Blood Orange Bars with a Brown Butter Crust

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Makes

    12

    ( 3-by-4 inch / 7.5-by-10 cm ) Bars

Appears in

The recipe is enough to make the bars in a quarter-sheet pan, however, we know for most, blood oranges can be a bit expensive so a reduced recipe may be a better option. The recipe works perfect if you halve it and make the bars in a four-by-fourteen-inch tart pan (that is what was used in the photos) or use individual three- or four-inch tart pans. Or you can always substitute in some tangerine juice for the blood orange juice. The color will pale more toward the orange side, but it will still be delicious. Promise. Also, make sure to taste the sweetness of the curd as you are making it. Blood oranges can vary quite a bit on their sweetness, so adjust the sugar quantities to your desired taste.

Ingredients

For the Brown Butter Crust

  • ½ pound (225g) unsalted butter
  • ½ cup (100g) sugar
  • 3 cups (375g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt

For the Blood Orange Curd

  • ¼ cup (30g) cornstarch
  • 1 ½ cups (300g) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
  • 12 eggs, beaten
  • 4 egg yolks, beaten
  • Zest of 6 blood oranges
  • 2 ½ cups (600ml) fresh blood orange juice
  • ½ pound (225g) cold, unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch (12-mm) pieces

Method

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Make the brown butter crust: In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. The butter will foam up initially but then settle down. Continue cooking, swirling the pan occasionally, until the solids begin to separate and brown and the liquids turn a light brown color. The browned butter should have a nutty, toasty aroma. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the sugar until mostly dissolved.
  3. Put flour and salt in a large bowl. Stir in the butter and sugar mixture and mix until completely incorporated (the mixture will have a crumbly texture). Press the mixture into the bottom and sides of a rimmed 9-by-13-inch (23-by-33-cm) sheet pan.
  4. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the crust is golden.
  5. Make the blood orange curd: Bring a pot of water to a gentle boil and place a heatproof bowl over the saucepan to make a double boiler.
  6. In a bowl, whisk together the cornstarch, sugar, and salt. Mix in the eggs, egg yolks, blood orange zest, and blood orange juice. Place the mixture in the bowl of the double boiler and cook, stirring frequently, until the curd has thickened, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the butter a few pieces at a time until it is completely incorporated. Strain the curd through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl.
  7. As soon as you take the crust out of the oven, pour the blood orange curd on top of it. Return the pan to the oven and bake for another 15 minutes, or until the filling has thickened. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. When cool, place in the fridge to chill for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
  8. Cut into bars and serve chilled.

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