Orange Tian – Pith Free and Strawberry KiwiMarch 28, 2010 at 4:42 am | Posted in Cookies, Daring Bakers, Dessert, Jams/Jellies, Pastry, Pies/Tarts | 71 Comments
Tags: Almond, Chocolate, Daring Bakers, feuilletine, Kiwi, Macadamia, Orange Marmalade, Orange Tian, Pastry cream, Pate Sablee, Praline, Strawberry, Strawberry Kiwi Jam, whipped cream
I DON’T like orange marmalade. Apparently my fingers dislike it too, because I continue to misspell ‘marmalade’ in this entry. I’ve had to correct every spelling of it thus far. I had one really bad experience with it and a second ‘sour-face” taste a few months ago. Regardless, I always felt it was worth one more try – kind of like cilantro..hated it the first few times, and now I can’t get enough of the stuff. However, when it comes to marmalade..NO PITH, that’s where I put my foot down because the pith is what makes the stuff so damn bitter. I don’t care how many times you boil and blanch the orange slices when making orange marmalade, it’s still bitter (to me anyway). Many like this, with good reason, but my palate rebels against it. In fact, I don’t like anything orange and jellied/gelled – even orange pates de fruit, orange jelly slices, and/or anything that congeals with orange in it. I think it’s some strange, genetic malfunction, since I love all other fruits (OK – not grapefruit either, but I think it applies to all citrus fruits in general) in jelly or jam form – just not orange.
I’m ranting about orange marmalade because….
The 2010 March Daring Baker’s challenge was hosted by Jennifer of Chocolate Shavings. She chose Orange Tian as the challenge for this month, a dessert based on a recipe from Alain Ducasse’s Cooking School in Paris.
Now that I started this entry off on a bright, cheery note *Yes, sarcasm is flashing wildly here*, I’ll explain the beginnings of my aversion to orange marmalade and I’ll try to make this as quick as possible. City girl (me) moves to the suburbs with her family when she’s 9, Her life-long city Dad decides to buy a lawn mower and mow his first lawn. Unfamiliar with said lawn mower, he sticks his hand in running lawn mower when something jams. Former city girl is sitting on the porch around the corner at new friend’s house. City mom and dad come speeding around the corner and stop short, telling me to tell my new friend’s father to watch over my sister and I until they get home. Cool, I get to hang out with my friend and have lunch there, although I’m a leeeeettle concerned about the bloody towel wrapped around my father’s hand.
OK, I’m already pushing the enevlope here – so I’ll get to the point. ‘I digress’ should be tattooed onto my forehead.
Friend’s father makes me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich because well, I was in a phase where all I ate for lunch was PB and J sandwiches. He makes it with crunchy peanut butter, which I don’t like, but no biggie, it’s still peanut butter. I can grind down the chopped peanut pieces with my teeth. What came next almost made me spit it out onto the plate. This jellied bite of what tasted like ‘poison’. Bitter to me as a kid was something I always described as tasting like poison. One more bite and I knew I was going to have to bail immediately. Peanut butter and orange marmalade?? This was Peanut BITTER and Jelly, and for a 9-year old kid, no less? OK, he was a nice man and that’s what they liked on their PB and J sandwiches. My palate just wasn’t up to that level yet, and sadly, it never was to be. BTW, Dad was ok, just a few stitches to sort of set things back in place…although in reverse. Touch the left side of his left pointer finger and he feels it on the right, and vice versa.
On to the challenge. Initially, I was going to nix the orange completely and just go with a strawberry kiwi tian, since I made a strawberry-kiwi jam (this was my first time making homemade jams and jellies, and boy did I go nuts. Canning is fun!), but after letting the idea marinate a while, plus the fact that a cardinal rule in Daring Bakers is to execute the challenge to the host’s requirements before running off the beaten path, I dove into orange marmalade land. I used blood and regular oranges in both the tian and marmalade. However, as the title suggests, I cut off all the pith and just used the zest, flesh and juice. I have to admit, the marmalade caramelized nicely, and it tasted a hell of a lot better than marmalade with the pith (I liked it better hot than cooled and fully set), but – I’m still not a fan of orange marmalade..or most orange desserts in general. I like the flavor of orange in some desserts, just not slices or chunks of orange outside of a fruit salad or a peeled fresh orange eaten out of hand. Oh well, I tried.
As mentioned above, I ended up making both an orange tian and a strawberry kiwi tian. However, you can call them both, especially the strawberry kiwi tian, tian’s on steroids. I decided to add a little extra texture and flavor by inserting a disk of chocolate feuilletine beneath the fruit layer of each one. Dark chocolate almond praline for the orange, and white chocolate macadamia praline in the strawberry kiwi. I folded fresh strawberry puree into the soon to be stabilized whipped cream for the strawberry kiwi tian and fresh vanilla bean into the whipped cream for the orange tian. To make the strawberry kiwi tian even more lard inducing..I added a layer of strawberry kiwi pastry cream underneath the fruit. Next time the feuilletine is going in the middle of the cream (notice feuilletine between pastry and whipped cream in the strawberry kiwi tian - fruit stays flat and put) because fruit on top of chocolate,- well, orange supremes on top of chocolate, results in a drippy, sloppy mess after it sits a while. My beautifully arranged topping of orange supremes started falling off and oozing like the tian had a raging case of leprosy. I had to try and fit them back together like a wet, slimy puzzle..ending up with a lumpy, bumpy mess. Still tasted good, though.
Speaking of orange supremes – I cannot supreme (segment between the membranes) an orange to save my life. Doesn’t matter how sharp the knife is..it’s a technique I simply cannot master. I never end up with perfect, pithless half moons of orange – just ripped, pithy, sticky, jagged pieces of ‘I don’t what the eff that is’. Regardless, when you set horribly cut supremes of orange upside down and flat in the freezer, it miraculously looks as if you are the supreme master of supremes, IF you don’t slip a disk of chocolate anything underneath it.
All in all, I really enjoyed this challenge. Thank you, Jen! To see the other beautiful tians by my fellow Daring Bakers, click on the links to their blogs HERE. For the recipe for orange tian, click HERE.
Strawberry Kiwi Jam
1 cup peeled and chopped kiwi, crushed
1 cup hulled, chopped strawberries, crushed
2/3 cup fresh orange juice
1/3 cup lime juice
1 (1 3/4 ounce) package no sugar needed or light fruit pectin
2 cups sugar
1. Prepare boiling water canner. Wash and heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.
2. Combine kiwi, strawberries, orange juice and lime juice in a large saucepan. Gradually stir in pectin. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Add sugar and return to a full rolling boil that can not be stirred down, stirring constantly. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off foam if necessary.
3. Carefully ladle hot jam into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply screw band until fit is tight.
4. Process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed. If not using immediately or giving as gifts, store jars in a cool. dark place for up to one year. Makes about 4 half pint jars.
Adapted from Flore from Florilege Gourmand.
3.5 oz (100g) milk or dark chocolate*
1 2/3 Tbsp (25g) butter
2 Tbsp (1 oz / 30g) praline (or bring 1/2 cup of sugar to an amber caramel and spread it on 1/2 cup almonds* and grind until fine)
2.1oz (60g) lace crepes(gavottes) or rice krispies or corn flakes or Special K
1. Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler. Add the praline and the coarsely crushed lace crepes. Mix quickly to thoroughly coat with the chocolate. Spread on a parchment or silpat lined pan and chill until firm.
2. Cut into desired shapes to fit cookie cutter or molds. Refrigerate until ready to use.
*For the strawberry kiwi tian, replace the milk chocolate and almonds with white chocolate and macadamia nuts.
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