Daring Bakers: Citrus Tian

Here I am, being organized and getting my Daring Bakers challenge up before the very last day of the month (or even a day late – yay!)

Okay so this month’s Daring Baker’s challenge was a citrus tian.  I had never heard of a tian before now, and when I looked it up on Wikpedia, I got some explanation about a clay vessel and braised vegetables.  Apparently though, a tian has come to mean a freeform casserole like thing.  Still confused.  So I looked at all the instructions and the pictures that people posted, and this is my new definition.  A tian is a free form tart, composed of a layer of pastry crust, stiffened cream and fruit on top.  This is more or less what I made, with a few additions.

The pastry layer was simple – plain pate sablee (a “crumbly” pastry dough).  The recipe was meant to be served in individual portions, but because I did not have 6 individual size round tart forms, I just made it family style.  I used my springform pan as a guide, and as the form to hold the tian together while it was setting.

The next step was to make the carmelized orange segments.  I segmented 7 oranges, and saved the juice because I forgot to buy orange juice for the rest of the recipe.  Then I made the caramel.  I have made caramel before, I know how hot it is, the recipe came with a warning,  and yet, I could not resist touching a tiny bit of caramel stuck to the spatula.  I did wait a few seconds, but the blister on my thumb is proof that I didn’t wait long enough.  I quickly stuck my finger under cold water and took a chocolate bar out of the freezer to hold (not sure why I took that, maybe it was a Freudian slip).  Either way, I successfully got the caramel onto the orange segments and let them sit until I was ready.

To make the marmalade (yes I made my own marmalade!!!), I had to blanch the oranges with water three times.  Apparently this is supposed to remove the bitterness from the peel.  It worked.  I put the orange slices (not the segments – these are different slices) in a pot with cold water, simmered them for 10 minutes, then, drain and repeat.  When they were done and cool, I minced them up and put them back in the pot with an equal amount of sugar and some orange juice.  To this I added pectin.  I have never worked with a stabilizer before, not even gelatin, so this was a new experience.  I put in the 5 grams that the recipe called for, but the mixture was not thickening, so I added another 5 grams.  In retrospect, I probably should have just waited until the marmalade cooled, and then it would have thickened.  Either way, it tasted good, had the right consistency and worked great.

This recipe also called for gelatin in the whipped cream to thicken it, so I went from no experience in thickeners to a tad of experience in two kinds.  I don’t think the gelatin worked as well because there was a fair amount still in the bowl after I poured it into the whipped cream (I didn’t realize how much until after I assembled the tian.  The resulting tian did hold together nicely, but I had to freeze it for a while.

The recipe said to freeze the tian for 10 minutes after it was assembled.  I made this on Friday afternoon, so I was in a bit of a rush with the rest of my preparations for Sabbath, and I left it in the freezer until dessert.  It was definitely set.  We had to wait a few minutes before we could cut it.  When we all tried the tian for the first time the response was that it tastes just like a creamsicle, just updated and sophisticated.  I took that as a compliment.

On Saturday night, I defrosted the tian in the refrigerator and it was perfect, you couldn’t even tell that it had ever been frozen – oh yeah, and there was nothing left 😉

The recipe is written for individual portions, but you can easily make it family style.

For the Pate Sablee:

Ingredients U.S. Imperial Metric Instructions for Ingredients
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
All-purpose flour 1.5 cup + 2 tablespoons; 7 oz; 200 grams
baking powder 1 teaspoon ; 4 grams

Put the flour, baking powder, 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:

Ingredients U.S. Imperial Metric Instructions for Ingredients
Freshly pressed orange 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.

[See YouTube video in the References section below for additional information on segmenting oranges.]

For the Caramel:

Ingredients U.S. Metric Imperial Instructions for Ingredients
granulated sugar 1 cup; 7 oz; 200 grams
orange juice 1.5 cups + 2 tablespoons; 14 oz; 400 grams

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 and pour half of the mixture over the orange segments.

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:

Ingredients U.S. Metric Imperial Instructions for Ingredients
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.


3 thoughts on “Daring Bakers: Citrus Tian”

  1. Hi! Your tian looks gorgeous so congratulations on completing it successfully … just one quick point … DB reveal day is the 27th of each month. While you can post after the 27th, you’re not supposed to post before the 27th … just so you know for next month!

  2. I was right in the middle of making mine when I had to go out of town on an emergency. Look forward to finishing them.

    Yours look delicious.

  3. Great job on your tian! I read your profile on the daring bakers website. I agree about the Kitchen-Aid mixer! I’ve had mine 15 1/2 years and was just telling my husband he might need to be prepared to get another one soon because it sounds like it’s working really hard when I’m whipping cream.

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