Saturday, March 26, 2011

Orange Buttermilk Chess Tarts.

 It might be 20 degrees, but at least we have sunshine this weekend! :) Although citrus fruits are typically seasonal to winter, they help bring brightness to cold days and I figured I might as well use those sweet, delicious, juicy naval oranges before they go all dry and bitter for the season.

I really liked the ease in preparation for this crust, I plan on using it in the future.  I didn't roll it out, I just pressed dough into mini tart pans, but if rolling is more your thing (or you're making the original size pie), go for it.

Orange Buttermilk Chess Tarts
Adapted from South City Kitchen
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter, cream cheese, sugar and salt until smooth.  In a smaller bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder, then add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and stir until a dough ball forms.  Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 2 days.

When the dough is done chilling, take it out and let it sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes to make rolling easier, or just press the dough into 5 miniature tart pans.  Place the tarts in the freezer until you're ready to bake with the filling.

4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornmeal
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
Zest and juice of 1 orange
2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/4 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine the eggs and sugar, whisking until well combined.  Add the cornmeal, flour and salt and mix again.  In a separate bowl, mix together the orange zest and juice, butter, buttermilk, cider vinegar, lemon juice and vanilla extract, then pour into the egg mixture.  Whisk until everything is very well combined, then divide the filling among the tarts.

Bake at 325 for about 20 minutes, then rotate the pan in the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F. and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes, until the filling is just set and the crusts are barely golden brown.

Let the tarts cool on a rack, then refrigerate for up to 2 days.


  1. Mmmmm ... this is my kind of tart! I'll have to tip toe over to my neighbors orange tree and give it a try!

  2. They look so cheery and perfect for spring!

  3. Beautiful, and love the color :)

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  5. Love this! I'm a big citrus fan and this sounds and looks awesome!

    Thanks for sharing :)

  6. I have never made crust using cream cheese before. It must be heavenly buttery. Will keep the crust recipe for next time. Beautiful pictures!

  7. They look divine! I wish I had one of these cute little tarts right now!

  8. These look great, and I have extra oranges and buttermilk to use up. Do you think this would fit in 1 regular tart pan, or would I need to adjust the ingredient quantities? Also, any suggestions on how would you adjust the baking temp/time?

  9. Hi, Ammie! You could definitely do this in an 8 or 9-inch tart pan, since the original recipe calls for a 9-inch pie pan. The only suggestion I'd give is to keep an eye on it at the end of the baking time as the original recipe warns about the crust overbrowning - just cover up the edges with some foil if that happens. Otherwise, keep the baking times the same - 20 minutes at 325, then reduce the temperature to 300 and bake until the filling is just set in the middle.

  10. Ohhh....sunshiny dessert! And I love the individual portions!

  11. These are beautiful, especially with those sunny slices of oranges on the top. They'd make any day more cheery.

  12. These are definitely very sunny desserts. They look perfect for a dinner party.

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  15. I absolutely loved every little bit of it.

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