Today I want to offer you a cake that most embodies my Sicilian origins. A shortcrust pastry that gently wraps a vanilla and citrus flavored cream pastry, which is covered with a thin layer of almond paste made with the honey flavored drops of a blood orange.
I really like blood oranges and this morning I woke up with the intention of making a cake, but not a cheesecake, something that looked like “Torta della nonna”, or “Cassata”. I was thinking this because in a few days it will be Easter and the festivities begin so why not make a good cake to start it off.
The only drawback is that blood oranges are not found during every season and are already starting to run out .
In fact, when I went shopping, I couldn’t find them, I went to different supermarkets, I lost all hope of preparing my delicious cake. I was about to resign and go back home thinking about what else I could prepare when I remembered another fruit vendor, that I hadn’t gone too, was near my house and that’s the story of how you can make this amazing cake. Take this as a lesson on never giving up. ?
Blood Orange Honey Drops on the Cake
- 200 g almond paste 7 oz
- 360 g flour 12.7 oz
- 200 g butter 7 oz
- 130 g sugar 4.6 oz
- 4 yolks
- grate zest lemon
- 1 pinch of salt
Pastry Cream – Crema Pasticcera
- 5 egg yolks
- 500 ml milk 2 cups
- 125 g sugar 4.4 oz
- 45 g corn starch 3 tbsp
- 1 vanilla bean
- 2 tbsp squeeze blood orange juice
- blood orange peel
- blood orange pulp
- Short-Crust Pastry
- Put the flour in a bowl, add the butter, the sugar, and the grated rind, and the salt.
- With your hands work the ingredients until it looks like fine bread crumbs.
- Add the egg yolks and quickly mix all ingredients to obtain a homogeneous mixture, forming a smooth paste.
- Then wrap it in a plastic film and let it rest for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.
- Pastry Cream
- Put the milk with the scraped vanilla pod, and blood orange peel in a small saucepan, and bring it to a boil.
- Remove the pan from the stove and filter the milk.
- Separately,in a bowl pour the egg yolks, the vanilla caviar, sugar, the juice, and the orange pulp.
- Whisk vigorously until completely combined.
- When the mixture is blended, add the corn starch sieved in, stir well to incorporate it.
- Pour the hot milk into the mixture of egg yolks, sugar, and rice starch.
- Put on the stove and stir constantly with a whisk (the egg begins to coagulate at 52 °C (125.6°F) temperature; the cooking should stop when it reaches just 67°C (152.6°F).
- Remove the cream from the stove as soon as it starts to thicken.
- Cool it quickly by pouring it into a cold pan and continue to stir with a whisk bringing it to a temperature below 50°C (122°F), this allows it to maintain the consistency of the cream intact.
- Remove the pastry from the fridge, work it with a rolling pin to form a 1/2 cm (0.2inch) thick disk to line the greased and floured baking pan (8 inches).
- Cut the excess of short crust with a knife.
- Prick the dough with the tines of a fork without piercing it all the way.
- Pour in the cream pastry and level it with the help of a spoon
- Bake it in your preheat oven at 168°C ( 335°F) for 45 minutes.
- In the meantime, flatten the almond paste to the same thickness as the short pastry, cut a disk of the same diameter as the pan.
- 5 minutes before the end of baking add the almond paste disk over the pastry cream and complete the baking.
- Remove the cake from the oven letting it cool completely.
- Sprinkle the top of the cake with powdered sugar and decorate it with drops of honey flavored blood oranges and with some blood orange slices.