside of the bag, with the knuckles and heels of your hands until the mixture holds together in one piece and feels slightly stretchy when pulled.
  6. Wrap the dough with plastic wrap, flatten it into a disc, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight.
  7. Remove dough from the refrigerator and let come to room temperature, at least 45 minutes.
  8. Roll dough out to 1/16-inch thickness. Cut out 5 1/2-inch circles of dough and press each of these into a mini tart pan. Prick the bottoms of the dough all over with a fork. Cover and freeze for at least 30 minutes and up to a day before baking.
  9. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 c). Cover tart pans with parchment paper and weigh down using dry beans or pie weights. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, and remove the beans and parchment. Press down lightly with a spoon on any areas of the crusts that have puffed up while baking. Return to the oven for 7 to 10 minutes more or until golden brown. Remove from oven, and brush with beaten egg white while crusts are still warm. Let cool.
    Passionfruit Curd
    Makes 1 2/3 cups 

  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 tsp cornstarch, sifted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup PLUS 2 Tbsp passionfruit puree OR juice from 9 to 10 fruits, divided
  • 6 Tbsp (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp finely grated orange zest
  • 1 1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  1. In a heavy non-reactive saucepan, beat the eggs, yolks, cornstarch, and sugar until well blended. Stir in 3/4 cup passionfruit puree, butter, and salt. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the sides of the pan, until mixture is thick enough to coat a spoon but liquid enough to pour. Mixture will change from translucent to opaque.
  2. Once curd is thick enough, press it through a strainer suspended over a medium bowl that contains the zests. Add remaining 2 tablespoons passionfruit puree to the bowl and stir thoroughly; allow to cool. Curd can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

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Olives marinated in orange and thyme infused olive oil

Olives marinated in orange and thyme infused olive oil

My friends have been known to say that I like to complicate things.    I once complained to my husband that there was too much sun coming into the bedroom window which was waking me up earlier than I wanted.  I thought long and hard about how to fix this and finally I decided that I was going to buy large sheets of black paper and sticky tape and cover the windows to block out the morning sun.  So off I went to buy the supplies and was excited to show my husband my handiwork.

“What are you doing??”  My husband asked when he entered the room.

(more…)

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Pollo a la Naranja

We’re off! To Tasmania, that is! The whole clan is headed for a weekend trip and it’s going to be a blast! So if you don’t hear from me for a few days – you now know why! In the meantime, I’ll leave you with The Blog Monster’s quick and easy weekday meal. Pollo a la Naranja, literally translated, means Chicken in Orange Sauce.

When the Blog Monster is around (she stays in my house when she is on holiday), one of our nightly rituals is to sit down and discuss “what’s for dinner tomorrow”. Sometimes, as you can imagine, there is a long debate that ensues. We look through cookbooks, reminisce about recent meals in wonderful restaurants or talk about fine dishes we’ve had in the past. Sometimes, we nominate an ingredient and go over numerous variations before deciding on “the one”.

The other night we nominated chicken. It felt a bit like a game show where The Blog Monster would rattle off one dish that she thought would be great to make using the chicken and I would counter with another dish. The winner, would be the one who came up with the best dish.

“Chicken Imperial” (she said)

“Roast Chicken” (me)

“Chicken in Garlic Sauce (her turn)

“Fried Chicken” (mine)

…. and on and on… until she said “Pollo a la Naranja” and it just clicked!

When you try this dish you will understand why this was the winner. A deliciously braised chicken dish finished off with some white wine and the juice and rind of a few oranges. And of course, honey to give the sauce a richer flavour!

Chicken in Orange Sauce

Recipe (serves 4 to 6)

  • 6 chicken thighs
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced finely
  • 2 oranges
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper
  2. In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil and fry the chicken pieces until golden. Remove the chicken and set aside.
  3. In the same pan fry the onions over medium heat until translucent. Add the chicken back into the pan.
  4. Add the white wine into the pan and reduce until you have half the liquid
  5. Remove some orange rind and juice the oranges.
  6. Add the orange juice and simmer until the chicken is cooked and tender, around 20 minutes.
  7. If the sauce isn’t enough at this point feel free to add some chicken stock (maybe half a cup or so) Add the orange rind and honey and simmer a little longer until the sauce thickens.
  8. Test for seasoning before serving

Pollo a la Naranja

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