Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Baking Chez Moi: Not-So-Pink Grapefruit Tart

The second recipe of the month from Baking Chez Moi is a Pink Grapefruit Tart that can be found at Hugo & Victor Pâtisserie in Paris. Other than being petite, mine looks nothing like Hugues Pouget's tart. Dorie's version is a full size tart, with picture perfect pink and yellow grapefruit segments beautifully spiraled around the top of the tart. Mine looks nothing like Dorie's.


My original plan was to make the tart on Sunday, expecting to be back from my Houston business trip Saturday night. However, thanks to an incompetent fuel truck driver at Spirit airlines, who decided to ram into the baggage compartment door of the airplane, I ended up spending 15 hours in the airport waiting for the next flight at noon on Sunday. Trust me, you don't want to hear about the hotel vouchers we finally received at 5:00 AM…vouchers the hotel ultimately refused to accept, or the meal vouchers the airport restaurants wouldn't accept. Heck, the flight attendants on the flight back home wouldn't even accept their own meal voucher and the whole fiasco ended costing me another $13 for a double vodka to put myself to sleep and out of my misery. I assure you I will never make the mistake of flying Spirit, and I strongly suggest you do the same. Stuff happens, but the customer service was atrocious.

To top it off, some time during those sleepless and annoying hours, I managed to pick up a nasty cold and have been home sick the past two days. Knowing I would be stuck at home a few days, I decided to try this tart. I started it yesterday, but ran out of steam after making the Sweet Tart Dough, lemon-almond cream, and grapefruit crémeux. I was able to finish off my tarts this morning with baking and assembling.

I decided to make three 4" tartlets rather than one large tart. I could have easily made four with thinner crusts. After the crust is baked and cooled, a layer of chilled lemon-almond cream is spread over the bottom and the crusts are returned to the oven to bake for a few minutes until the cream is set. After the tart cools, the chilled grapefruit crémeux is whisked until soft and smooth, and spread over the lemon-almond cream in the tart shell. Finally, grapefruit segments are attractively arranged on the top of the crémeux and the tart returned to the refrigerator for another two to eight hours before serving.

As indicated, the top of the tart is supposed to be garnished with grapefruit segments. The grapefruit crémeux is also supposed to have a pink hue from Campari. My grapefruit segments came out all raggedy looking (I think my grapefruits were too small) and there was no way the segments were going to add any element of beauty to my tarts. The market didn't have Campari; hence the lack of pink in my  crémeux. I ended up using the grapefruit juice from my raggedy grapefruit to make a grapefruit caramel sauce. That's the puddle under the tart. However, I took the caramel a bit too far on the stove, so it ended up being more like a puddle of chewy caramel.

Would I make this again? Probably. I loved the crust and the grapefruit crémeux. I'm not so sure the lemon-almond cream adds much. I used a pretty thick layer and didn't really taste it. The texture and flavor of the grapefruit segments would definitely enhance the tart, but my segments just didn't make the cut this time.

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Tuesdays with Dorie is an online cooking group where anyone can bake along. We bake with two books – Baking with Julia and Baking Chez Moi. I am baking along with the Baking Chez Moi group, which bakes two recipes per month and posts on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month. We are asked to refrain from including the actual recipe in our posts, to promote the publishing industry and encourage others to buy the cookbooks.