First of all, no, I didn’t fall off the face of the earth. I know it’s been a while since my last post, and I apologize for that. But it was for a good reason – VACATION!
Of course, I fully intended to post my Daring Bakers challenge on the 27th, in spite of the fact I was on vacation. I prepared the dish in advance, took the photos, and had everything ready to go. Until we arrived at our lovely little cottage in Fredericksburg, Texas only to find that we were without internet access. We semi-remedied the situation by using our long-ignored NetZero account, but if you’ve tried to do anything using dial-up lately, you must realize how impossible that can be. Of course, this being vacation, I figured that might have been for the best, and so I remained largely unconnected for the entirety of the stay.
That stay, by the way, was absolutely wonderful. However, that’s not what this post is about, so I’ll get to the discussion about vacation another time. This post is about dessert – everyone’s favorite meal of the day!
The Daring Bakers Challenge this month was hosted by Jennifer at Chocolate Shavings. She chose Orange Tian as the challenge for this month, and used a recipe from Alain Ducasse’s Cooking School in Paris. When I read the challenge, I had to look up what a tian was; I’d never heard of it. Essentially, a tian is a casserole with specific layers of components. Of course, in this situation, it is a dessert tian – so the layers are sweet. What I loved about this challenge was that it looked impressive, when in reality, it was not all that difficult. It’s a perfect idea for a dessert for guests (hint: a great idea for Easter Sunday!). It was light, bursting with flavor, and fun to make. I’d love to try variations on this theme in the future.
I did vary from the original recipe slightly, using orange-pineapple juice instead of straight orange juice, and infusing Earl Grey tea into the caramel sauce. The pineapple increased the sweetness factor somewhat, but the Earl Grey helped to balance the flavors and added some dimension. Overall, it was lovely.
So for now, please enjoy this tian, and be patient as I unbury myself from emails and work to respond to comments and questions. I’ll share more fun about Fredericksburg soon – promise!
Orange-Pineapple Tian with Earl Grey Sauce
For the Pate Sablee:
2 medium-sized egg yolks at room temperature
granulated sugar 6 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon; 2.8 oz; 80 grams
vanilla extract ½ teaspoon
Unsalted butter ¼ cup + 3 tablespoons; 3.5 oz; 100 grams ice cold, cubed
Salt 1/3 teaspoon; 2 grams
Gluten-Free Flour Blend (I used 3 parts sweet white rice flour, 1 part cornstarch, 1 part tapioca) 1.5 cup + 2 tablespoons; 7 oz; 200 grams
xanthan gum 1 teaspoon
baking powder 1 teaspoon ; 4 grams
Put the GF flour, baking powder, xanthan gum, ice cold cubed butter and salt in a food processor fitted with a steel blade.
In a separate bowl, add the eggs yolks, vanilla extract and sugar and beat with a whisk until the mixture is pale. Pour the egg mixture in the food processor.
Process until the dough just comes together. If you find that the dough is still a little too crumbly to come together, add a couple drops of water and process again to form a homogenous ball of dough. Form into a disc, cover with plastic wrap and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit.
Roll out the dough onto a lightly floured surface until you obtain a ¼ inch thick circle.
Using your cookie cutter, cut out circles of dough and place on a parchment (or silicone) lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until the circles of dough are just golden.
For the Marmalade:
Freshly pressed orange juice (I used orange-pineapple juice) ¼ cup + 3 tablespoons; 3.5 oz; 100 grams
1 large orange used to make orange slices
cold water to cook the orange slices
pectin 5 grams
granulated sugar: use the same weight as the weight of orange slices once they are cooked
Finely slice the orange. Place the orange slices in a medium-sized pot filled with cold water. Simmer for about 10 minutes, discard the water, re-fill with cold water and blanch the oranges for another 10 minutes.
Blanch the orange slices 3 times. This process removes the bitterness from the orange peel, so it is essential to use a new batch of cold water every time when you blanch the slices.
Once blanched 3 times, drain the slices and let them cool.
Once they are cool enough to handle, finely mince them (using a knife or a food processor).
Weigh the slices and use the same amount of granulated sugar . If you don’t have a scale, you can place the slices in a cup measurer and use the same amount of sugar.
In a pot over medium heat, add the minced orange slices, the sugar you just weighed, the orange juice and the pectin. Cook until the mixture reaches a jam consistency (10-15 minutes).
Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge.
For the Orange Segments:
For this step you will need 8 oranges.
Cut the oranges into segments over a shallow bowl and make sure to keep the juice. Add the segments to the bowl with the juice.
For the Caramel:
granulated sugar 1 cup; 7 oz; 200 grams
orange juice (I used orange-pineapple juice) 1.5 cups + 2 tablespoons; 14 oz; 400 grams
1 tea bag Earl Grey tea
Place the sugar in a pan on medium heat and begin heating it.
Once the sugar starts to bubble and foam, slowly add the orange juice. As soon as the mixture starts boiling, remove from the heat, add the tea bag, and pour half of the mixture over the orange segments, leaving the tea bag in the remaining caramel to steep.
Reserve the other half of the caramel mixture in a small bowl — you will use this later to spoon over the finished dessert. When the dessert is assembled and setting in the freezer, heat the kept caramel sauce in a small saucepan over low heat until it thickens and just coats the back of a spoon (about 10 minutes). You can then spoon it over the orange tians.
[Tip: Be very careful when making the caramel — if you have never made caramel before, I would suggest making this step while you don’t have to worry about anything else. Bubbling sugar is extremely, extremely hot, so make sure you have a bowl of ice cold water in the kitchen in case anyone gets burnt!]
For the Whipped Cream:
heavy whipping cream 1 cup; 7 oz; 200 grams
3 tablespoons of hot water
1 tsp Gelatine
1 tablespoon of confectioner’s sugar
orange marmalade (see recipe above) 1 tablespoon
In a small bowl, add the gelatine and hot water, stirring well until the gelatine dissolves. Let the gelatine cool to room temperature while you make the whipped cream. Combine the cream in a chilled mixing bowl. Whip the cream using a hand mixer on low speed until the cream starts to thicken for about one minute. Add the confectioner sugar. Increase the speed to medium-high. Whip the cream until the beaters leave visible (but not lasting) trails in the cream, then add the cooled gelatine slowly while beating continuously. Continue whipping until the cream is light and fluffy and forms soft peaks. Transfer the whipped cream to a bowl and fold in the orange marmalade.
[Tip: Use an ice cold bowl to make the whipped cream in. You can do this by putting your mixing bowl, cream and beater in the fridge for 20 minutes prior to whipping the cream.]
Assembling the Dessert:
Make sure you have some room in your freezer. Ideally, you should be able to fit a small baking sheet or tray of desserts to set in the freezer.
Line a small tray or baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone sheet. Lay out 6 cookie cutters onto the parchment paper/silicone.
Drain the orange segments on a kitchen towel.
Have the marmalade, whipped cream and baked circles of dough ready to use.
Arrange the orange segments at the bottom of each cookie cutter. Make sure the segments all touch either and that there are no gaps. Make sure they fit snuggly and look pretty as they will end up being the top of the dessert. Arrange them as you would sliced apples when making an apple tart.
Once you have neatly arranged one layer of orange segments at the bottom of each cookie cutter, add a couple spoonfuls of whipped cream and gently spread it so that it fills the cookie cutter in an even layer. Leave about 1/4 inch at the top so there is room for dough circle.
Using a butter knife or small spoon, spread a small even layer of orange marmalade on each circle of dough.
Carefully place a circle of dough over each ring (the side of dough covered in marmalade should be the side touching the whipping cream). Gently press on the circle of dough to make sure the dessert is compact.
Place the desserts to set in the freezer to set for 10 minutes.
Using a small knife, gently go around the edges of the cookie cutter to make sure the dessert will be easy to unmold. Gently place your serving plate on top of a dessert (on top of the circle of dough) and turn the plate over. Gently remove the cookie cutter, add a spoonful of caramel sauce and serve immediately. Serves 6.