Orange-Chili White Chocolate Tart with Persimmons

Serves 8

The gorgeous smell of Valencia oranges, the smooth creaminess of white chocolate and the spicy surprise of ground dried red chilies: these are some of my favourite things.  And together, they’re amazingly delicious and put me in the holiday spirit.  All of this holiday goodness set in a shortbread crust tart and topped with the delicate sweetness of persimmon slices and you’re in for a luxurious, amazingly delicious, gourmet dessert!  Let’s get started.

Orange-Chili White Chocolate Tart

Orange-Chili White Chocolate Tart with Persimmons – Recipe

Ingredients

For Crust:

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 Tbsp. very cold water
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1⁄4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (or 1/1 ratio of whole wheat pastry flour and all-purpose flour)
  • 1⁄3 cup sugar
  • 1⁄4 tsp. salt
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into
    1⁄4-inch cubes

For Filling:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 Valencia orange, zested
  • ½ tsp. ground dried red chilies, or to taste
  • 180g white chocolates, broken into small chunks
  • 3 eggs, whisked

For Topping:

  • 2 fuyu persimmons, peeled, quartered and sliced thinly (substitute with jackfruit or firm mango)

Instructions

  1. To make crust, whisk together egg yolk, water and vanilla extract. Set aside.
  2. Combine flour, sugar and salt.  Add butter and combine until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. Pour in egg yolk mixture and combine until it comes together.  Knead for a few seconds to ensure that the dough is well combined and free of lumps.  Shape into a disc or cube – depending on the shape of your tart tin – wrap in plastic and freeze for 15 minutes.
  4. Grease a loose bottom tart tin with butter and flour.  Flour a flat, clean surface and roll out dough into the same shape as your tart tin, about 1/8” thick and 2 inches larger than your tart tin.
  5. Line prepared tart tin with rolled out dough, press in to corners and trim overhang.  Make sure the tart tin is completely and evenly covered.  Prick dough liberally with a fork, wrap in plastic and freeze for 30 minutes.  This ensures that your dough will not rise during the baking process.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees now.
  6. Once ready, remove plastic, wrap tightly in aluminum foil and bake on top of a baking tray for 15 minutes.  Remove aluminum foil and bake for another 10 minutes until lightly golden.  Remove from oven, but do not turn it off.*
  7. Once you start to bake crust unwrapped, you can start on the filling.  Heat large heavy bottom, non-stick pan over medium heat.  Add cream, Valencia orange zest and ground dried red chilies and whisk together.  Cook to a gentle simmer.  Do not let it boil.
  8. Turn off heat, move pan to a cool surface and add white chocolate chunks and whisk to combine.  Slowly whisk in eggs until well combined.  Pour into baked tart shell and carefully transfer into the oven.  Bake for 20 minutes until filling has set.  It will not be firm at this point.
  9. Remove from oven and top with sliced persimmons.  Remove from tart tin and let it cool.  Let it chill in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight before serving.

*If you find that your dough is rising, prick that area with a fork and it will deflate.  If your dough is not cold enough you may have to check on the dough a couple of times after you’ve removed the aluminum foil to make sure that it bakes evenly and flatly.  This is the best way to achieve a nice even crust without adding baking weights.

Persimmons Orange-Chili White Chocolate Tart 2

The ingredients for the short bread crust are from the Williams-Sonoma Basic Tart Crust recipe, but the method used is slightly different as I find this to be the easiest and most hassle free way to make the crust.  The orange zest and ground dried red chilies make all the difference in this tart.  It’s delicious without them, but those two ingredients take this tart to a whole new level.  The persimmons add colour and a delicate fruity note which balances out the shortbread crust and white chocolate perfectly.  It looks a treat and tastes even better so make your own and impress your guests this holiday season.

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