Love to eat, 302pp.
by Valli Little
HarpersCollinsPublishers Australia, Sydney, 2014
Cooking on page 32
This is yet another book in the collection produced by Australia’s popular delicious magazine, which was voted Magazine Brand of the Year for 2018.
I’ve always liked their books. The recipes are top notch, the writing is clear and informative, and the photos are enticing. This book shares 120 recipes from around the world.
Chapter 1 and page 32 are devoted to Italian recipes.
Negroni tart (and sweet shortcut pastry)
1 quantity sweet shortcrust pastry (see recipe below) or 435g packet frozen vanilla bean sweet shortcrust pastry, thawed
1 cup (200g) caster sugar
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
6 oranges (seedless if possible, such as navels), 3 finely zested, then juiced, 3 peeled, pith removed, sliced)
300ml thickened cream, whisked to stiff peaks
3/4 cup (105g) roasted slivered almonds
1 cup (220g) caster sugar
For the almond praline, line a baking tray with baking paper. Spread almonds over the baking paper. Combine sugar and 2 tbs cold water in a saucepan over low heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to the boil. Cook without stirring, occasionally brushing down the sides of the pan with a damp pastry brush, until the mixture turns a golden caramel colour. Pour caramel over the almonds on the tray, then set aside until it hardens. Using a mortar and pestle or food processor, crush praline to coarse crumbs. Store in an air tight container.
Grease a 12cm x 36cm loose-bottomed tart pan. Line with pastry, then refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Prick the pastry base with a fork, then line with baking paper and fill with pastry weights. Bake for 10–12 minutes until pale golden. Remove weights and paper, then bake for a further 5–6 minutes until pastry is dry and crisp. Cool in the pan.
Meanwhile, place the sugar and 1/3 cup (80ml) water in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Add vanilla pod and seeds, and bring to the boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 2 minutes. Add orange juice, zest and Campari to the sugar syrup, then return to the boil and simmer for a further 2 minutes. Cool, then refrigerate.
Combine whipped cream, mascarpone and 1/2 cup praline. Spread over the tart shell and top with orange slices. Just before serving, drizzle over the orange syrup and sprinkle with extra praline crumbs. Serves 6.
Sweet shortcrust pastry
Whiz 1 2/3 cups (250g) plain flour, 2 tbs icing sugar and a pinch of salt in a food processor to combine. Add 180g chilled, chopped unsalted butter and whiz to fine crumbs. Add 1 egg yolk, the scraped seeds from 1 vanilla bean and 1 tbs chilled water, then whiz until the mixture just comes together. Shape into a ball, enclose in plastic wrap, then chill for 1 hour before rolling out. The pastry will keep in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Makes one 23cm tart shell, one 12cm x 36cm tart shell or six 10cm tart shells.
How it played out
I’d love to say I made this recipe, but I handed the main challenge to Chloe. She likes to make desserts and, after minding our house and dogs while we were away, she stayed on until her place was available. My contributions were to buy the Campari, toast the slivered almonds and purchase the right tart tin ($13.95). Geez, no burden at all.
Chloe reckons the recipe has a lot of fiddly steps, but she thought they were all straightforward and easy to do. The only challenge was the pastry. Easy enough to make and it didn’t shrink when baked, but once baked it was still quite crumbly. In the end, we served the dessert from the tart tin base.
Chloe whizzed the praline in the food processor (good thinking) and found it was darned easy to prepare. We used dried chickpeas as pastry weights, and they worked very well. I’m saving them for future use.
We used large oranges and there was lots and lots of orange syrup leftover. I’m still trying to think of ways to use it up.
Given the Campari was on hand, we made negronis to keep us going as we cooked—made with equal parts of Campari, red vermouth and gin served over plenty of ice and with a strip of orange peel.
This is a wonderful dessert that is perfect for a festive meal. It’s both beautiful and delicious. Easter is coming, so it could be a fantastic chocolate-free choice.
Can also highly recommend the colourful and tasty negroni cocktails, but a warning—have just one and don’t plan on driving after having it. 🙂
I promised to let my WordPress friend, Sharon, know when to avoid a recipe. She says she is not a great cook (I’m guessing under-confident). So Sharon, this is a recipe you don’t want to try unless you’ve had a couple of negroni cocktails or unless Chloe and I are there to help! 🙂 Seriously, it’s not that hard to make, but just too many steps to keep you sane.