I created the recipe because I love Cara Cara (or red navel) oranges! They are sweet, a lovely pinkish hue, and are less acidic than most citrus. They make a great late winter tart that reminds you that spring is coming!
There is something cheerful and spring-like about this tart that brings a smile to my face and helps me brave the rest of this horrible cold dreary weather.
The cara caras can always but substituted with any other citrus fruit--navel oranges, blood oranges, or pink grapefruit would be the best substitutes. And the tarragon can be omitted completely, but I feel it is a great compliment to all citrus. —megefitzroy
To make crust: cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. add flour and salt, mix until blended. Add egg yolk, mix until blended. Pat dough into a round, wrap with plastic and chill until set.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Roll chilled dough out and press into a 9" tart pan. Place in freezer to set. Once frozen, prick the tart dough with a fork (if desired, use pie weights to weigh down the center of the dough) and bake the crust until golden brown (at least 15 minutes). If desired, the crust may be brushed with egg wash to prevent it from getting soggy. This is only necessary if it will not be served right away.) Once the tart shell is baked, set it aside to cool.
To make orange cream filling: place the gelatin sheet in ice cold water to soften, about five minutes.
Place the milk in a small pot and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, remove from heat, add the orange zest and one sprig of tarragon, cover the pot and let steep for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, strain the milk, discard the zest and tarragon, place milk in a clean pot and reheat to simmering. In a separate bowl, combine egg yolks, sugar, flour and cornstarch, whisk into a smooth paste. When the milk is simmering, slowly pour it into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the pot, over heat and cook until thickened.
Once thickened, remove from heat. Add butter and gelatin sheet. Pass mixture through a strainer to remove any lumps or imperfections, cover the orange cream with plastic to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate until chilled.
In a small sauce pan, heat 1/2 cup of honey, 1/4 cup sugar and about 1 cup of water to simmering. Remove from heat and add three to four sprigs of fresh tarragon. Cover the pan and let it steep for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, strain the the liquid, discard the tarragon, and pour honey syrup over the cara cara segments. Place oranges and their poaching liquid chill in the refrigerator.
To finish tart: Spoon the chilled orange cream into the chilled tart crust and spread evenly with a spatula. Strain the cara cara segments from their poaching syrup (reserve syrup) and arrange them nicely on top of the orange cream in a pinwheel form.
Optional: to make a honey glaze, simmer and reduce the reserved honey poaching syrup to a syrupy consistency. With a pastry brush glaze the top of the orange segments with it. garnish with a sprig of fresh tarragon and serve!