As recipes go, this is one that just happened by chance. Having repeated it a few times now I’m happy to share these Clementine Curd Tartlets with you.
Basically I was in the local Grocer’s on Sunday and noticed that they had a great deal of €2 for a bag of 10 clementines. Yes I know, I got suckered into buying them. Of course when I got home I realised that the reason why they were such good value was that they were beautifully ripe. There is no way that my family would eat them all at once so I needed to come up with a way to make the most of this great seasonal fruit.
First I had the
genius idiot idea of making some curd from the clementines. I used this basic recipe and substituted the purée for the equivalent amount of juice. In my head I knew it was wrong because there is very little pectin in clementine juice compared to gooseberry puree. I persisted for an hour to try and get the curd to thicken but gave up when the kids started complaining that it was time for bedtime stories. So I decanted the thin curd into a jar and left it until the following day.
The next morning I mulled over the fact that a curd is essentially a form of custard and perhaps it would thicken better if I baked it. I made a batch of sweet pastry using the recipe from the Carton House Cookbook that had worked for me before. I rarely make pastry to be truthful with you but I felt that a sweet pastry would work well with this recipe.
Once my tartlet tins were greased and dusted with flour, then blind baked for a short while (in this case 10 minutes at 170 degrees Celcius in my fan oven), I poured in the thin clementine curd and baked the tartlets for a further 20 minutes at 150 degrees Celcius. Once the curd thickened I knew they were ready to take out and allow to cool.
In the meantime I sliced the remaining clementines thinly and simmered them gently in a 50:50 stock syrup of water and sugar to decorate the top of the tartlettes. You can actually eat the skin from a clementine fresh, without cooking but personally I prefer them cooked before eating. Cooking in the syrup makes them melt in your mouth so long as you cut the slices thin enough.
So there you go, not my classic recipe, but one that definitely works.
And yes, I did burn the tarts the first time I made them and so had to start again from scratch. Just as well I had more than enough perfectly ripe fruit!