Orange and vanilla are like good friends who don't make enough effort. They get lazy and don't make time to call each other, and sometimes you'll find one of them out by themselves and wonder why they didn't invite the other.
It's best not to get involved at times like that. If orange asks you if you saw vanilla at dessert the other day, my advice is to lie and say you were at home making a fruit salad. They'd only be mad at each other for a minute, and then somehow the flavour tables would turn and it would be you in the dog house. They really do care about each other underneath it all, you see.
Whenever they do make the effort to get together, though, it is easy to see why. Orange and vanilla, when paired, is the most perfect, heavenly (I've been reading Rose) combination in the whole wide world. This is a fact.
Should you be someone who has never actually witnessed their union: you have missed out. I suggest you mix a drop or two of real vanilla extract into your next glass of orange juice. And have it over ice; may as well make it a party. You'll feel like you're in Tahiti. Promise.
You could also make these tarts, which I have lovingly adapted from Jamie's 30-Minute Meals. I spoke of my new found fondness for Mr. O last time, so I don't need to enter into all that again here. But I do need to defend myself for not making my own pastry yet again.
Pie of the Month is supposed to be about me getting to grips with pastry art. I don't really seem to be doing it. In fact, I actually am starting to think that it's not really worth making your own pastry at all, since what you can buy is so good. Don't tell anybody I said that though, for I have an image to maintain.
Jamie says it's fine to use bought puff for these Portuguese tarts though, so that's what I am doing. No point making your own if you're only going to bastardize it with a cinnamon swirl anyway!
Until Jamie, I didn't know that Portugal was famous for it's tarts. I am now feeling a trip to Lisbon may be on the cards. Maybe after I've paid for the new bathroom...
Portuguese Custard Tarts
adapted from Jamie's 30-Minute Meals
You will need:
1 packet ready rolled puff pastry
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
125ml crème fraïche
1 tsp real vanilla extract
- Sprinkle the puff pastry with the cinnamon, and quickly roll up, starting at the long end. I hope that makes sense - think Swiss roll.
- Cut the roll of cinnamoned pastry into six equal portions, and flatten then squash each portion into the holes of a 12-bun muffin tray. Bake for 8-10 minutes at 190°C.
- While the pastry is in the oven, mix the crème fraïche, egg, 25g sugar, vanilla and zest of an orange together. This will be the filling for your custard tarts.
- Take the pastry out of the oven. It will have puffed up; press it back down with the back of a spoon so as to make space for the custard. Fill the pastry cases with custard, and bake for 15 minutes more.
- When set, remove the tarts from the oven, and immediately transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly.
- Make the caramel: put 100g sugar and the juice from the orange in a saucepan and heat until they turn to a bubbling caramel. Spoon caramel over each tart and allow to cool. Delicious!