batali’s orange tart capri-style (torta di arancia caprese)

i’m finally off my yogurt cake making spree; however, i appear to be back to my tart making ways.  i started flippling through mario batali’s molto italian cookbook in search of a recipe worthy enough for these fabulous fauchon bowtie pastas i brought back from paris a few months ago.  while flipping through the book,  i got a bit distracted by the dolci section and then i got a bit curious about how an italian tart might differ in its construction from the french ones i’m so fond of making. [in short, it’s not so different]. before long, i settled on batali’s recipe for a capri-style orange tart. plus, the hubby and i went to capri a few summers ago; i hoped that the tart would bring back those memories of our short but glorious stay.

Orange Tart Capri-Style
(makes one 10-inch fluted tart; adapted from mario batali)

Flour 2 cups
Salt ½ tsp
Sugar 2 tbsp
Lemon Zest From 2 lemons
Cold Butter 1 ½ sticks cut into small slices
Eggs 1 large egg and 1 egg yolk
Orange Liqueur 2 tbsp
Confectioners’ Sugar 1 cup
Orange Zest From 1 orange
Orange Juice 1 1/3 cups
Dark Brown Sugar ¼ cup
Mascarpone ½ cup
Eggs 7 large ones
Orange Liqueur 3 tbsp
  1. First make the pastry. Combine flour, salt, sugar, lemon zest and cold butter in the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  2. Combine eggs, yolk, liqueur and powdered sugar in a small bowl.
  3. Pour into the food processor and pulse until a dough forms.
  4. Remove the dough and knead gently on a well-floured surface until a smooth dough emerges.
  5. Form into a 6 inch disk, wrap in plastic and allow the pastry to chill for at least 1 hour in the fridge. (Well-wrapped, you can keep the pastry refrigerator for up to 3 days)
  6. [NB: The original recipe calls for a buttered, 10-inch fluted tart pan.  Lacking that, I used a 9.5 inch tart ring set over parchment paper.  I had enough leftover pastry dough to make 3 mini-four inch tarts].  Roll out the dough on a well floured surface until it is about 1/4 inch thick.  Fit the dough into the tart pan and trim off the excess.
  7. Freeze the tart shell for at least 30 minutes prior to baking.
  8. Heat the oven to 350ºF.
  9. Prick the frozen tart shell with a fork. Then, line the shell loosely with foil and fill with dry beans to weigh it down.
  10. Bake the shell for 15 minutes and then remove the beans and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow it to cool.
  11. While the shell is cooling, make the filling.  Combine the orange zest, juice, brown sugar and mascarpone in the bowl of your standmixer.  Beat until well combined with the whisk attachment on medium speed. (It will splatter a bit, so you may want to have the shield attachment on).
  12. Slowly add the eggs one at a time, beating until evenly incorporated after each addition.
  13. Stir in the liqueur.
  14. Pour the filling into the tart shell.  Bake at 350ºF for 40-45 minutes or until the custard has set.
  15. Once cooled, dust with confectioners’ sugar.

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