Sunday, August 8, 2010

Sicilian Orange Tart

I had my parents over for dinner tonight. The meal I cooked was:
- risotto with butter and parmesan, after last week's triumph;
- lamb stew with beans from Essentials; and
- sicilian orange tart from Giuliano Hazan's Every Night Italian.

The risotto was wonderful. I used the rarer rice. I don't think it was any better than the arborio from last week. Everyone lapped it up. I used about a cup and a half. I think 2 would have been better.

I half lost my mind when cooking it. I put the rice in with the butter. I had a laugh about how Marcella would not be happy with me making that mistake, started again, and then put the rice in the butter again.

Not even moderately alert (Marcella's precondition for recipe success in her 1973 Classic which caused me much merriment).

Third time was the charm and I remembered the onion.

I cooked the meat broth for it yesterday. I got about 17 cups of broth out of the batch, and used 6 in the risotto. I use the Marcella Says recipe. It is worth it just for the broth instructions.

The stew, with vinegar from Essentials, was different in that I used proper lamb shoulder, chopped on the bone, as required by the recipe. Interestingly the Classic version says to use boned lamb and keep the lid on. Anyway, it took much longer to cook - at least an hour or more. You definitely have to read the description of when it is done when cooking Marcella recipes, they are very important. Marcella admits that timing bores her and in any event it is impossible to give one time as each bit of meat is different.

It was tasty, and all eaten by the 4 of us, with the sauce mopped up with bread. The meat was fattier than the cuts I used the first two times, and some bits was better than others, and so my search for excellent lamb shoulder on the bone continues.

But on to the tart. I think it was Jamie Oliver who said he loved a flexible tart, and who am I to argue? I have never cooked one before. I used my new food processor to prepare the dough, as instructed. I was skeptical about the amount of water to be used. One tablespoon was not enough, but I did as I was told and added an extra teaspoon. That caused it to bind quite dramatically.

I think I made a mistake by adding an extra egg, both to the bottom and the filling. I did this because Giuliano said to use extra large eggs, which I did not have. I think this made the tart too eggy.

I also made a mistake by putting in the juice before I mixed the filling.

I may have also made a third mistake by not rolling the bottom thinly enough. I didn't have a false bottom or anything so I had to roll it and then put it in. I wasn't sure exactly what I was doing, but I think the bottom was too thick - in some parts thicker than the filling. Should it be, I wonder?

The forth mistake may have been to have an oven that was too hot. I took the tart out about 10 minutes early because it looked done.

Anyway, we enjoyed it. We ate it with a bit of cream which improved things. I am going to make it again as I am fond of the orange flavour. It also looked appealing. It was a little eggy.

Again, it is hard for me to say it was a good tart or not as I've not really eaten tart before. I think it has potential and I want to give it another crack without mistakes.

It would be nice with a little ice cream.

I sent the left over tart home with my 65 year old dad, who was quite pleased about that. He fixed my cupboard and had a left over screw, which when combined with the tart sent them off laughing as well as being satisfied which can only be a good thing.

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