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Tangerines bring refreshing flavor to seasonal winter foods

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Caramelized Tangerine and Ricotta Tart

Topping

1 1/3 pounds small, firm tangerines

7 tablespoons honey

1 cup freshly squeezed tangerine juice, plus more if needed

Crust 1

1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes

1 tablespoon sugar

3 to 4 tablespoons ice water

Filling

1 cup ricotta

3/4 cup softened cream cheese or Neufchatel cheese

1/4 cup whipped cream

1/4 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons orange marmalade

To make the topping, preheat the oven to 275°F. Wash the tangerines well, but don’t peel them. Slice them very thinly crosswise. Arrange half the slices in an 8-inch square baking dish, keeping them more or less in a single layer. Drizzle the slices with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the honey. Top with the remaining tangerine slices and drizzle with another 1 1/2 tablespoons honey. Pour the tangerine juice over the layered slices. It should almost cover the fruit; if it doesn’t, add more as needed. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and cook until the peels are very soft, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

Meanwhile, make the dough for the crust. Sift the flour and salt into a food processor and whirl briefly to blend. Scatter the butter cubes over the top and pulse until the mixture is crumbly. Add sugar. With the motor running, drizzle in the ice water, adding just enough for the dough to come together. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and press together into a rectangle or disk, depending on the shape of the tart you are making. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.

While the dough is chilling, make the filling. In a small bowl, gently combine the whipped cream with the sour cream. The whipped cream will fall slightly, but that is ok. In a larger bowl, beat the ricotta, softened cream cheese and honey until smooth with a wooden spoon. Add the whipped cream and sour cream mixture. Then beat in the marmalade. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

When the tangerine slices are ready, drizzle with another 2 tablespoons honey and raise the oven temperature to 350°F. Roast the slices, uncovered, until they start to brown, about 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons honey. Set aside.

To bake the crust, unwrap the dough, set it on a floured surface, and let it warm up for 10 minutes. With a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the dough about 1/8 inch thick to fit a 9- or 10-inch round tart pan with a removable bottom. Gently transfer dough to tart pan and trim the dough even with the pan edge.

Prick the bottom of the crust all over with a fork. Line the crust with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until golden, 30 to 40 minutes. You may complete this step while the tangerine slices are roasting. Just slide crust alongside the slices in the oven. When time is up, remove from the oven, remove the pie weights and parchment, and bake the crust until deep golden, 10 to 15 minutes more. Let cool on a rack.

Spread the filling in the cooled crust to within 1/2 inch of the rim. Arrange the warm or cooled tangerines over the filling and drizzle with any juices. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

Adapted from “The One-Block Feast: An Adventure in Food from Yard to Table” by Margo True, Random House.

Updated: February 9, 2014 6:11AM



The seasonal foods of winter can be tricksters. In January, you’d think the seasonal ingredients would procure warmth and brawn, but more often than not, their flavors are light and refreshing — the very characteristics we’d expect from summer’s most notable ingredients.

Take citrus, for instance. Everything about it seems to celebrate summer: the colors, the flavor, and especially the recipes. But tangerines and grapefruits are two of late winter’s big-league players, popping up in bumper amounts at the markets.

There is a little bit of wile involved to get citrus acclimated to winter dishes, though. Some marry it to bold winter spices, but to do that, you must sacrifice a lot of the light citrus flavor. A better strategy involves thickening out the citrus with a little bit of winter warmth.

Heavier ingredients, whether in a sweet or savory dish, will add to the citrus without taking away its bright flavor.

This recipe for a caramelized tangerine tart does just that. The bright, fresh flavors of ripe tangerines are layered atop a mellow filling of ricotta and marmalade. The tart is glazed over with a sheer gloss of that wintry burnt sugar flavor, making it an ideal dessert for this time of year.

Despite its starring ingredient, the tart doesn’t taste like a summer dish. It is unequivocally a winter food. Somehow the layers of a flaky crust, a light but robust filling, and the glazed citrus of the tangerine hoist this tart into the pages of your winter cookbook.

Winter desserts should take time, and there’s nothing like spending a long weekend day in a warm kitchen with the oven blazing. It’s comforting and makes the shortened gloomy days a whole lot happier.

An adaptation of a more elaborate recipe that uses hard-to get ingredients, this version takes patience but not a lot of tricks of the trade. However, putting a little of your own elbow grease into recipe yields big payoff.

If you’ve got the know-how, make your ricotta and marmalade from scratch. The end result will be doubly pleasing and brag-worthy.



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