Blood Orange Creme Brulee Tarts are rich, creamy, and packed with fresh flavor from juicy blood oranges and sweet coconut milk custard. Topped witih a caramelized sugar crust. Can you dream of a better dessert?
I'm not sure what it is about tiny tarts that has me completely smitten. Especially mini tarts of the custard variety - like the gin and tonic tarts I shared recently. Perhaps it's the crumbly pastry base or the velvety custard filling that retains that slight wobble. So when I picked up a bunch of beautiful blood oranges with ruby flecked skin I knew that they were destined to be made into these fancy little orange creme brulee tarts.
What is a Creme Brulee Tart?
I have always been a huge creme brulee junkie - I blame it on my Italian roots. I didn't have much of a sweet totth growing up, but creme brulee was one of the few desserts that I could always polish off. We reserved it for special occassions, like Christmas or family celebrations.
Creme brulee literally means "burnt cream", a reference to the caramelized crust that sits atop most varieties. The inside of the creme brulee tart is a creamy custard, usually flavored with vanilla or caradmom. More inventive recipes infuse flavors like orange or even ginger!
While often thought of as an Italian dessert (and definitely popular in Italian culture), creme brulee is actually thought to have originated in Catalonia. The first recipes for creme brulee tarts appeared in Catalan cookbooks dating back to the 16th century. In those recipes, the custard was topped with sugar and burnt with a hot, iron rod! I guess we have simplified things these days with the invention of these tiny kitchen torches.
Let's Make Blood Orange Creme Brulee Tarts!
Moving on to these blood orange creme brulee tarts... they really are something special. Now traditional creme brulees are truly just custard with a sugar crust. They are usually served in individual ramekins. I put my own spin on this and turned them into little tarts with a flaky, pastry crust.
Since I try to limit dairy, I experimented with coconut milk instead of the traditional cream. It was amazing! The custard still had a great creaminess, and the coconut flavor added a whole new dimension to the creme brulee tarts. In fact, the coconut was a really great match for the fresh citrus flavors from the blood oranges.
The only disappointment is that despite the vibrant ruby red juice of the blood oranges, the filling of these Blood Orange Creme Brûlée Tarts takes on an slightly brownish tone when cooked. I was hoping for more of that bright red color! But you can't win them all. I knew they would taste amazing anyway.
You will need a kitchen torch to transform the sugar into that iconic crunchy, golden crust. Don't skip this - we all know it's the best part!
Blood Orange Creme Brulee Tarts
- 1 cup plain flour sifted, all purpose, 200g
- ¼ cup brown sugar sifted, 30g
- 5 tbsp unsalted butter chilled, chopped into cubes, 75g
- zest of 1 blood orange
- 1 egg yolk
- ¼ cup cold water 60ml
- TART FILLING
- 2 eggs
- ⅔ cup coconut milk 150ml
- ⅓ cup caster sugar 70g
- zest of 2 oranges
- ⅔ cup of freshly squeezed blood orange juice 150ml
- BRULEE TOPPING
- 1 tbsp sugar
- Start by making the pastry. In the bowl of a food processor add the flour and sugar and process to combine. Add the orange zest and butter and pulse until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and water and process until the mixture starts to come together. Remove from the food processor and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 355 degrees (180 Celsius) and lightly grease 8 10cm loose bottom mini tart tins. Roll out the pastry until roughly 5mm thick and then cut circles from the pastry that are 2 cm larger in diameter than the tart tin. Line the each tart tin and trim excess. Chill for 15 minutes before lining with baking paper and filling with pastry weights. Bake for 7 minutes before removing the weights and baking for a further 3 minutes or until dry and lightly golden. Set aside to cool.
- For the filling whisk together the eggs, caster sugar, orange zest and juice. Add the coconut milk and whisk until combined. Carefully divide the filling between the mini tarts and bake for 7 to 10 minutes or until the filling is just set. Set aside to cool.
- Just before serving sprinkle a little sugar over each tart and use a kitchen torch to melt the sugar to a light caramel.
Your tart looks stunning Nicole. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I'll try to cook it next weekend
Thanks Julia - let me know how it turns out!
This dessert tarts looks really good, thanks for sharing these delicious combinations ,I love it!!!
These look lovely...great flavor, and looks so delicious! 🙂
Jen Laceda @ Tartine and Apron Strings says
Welcome back from your honeymoon! Kinda hard to get back, no? Heehee! Anyways, these tarts are divine! I wanna reach out into my screen and grab a few.
Oh, welcome back! Glad to hear you had a wonderful honeymoon. New York is such a fun place.
This looks and sounds fabulous.
Welcome back and hope that you are feeling much better! Love blood oranges but do not see them in Bahrain very often! The tarts look so delicious and I just love eating the whole lot! 🙂
Thanks Moya 😀 What a shame blood oranges aren't readily available to you. You could make this with lemons or regular oranges.
Aunt Clara says
Nice looking tarts. And I love the idea of brûlée tarts.
Yasmeen @ Wandering Spice says
No apologies for taking time to get back to blogging. You were just married, lady!!! More time should be spent on other things 😉
That said, I am glad that you and your deliciousness are back on the scene. We just picked a mass of blood oranges from hubby's Nan's tree, so I think I'll get to quick work on these.
Hi. Beautiful recipe.. I was wondering, how do you remove the tarts from the tart tins while maintaining the beautiful crust. Mine always crumble despite I have already buttered them prior to baking. Your tips are most helpful.
Thank you and have a nice day 🙂
Sorry I didn't see your comment sooner. For some reason it ended up in my spam. Anyway, in response to your question, I don't find any issues with my tart crust crumbling. It sounds like perhaps your pastry mixture might be too dry. Next time you make the dough try adding a little more moisture. I always add an egg yolk to mine, which also helps stop the pastry from shrinking. Let me know how it goes 😀
Two of my favorite forms of dessert in one! I love these!
Mmm, these sound so delicious! And a belated congratulations on your wedding 🙂
Welcome back 😀 I adore the first crack of a brulee tart. Perfect brown cover up 😉
Lizzy (Good Things) says
Lovely, Jennifer! Welcome back.
Wow, those tarts look amazing!
Baking Myself Happy says
Hope you had a fantastic honeymoon!
Love creme brulee - my favourite moment is that satisfying crack through that wonderful toffee! Creme brulee would have to be one of my favourite desserts, I can never resist it.
I love that crunchy sugar topping and the idea of these flavours together has my mouth watering. What a happy return to blogging!
Welcome back! I've been wanting to make bruleed tartlets ever since I saw them in the Bourke St Bakery cookbook. These look absolutely gorgeous - bookmarked for when blood oranges are in season in the UK!
Gorgeous tartlets! A wonderful idea and combination.
Choc Chip Uru says
What stunning tarts my friend, this looks gorgeous 😀
Choc Chip Uru
Laura (Tutti Dolci) says
Welcome back! 🙂 These are gorgeous tarts, I love breaking through the sugared top to the silky custard below!
Welcome back!!! I love how you bruleed the tops of these tarts, they are stunning! This looks like a great way to jump back into blogging, as a Mrs. I hope the honeymoon and the time off was lovely! xo
Thanks so much Laura 😀 It's great to be back.
Christine @ Cooking Crusade says
What beautiful looking tarts! Great idea including blood oranges into the traditional recipe 🙂 My fave part is definitely cracking the brûlée toffee top! I especially love the movie Amélie where she takes such pleasure in it hehe.
I love Amelie too. Such a good movie. You can't help but feel happy watching it 😀