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Old 01-01-2009, 08:06 AM   #1
Senior Cook
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: yokohama, japan
Posts: 187
Post Citrus tart, medieval style

Over the summer, trying to learn more about cooking, I started playing with medieval recipes. For me, it was fun to see how, for example, cakes evolved in the kitchen. One online source had reproduced some fine examples of candied citrus peels (my favorite dessert) and, to make a very long story short, what follows is my modernized result: a citrus tart made with the whole fruit.

You can ready the fruit in one day but I've found leaving the fruit to "preserve" for a week yields a tenderer, less bitter peel.

1 lemon
sugar equal to the weight of the fruit
honey to equal 1/2 the weigh of the fruit

(Because the size of fruit can vary, exact measurements would yield different results. But say the lemon is 150 grams, you'll need 150 grams of sugar and 75 grams of honey.)


1 orange
sugar equal to the weight of the fruit
(fine) orange liquor to equal 1/4 the weight of the fruit

(a 150 gram orange, 150 grams of sugar, 37.5 grams liquor)

Take the fruit and slice it very, very thinly on a mandolin -- or as fine as you can slice it with a knife -- then combine it with the other ingredients; mix it well and put it in an airtight container. Stir it once each day. (I've let mine stand for a month with no problem and the orange longer as the alcohol seems to keep it better, but one to seven days is fine.)

Pre-bake a shortbread crust in a tart pan 20 minutes at 400 degrees celsius then brush with a wash of egg white while still hot; let it sit for a few minutes to set the egg white then pour the fruit mixture into the tart shell and pop it back into the hot oven to bake for 40 - 50 minutes: the juice will evaporate and turned into a thick syrup. Take it out from the oven and let it cool completely. The result of the lemon is something like a fine marmalade atop shortbread -- not everyone likes marmalade but if you do it pairs nicely with hot tea for breakfast. The orange is always much sweeter, the liquor brings out the flavor, without bitterness in the peel.

(Note: I enjoy the lemon version with 1/4 the weight of currents added at the beginning; they soak up a bit of the juice and add little sweet bites to the bitterness in the rind.)

The shortbread crust:

35 grams cake flour/105 grams AP flour OR 140 grams pastry flour
a pinch of salt
36 grams of powdered sugar
114 grams of butter

Put all of the ingredients in the food processor and process until it comes together. (At first it will look as though it will not come together and you may think about adding some kind of liquid -- Be patient! -- it will come together, I promise.) Press into a tart shell. (Myself, I always line the bottom of the tart pan with waxed paper so that the tart easily slides off when done.)



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Old 01-01-2009, 08:18 AM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2007
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Posts: 3,306
I gotta try this!! It sounds great!!
I believe I will prepare this ahead of time and spring it on the folks at our next rendezvous for breakfast.
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