Blood orange tart makes the most of winter citrus with blood orange curd filling gently baked into a buttery almond flour tart crust. Optionally gluten-free.
Thanks to Vermont Creamery for sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own.
If you've been here for a while, you likely already know my love of gluten-free tarts here on TBG (and in my book Alternative Baker). Back in 2011, I shared a blood orange tart recipe that became a reader favorite. I've taken some fresh photos in my gluten-free tart crust and tweaked the recipe a bit to make it less sweet.
Tangy blood orange curd gets richness from butter, just the right sweetness from sugar, and is set with eggs and egg yolks. When baked into a tender almond flour tart crust, it becomes an elegant dessert that will impress your friends, but is deceptively foolproof to make, from crust to curd.
Ingredients and Substitution Suggestions
- This recipe starts with my favorite gluten-free tart crust, replete with nutty almond flour, lots of butter, and a hit of vanilla and salt for loads of flavor. It tastes like a GF sugar cookie.
- Blood oranges make a rosy-hued blood orange curd. If you don't have access to blood oranges, you can use regular orange juice, tangerine juice, or grapefruit juice instead.
- Lemon juice adds extra tanginess.
- Eggs and egg yolks help the curd thicken and set.
- Sugar adds just the right amount of sweetness.
- Butter adds richness to the curd and helps it set to a sliceable consistency when chilled.I used cultured butter from Vermont Creamery, which starts with fresh cream from Vermont family farms. It’s cultured for 20 hours, then churned to 82% butterfat for a luxurious, silky texture. Butter also moistens the crust giving it a delicate shortbread consistency.
- A touch of salt sharpens the flavors.
- You can optionally top this blood orange tart with crème fraiche whipped cream piped over the tart. Thinly sliced blood orange wedges, bee pollen, and dried calendula flours (or some blood orange zest) make an extra pretty topping.
How to Make Blood Orange Curd Tart
This recipe makes one 9-inch tart, serving 10. It takes just 20 minutes of active prep time, plus some baking and chilling time.
Blood Orange Curd
Make the curd as directed, pour it into jars, and refrigerate until firm. The spreadable blood orange curd will keep, refrigerated, for up to 2 weeks.
Blood Orange Tartlets
If you prefer, you can make smaller blood orange tartlets instead of 1 large tart.
Shape the crust into 8 (3.5-inch) tartlet shells and divide the curd among the parbaked tartlet shells. Bake the filled tartlets for 10-15 minutes or as needed.
Blood Orange Bars
Prepare the recipe in an 8x8-inch square pan for blood orange bars. Follow the instructions and timing from my gluten-free lemon bars recipe for the method.
Blood Orange Tart for Everyone
Here, blood orange curd filling captures the intriguing flavors of winter citrus in a creamy tart contained within a crisp, buttery crust. I dislike citrus tarts that are overly sweet or eggy, but this formula uses just enough egg to set the curd, just enough sugar to tame the tart citrus, and enough butter to give the curd creamy body that holds its shape when cut.
If you lack a tart pan with removable bottom, you can bake this in an 8" square pan lined with a sling of parchment paper for blood orange bars. Gussy these up with a dusting of powdered sugar and cut into squares to serve.
And if serving this to squeamish guests, take a tip from some clever citrus growers and tell them it's a 'sangria orange' tart. ;)
*Bojon appétit! For more Bojon Gourmet in your life, follow along on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest, purchase my gluten-free cookbook Alternative Baker, or subscribe to receive new posts via email. And if you make this blood orange tart recipe, I’d love to know. Leave a comment and rating below, and tag your Instagram snaps @The_Bojon_Gourmet and #bojongourmet.*
Blood Orange TartPrint Recipe Pin Recipe
Optional for topping the tart:
- 1 batch crème fraîche whipped cream
- blood orange wedges, bee pollen, and/or dried calendula, for decorating
Make the crust:
- Prepare, parbake, and press the tart crust as directed. Lower the oven temperature to 325ºF.
- Place the butter and blood orange zest in a heatproof bowl. Place a mesh strainer over the bowl and set aside.
- In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk together the sugar, salt, eggs, and egg yolks to combine. Gradually whisk in the blood orange juice and lemon juice until combined.
- Place the pot over medium-low heat and cook, stirring constantly with a heatproof silicone spatula, until the mixture thickens slightly and reaches 160-165ºF on an instant-read thermometer, 5–10 minutes. As you stir, be sure to scrape the entire bottom and corners of the pan, so that the mixture heats as evenly as possible. It will start out thick and cloudy from the undissolved sugar, then will turn thin and translucent, and finally begin to thicken and turn cloudy again as the eggs cook. Lower the heat to very low as it gets closer to being done. If the mixture starts to curdle or bubble, immediately remove it from the heat and proceed to the next step.
- Immediately pour the curd through the strainer and into the bowl of butter to stop the cooking. Whisk to incorporate the butter and orange zest, making sure there are no clumps of orange zest.
- Pour the cooked curd over the baked and pressed down crust. If you have extra curd, you can save it in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. It's delicious swirled into yogurt or slathered on toast or biscuits.
- Bake the tart at 325ºF (don’t forget to lower the oven temp!) until the sides are barely puffed and the center wobbles like firm Jell-O when you give it a gentle shake, 15–25 minutes. (Some readers have reported that the curd took longer than this to bake, so go by the way it looks and not the time!) It should not be wet or watery looking (underbaked), nor should it be puffed in the center or cracking (overbaked). Remove the tart from the oven and let cool to room temperature for about an hour, then chill until firm, 3-4 hours or overnight.
- Whip together the crème fraiche and heavy cream until the mixture holds firm peaks. Pipe over the crust if you like, or serve it to the side of the tart.
- When the tart is cold, loosen and remove the sides of the tart crust and slide it onto a cutting board. Decorate the tart with blood orange wedges, bee pollen, and/or dried edible flower petals if you like.
- Cut into wedges with a large, sharp chef's knife. For the cleanest cuts, dip the knife in very hot water and wipe the blade clean between cuts.
- The tart keeps well, refrigerated, for up to 3 days, though the crust is the crispest within the first 1–2 days.