I know, I know vampires are in style right now. Twilight movies, Vampire Diaries television show, Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner – I haven’t been under a rock for the past couple of years. Although, I have to admit that I am not smitten with the whole creatures of the night phenomenon that seems to be never ending. But I am a big fan of Blood Oranges and their seductive blood red color and sweet flavor.
Earlier, I posted a Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Blood Orange Salad Dressing. You’ve got to love the deep red color the dressing adds to the dish. Can’t get your kids to eat salads, make up this dressing and tell them its special Vampire Blood Orange dressing. (Two can play the “I’m being difficult at dinner” game.) But my favorite use of these little ruby gems, with a ridiculously short season, is making them into desserts.
Craig has recently become concerned with my obsession with puff pastry. Every time he opens up the refrigerator he seems to find a box of the magical stuff. (What’s particularly funny about that is he can never seem to find his half and half, that’s always on the same shelf and he uses every day, and has to ask me where it is.) But what can I say? I really like the flaky buttery flavor of puff pastry and it works so well in both sweet and savory dishes. He never seems to remember my obsession as he’s gobbling down whatever dish I put in front of him though.
I had recently seen some random cooking show, when I was in Australia, where they used puff pastry as the base for a tarte tartin made with tropical fruit. This tarte tartin is a perfect mix of sweet blood oranges (and a hint of marmalade flavor from the rind) combined with a deep caramel and all nestled on to a piece of buttery puff pastry. Add a bit of vanilla bean ice cream and you’ve got a dessert that you might find in a restaurant for $8 or more.
There’s obsession…and then there’s OBSESSION, like Glenn Close…rabbit in a pot obsession. I’m not talking about that kind. I’m talking about really loving someone and letting them know from time to time. For the most part everyone has a cell phone now. I am not suggesting that you start sexting or even texting one another. This can get annoying, dangerous, illegal and embarrassing. Why not put a little calendar item on their phone and schedule it so that it goes off when they are on their way to work or lunch time. Something like “Thinking of you” or “Miss You.” If you’re not up for the technology bit. Write a note on a small piece of paper and tuck it into their pants pocket, wallet, purse or lunch.
- 1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter
- 1/2 Cup Firmly Packed Brown Sugar
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 3 Blood Oranges (sliced thin – use a mandoline or v-slicer)
- 1/2 Package Puff Pastry (1 sheet)
- Vanilla Bean Ice Cream (can also use whipped cream)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Farenheit.
In a medium sized oven-proof skillet add butter, brown sugar and vanilla extract. Heat over medium high heat. Keep stirring while ingredients melt. Contents will bubbly very strongly. Keep stirring so that it doesn’t burn. You will see it begin to turn brown and thicken. You will also begin to smell it caramelize.
Once you begin to smell the caramel, turn the heat down to low and layer in the orange slices. Arrange them in a circular motion starting from the outside of the pan working in to the center.
Let the oranges sit for 1 minute.
Unfold the pastry onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry into an 11″x17″ rectangle. Cut the pastry in half (width-wise).
Lie the first piece of pastry over the caramel and oranges. Lay the second piece of pastry perpendicular across the first piece of pastry. Make sure that the entire surface is covered with puff pastry dough.
Slide the pan into the oven and cook for 20 minutes. (Dough should be puffed and golden brown.)
Remove the pan from the oven and set aside until contents stop bubbling.
Put a large plate over the top of the pan.
While holding the plate, and the pan, flip the orange tarte tartin onto the plate.
Cut and serve with ice cream or whipped cream.