Mixed Fruit Tart and Lemon Orzo

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Hey! I’m back! I disappeared for just a little bit for a break. But don’t worry, I was still cooking and baking during that break… I just haven’t had a chance to update. But you still love me right? To make up for my silence, I present to you a double post today!

I recently threw a dinner party which was originally meant for a handful of people but it ended up ballooning out to about four handfuls. It was a pretty ambitious effort for my first dinner party, but I think it turned out well and everyone seemed to get along. (But that could’ve been the wine talking!)

Anyway, here are the two star dishes of the party: a frangipane mixed fruit tart, and a creamy, lemony orzo dish.

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So everyone knows I love Gale Gand, right? Not a single recipe of hers has ever failed me. She may not be super famous as some other pastry chefs, but dang, she’s solid. She’s my girl. I ❤ her. And her mixed fruit tart. Glistening fruit, buttery almond pastry base. Yum.

The lemon orzo was a complete surprise for me though. I had never made it before and I never really sought out recipes from Ina Garten, i.e. Barefoot Contessa. The pasta sits in a creamy sauce which is made impossibly light with lemon juice and zest. I love it. The recipe is a total keeper!

Mixed Fruit Tart | Butter, Sugar, Flour, Eggs by Gale Gand

Ingredients
For the crust:
* 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces and slightly softened at room temperature
* 1 egg yolk

For the frangipane:
* 6 ounces almonds, toasted, and cooled
* 2/3 cup sugar
* 8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
* 2 eggs
* 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
* 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
* 3/4 cup plus 1/4 cup apricot preserves
* Assorted fresh fruit, including strawberries, kiwi, mango, blackberries, fig, blueberries, and star fruit, sliced
* 2 tablespoons water

Directions
To make the crust, put the flour in a large bowl. Add the sugar and mix. Using your hands, make a well in the center. Place the butter pieces and egg yolk in the well. Using your fingers, work the butter and egg yolk together until well combined then work the butter-egg mixture into the flour mixture until combined. The dough will be crumbly, but when you squeeze a handful in your hand, it should hold together.

Sprinkle into a 10-inch pie or tart pan. Press the dough firmly and evenly onto the bottom of the pan. Make ropes of the dough and press them onto the walls, making sure not to let the crust thicken at the corners. It should make a clean right angle where the sides meet the bottom. Chill the crust at least 30 minutes or, covered, up to 3 days.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

To make the frangipane filling, in a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse the almonds and sugar just until sandy. Do not over-process, or the mixture will become pasty. Add the butter and process just until blended. Add the eggs and process until blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the vanilla and flour, and process until smooth (you have just made a frangipane). Spoon the frangipane into the unbaked tart shell. Bake until the frangipane is golden brown and puffy and the crust is golden brown, 45 to 50 minutes.

Let cool. Spread 3/4 cup apricot preserves on the surface of the baked tart to act as a bed for the fruit. Slice fruit and arrange it decoratively. Heat the remaining 1/4 cup apricot preserves with the water until boiling and smooth. Brush the fruit with the apricot preserves to protect the fruit from drying out and make it glisten.

Lemon Orzo | Adapted from Ina Garten

Ingredients
* 1 tablespoon good olive oil
* 1 tablespoon minced garlic (2 cloves)
* 2 cups heavy cream
* 3 lemons
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1 bunch broccoli
* 1 pound dried orzo pasta
* 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
* 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

Directions
Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the garlic, and cook for 60 seconds. Add the cream, the zest from 2 lemons, the juice of 2 lemons, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until it starts to thicken.

Meanwhile, cut the broccoli in florets and discard the stem. Cook the florets in a pot of boiling salted water for 3 to 5 minutes, until tender but still firm. Drain the broccoli and run under cold water to stop the cooking. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add 1 tablespoon of salt and the pasta, and cook according to the directions on the package, about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain the pasta in a colander and place it back into the pot. Immediately add the cream mixture and cook it over medium-low heat for 3 minutes, until most of the sauce has been absorbed in the pasta. Pour the hot pasta into a large bowl, add Parmesan, tomatoes, and cooked broccoli. Cut the last lemon in half lengthwise, slice it 1/4-inch thick crosswise, and add it to the pasta. Toss well, season to taste, and serve hot.

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One Response

  1. soooo good

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