The uplifting aroma of citrus has filled my home all this week. Monday I made the marmalade for this recipe with both orange and grapefruit. The blanching was especially nice. The fragrance from the boiling citrus water was just so beautiful and fresh. It seems fitting for this time of year.
The 2010 March Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Jennifer of Chocolate Shavings. She chose Orange Tian as the challenge for this month, a dessert based on a recipe from Alain Ducasse’s Cooking School in Paris.
I didn’t expect to get so much marmalade from one orange and one grapefruit. I ended up with two 8 oz. jars of orange marmalade and the same amount of grapefruit. I put them in canning jars, although I didn’t plan to seal them with a water-bath. The marmalade was so hot they sealed by themselves- bonus! (top jar is ruby red grapefruit)
This wasn’t my first time making marmalade. I have made it once before, and it was an all day endeavor disaster. This version was so easy and far surpassed my expectations! It is so delicious and not the least bit tart or bitter. Working with small portions is always easier for me and it helped that the instructions were so simple.
We could use our own pâte sablée recipe, but I wanted to stick as closely as I could with the recipe given.
I’ll admit, these are very good when eaten plain or with a little marmalade spread on top.
Surprisingly, I had no problem assembling this dessert. It looks so elegant – I really thought it would be difficult! I used pastry rings (but you can use cookie cutters) for building the tian. It is assembled upside down. First the oranges go in, then the stabilized cream layer, and the pâte sablée goes on last.
The one thing I did have trouble with… the caramel drizzle. I read the directions – specifically the part that says ” [you should make] this step while you don’t have to worry about anything else.” I don’t know why I chose to ignore it. I thought I could cook dinner and caramelize sugar at the same time. Needless to say, my caramel didn’t drizzle, instead it set up like concrete in the bottom of my saucepan. Instead of throwing the whole mess out I thought I would re-melt the caramel and make…
…orange-caramel lollipops! An accidental treat, and quite good in spite of the mishap.
I’m still not 100% convinced that my drizzle is exactly what it should be. It is the consistency of maple syrup but is not as dark as I had hoped. I figure it’s close enough.
Well, close enough for someone who is really paranoid of making the same mistake twice.
This is a beautiful dessert, and one that I’ll be making again soon. I can’t wait to try my grapefruit marmalade in this recipe. I hope to find some pomolos to supreme, they are similar to grapefruit but sweeter and would be the perfect compliment.
Here is the (rather lengthy) recipe if you’d like to give it a try!
I loved this challenge. And I especially love that life is full of sweet surprises.
(Like orange-caramel lollies!)