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Happy 2019! Hope you all made it through the holidays with a smile and belly full of cookies. My 2019 has been off to a slow start as you can see; I mean it’s already mid-January and I’m just posting my first recipe of the year. But it’s a goodun. I’m eating All. The. Citrus. these days and I’m not mad about it. I look forward to citrus and specifically blood orange season all year and was so happy to see them pop up them grocery store this month. Why yes, that was me doing a happy dance in the produce section last week. I probably should have stuck to a simple blood orange salad or scone recipe but no, I had to try making a) vegan crepes for the first time and then b) try to turn said crepes into a mille crepe cake layered with blood orange custard. Let’s just say it didn’t end well (*there may have been a few tears). The crepes were actually very good so I’ll be sharing the recipe for them soon, but they just didn’t want to get into cake formation, so I might have had a Beyoncé – Hold Up moment on them. All is good though. The blood orange custard was amazing so I turned them lemons into lemonade and made delicious vegan Blood Orange Custard Tarts instead.
My go-to flaky vegan pastry crusty is filled with a luscious creamy blood orange custard then topped with candies blood orange slices and topped with a blood orange gelee. Sounds fancy af but its pretty easy. Gelee is a fancy word for gel aka jello. The only *maybe unfamiliar ingredient is agar agar, which is a sea vegetable that acts as a gelling agent similar to gelatin. I also use a little bit in the custard along with cornstarch (organic non-GMO please) to help it set in the way that egg yolks traditionally would. You can find agar agar powder or flakes at most natural food stores or specialty grocers or order it from my amazon shop here:
It’s a good thing to have on hand in your pantry if your making vegan recipes. I use it most often to thicken jams in place of pectin. A general rule of thumb for making fruit gels with agar agar is 1 teaspoon of agar agar powder to 1 cup of liquid. If using flakes up the amount to 1 tablespoon agar agar flakes to 1 cup liquid.
After making the candied blood orange slices I was left with this gorgeous blood orange syrup which I then realized I could easily turn into a gel to top the tarts. I love how the syrup didn’t go to waste here. I candied 2 blood oranges and had lots of extra slices because I only used one slice per tart, but they can keep for other uses and are great as sweet treats on their own. If you don’t want extra slices, just candy what you need, but note that the syrup might not be a strong flavored.
My two taste testers really liked these tarts. I could eat that blood orange custard all day. I kinda want to make batch just to eat like pudding with some whipped coconut cream… oh yes, that’s definitely going to happen. Let me know what you’re making with citrus these days or anything you’d like to see here next in the comments. Always love hearing from you guys. And I know it’s a bit late, but Happy New Year!
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