If there is one fruit that I find can really just knock my socks off its a clementine. When you get a good clementine its going to be a good day. A bad clementine is pretty upsetting but only because you know how good they can be.
As the winter citrus season wraps up I wanted to see what my favourite little clementines could do in a tart.
It starts with the pastry. To make the pâte sucrée you measure out your flour, sugar, salt and butter into a bowl. Simply mix all of this together. Unlike most pastry recipes, this one requires room temperature butter. You don’t want the chunks of butter showing as you normally would with normal pastry.
Once it comes together, you knead the pastry about 8 times to get it smooth. I refrigerated the dough for 3 hours. Aim for a minimum of 30 minutes to make the dough easier to work with. That rest is crucial! For you and the dough (just kidding, you’re making clementine curd in the meantime)
These clementines actually took my breath away when I cut into them. Normally I just peel them and eat the segments without paying much attention. This cut through the middle showed off some real beauty.
You whisk together the eggs and sugar before adding it to the heat to thicken the curd.
Zest the clementines into the egg mixture while on the double boiler. Let it sit while you go on to juice the clementines. Add the juice and do not move! You must not abandon the curd at this point. Whisk it consistently for about 7-10 minutes.
Look at the meringue! I am all about a marshmallow-ey type meringue.
A huge bonus of a thicker, more marshmallow-ey meringue is that you can pipe it. Its magical and I could easily fill my day piping meringue dollops.
Letting it sit overnight really is my best advice at this point. Its never easy to reach this time in a recipe. I usually don’t listen and regret it instantly. In order to get the consistency of a set curd filling, it just needs time. You can rush it along in the freezer or outside in the Canadian winter but really overnight is best. I think its worth it though.
Yield: One nine-inch tart
1/2 cup butter
1 2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg yolk
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
- Combine the flour, salt, sugar and butter in a bowl. Mix it together until the butter has been fully incorporated. You don’t want to see chunks of butter. Its a delicate pastry and if there are chunks of butter they will melt during the baking and leave holes in the crust.
- In a small bowl mix together the egg yolk, vanilla and heavy cream. Add this to the flour mixture until it comes together.
- On a floured surface knead the pastry together about 8 times or until its a smooth ball of dough.
- Place it in the fridge for 3 hours to let the dough rest.
- Remove it and let it sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes until its softens.
- Roll it out and press it into the tart pan. Use pie weights/ dried beans to hold the pastry down while baking.
- Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes. You don’t want much colour on the edges of the crust because it will be baked again with the curd.
Adapted from: The Baking Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum
3 egg yolks
3/4 cup granulated sugar
Zest of 4 clementines
1 cup clementine juice (about 8 clementines)
1/2 cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
3/4 cup butter, cubed
- Set up a double boiler on a medium high heat
- In a heat safe bowl whisk together the eggs and sugar until well combined. Place the bowl over the double boiler
- Zest the clementines and add set to the egg mixture
- Juice the clementines and lemons, add this to the egg mixture.
- Whisk together to incorporate the juice and zest. Add in the cubed butter and whisk for 7-10 minutes.
- You can make a choice at this point. Depending on how confident you are in your whisking skills you can either leave it or strain it. If you suspect there larger bits of curd, go ahead and run it through a sieve. Just be aware that you will lose the zest as well. I didn’t strain mine.
- Pour the curd into the tart shell and bake for 15 minutes at 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove and keep it refrigerated until it has cooled completely.
6 egg whites
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- Set up a double boiler on a medium high heat
- In a heat safe mixing bowl, whisk together the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar. Transfer this to the double boiler and continue whisking until the sugar has dissolved. You can rub it between your fingers to determine when you have reached this point.
- Return the meringue to the mixer and whisk together until almost soft peaks form.
- You can either spread this on the cooled tart or use a piping bag. Both create a beautiful finished tart.
- Using a kitchen torch, caramelize the meringue until golden brown.
- Let the tart cool overnight. It will still taste delicious after cooling for a few hours but the curd will not have set completely yet!