Elizabethan Orange Tart
10" shortcrust pastry case*
Honey and sugar
Fromage blanc (or see note)
*Note: Shortcrust pastry case should be thoroughly blind-baked. Low-fat soft cheese may be substituted for fromage blanc.
Measure 2 tablespoons sugar into a bowl and stir in 4 tablespoons boiling water. Add a cinnamon stick and 1/4 pint cold water. Scrub the oranges, flute the peel lightly with a citrus zester and slice the fruit thinly, discarding the ends. Remove pips (seeds), put the orange slices into the sweetened water and leave to soak overnight. Next day, turn the oranges and their liquid into a saucepan. Cover and cook very gently for about 30 minutes. Carefully turn the slices once they cook. Lift the cooked orange slices from the pan one at a time, shaking to let the syrup drip back into the pan, and put them on a rack to drain and become cold. Remove the cinnamon stick, then boil the syrup until reduced to a few sticky spoonfuls. Cool slightly then stir in the 1 tablespoon honey. Assemble the tart just before serving. First sprinkle the ground almonds over the base of the cold pastry shell. Sweeten and flavour the soft cheese by stirring into it 1 teaspoon or so of honey and a little each of ground cinnamon and allspice. Whip the cream, fold in the sweetened and flavoured cheese, then spoon this mixture into the pastry shell. Arrange the orange slices on top, overlapping them slightly in decorative circles, and glaze with the gently re-warmed syrup.
Source: Philippa Davenport in "Country Living" (British), May 1987.