I’ve got your weekend baking plans right here friends: Blood Orange Cheesecake Tart. I’ve been very into winter citrus lately, and I really wanted to take advantage of the flavors and colors of blood oranges. I mean, can we talk about the hues going on here for a second? Magical. Just what January needs!
This Blood Orange Tart has quite a few parts, but they’re all fairly easy. I love how well all of these flavors ended up working together. The blood orange is a little sweet, but has that tangy and tart thing going on. There’s the cranberry swirl in the top, which is sweeter and fruitier. The cheesecake layer adds some tanginess and creaminess. The crust is kinda like a big cookie. It’s like a tart shell full of citrusy sunshine just for your weekend!
the tart shell
First things first, let’s talk about the tart shell! This pâté sucrée is pretty straight forward and easy to make in a stand mixer. You can also use a regular hand held mixer. It’s you’re usual creaming of butter and sugar, adding egg, vanilla, and flour. It makes a smooth dough, which chills in the refrigerator before it’s rolled out like a pie crust.
Personally, I think this dough is pretty easy, but I also know there’s a lot going on in this tart. So if you wanted to simplify things a little bit, you could make a graham cracker crust instead and it would be just as delicious. The pâté sucrée does need to be par baked, so a graham crust would eliminate that step as well. Just depends on how much work you wanna do!
You can make the tart dough a day in advance and let it chill in the fridge overnight.
blood orange curd
This might be the hardest part of the whole thing. But really it’s only because you have to stand there and whisk constantly until the curd thickens to a spreading consistency. I prefer to use a double-boiler method to make curd, but you can technically make it directly in a sauce pan. I like to use a large glass bowl over a pot of simmering water. You’ll whisk together egg yolks, sugar, blood orange zest, and juice. Whisk until it’s thick enough to coat a wooden spoon or spatula without falling off. Then remove from heat and whisk in the butter. Make sure to let it cool completely! You can also make this a day in advance and store in fridge over night.
** Please note that the color of the curd will vary. It really depends on the colors of the blood oranges you get, and the color of your egg yolks. Some are more yellow/orange than others!**
Technically, the cranberry sauce is optional. I had some cranberries in the freezer left over from the holidays and my mom was begging me to do something with them because freezer space is very sought after in these parts, you know? So I made a little sauce with them similar to the blueberry sauce from my Blueberry-Lemon Tart. In my mind, the colors would be so fun together and I love how it turned out! You could also use strawberries, cherries, or even pomegranate seeds if you wanted to!
Feel free to skip this step if you don’t have cranberries! Or you no longer have any clean pots and dishes in your sink are slowly becoming a mountain.
The cheesecake filling was not part of the original pan, but my blood orange curd didn’t look like it was going to fill up the tart shell. So I quickly grabbed some things from my fridge and voila! Cheesecake filling. It’s super simple, no fuss, and adds a layer of creaminess that I actually really like with the blood orange curd. It totally works. I wish I could solve all of life’s problems by adding cheesecake. I’m not going to rule it out.
This Blood Orange Cheesecake Tart is a great way to enjoy winter citrus and add a little sunshine to your weekend! It’s fun to make and even more fun to enjoy. It’s the perfect treat for a chilly winter day. If you’re a fan of citrus, or love a lemon tart, I hope you’ll give this version a try!
Blood Orange Cheesecake Tart
- ½ cup unsalted butter room temperature
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup cranberries
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup water
Blood Orange Curd:
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp blood orange zest
- 1 cup blood orange juice
- 8 tbsp unsalted butter softened and cut into chunks
- 1 (8-oz) block cream cheese
- ¼ cup whole milk Greek Yogurt
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
To make the pâté sucrée:
- Cream butter and sugar on medium speed for 4-5 minutes. Add egg and vanilla. Mix until combined. Add flour and salt; mix until incorporated and a soft dough forms.
- Turn out dough on a lightly floured surface. Using the heel of your hand, fraisage the dough several times to help prevent the dough from cracking and feathering when you roll it out. Form dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for at least 1 to 2 hours, or overnight.
To make the cranberry sauce:
- To make the cranberry sauce, place cranberries in a small blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Press purée through a mesh sieve and discard solids.
- Combine cranberry purée, sugar, and water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a low boil and stir slowly until sugar dissolves. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens to a syrup-like, almost jam-like, consistency, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool completely. (Cranberry sauce can be made in advance and kept in the refrigerator in a sealed container for 1-2 days.)
To make the blood orange curd:
- Fill the bottom pot of your double boiler (or a heat-safe bowl over a pot) with 1-2 inches of water. Place over high heat, bring water to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer.
- In the top part of the double boiler, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, blood orange zest, and blood orange juice. Continue whisking as the curd cooks. Cook until the mixture becomes thick and thickly coats a wooden spoon, about 10 to 15 minutes. If curd isn’t thickening, turn up the heat and continue whisking constantly.
- Remove from heat and whisk in the butter until melted and completely incorporated. Transfer curd into a heat-safe bowl or container and place a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Cool completely before using. (The blood orange curd will also thicken some more as it cools.)
- Blood orange curd can be made a day or two in advance. Store covered in the refrigerator.
To make the cheesecake filling:
- In a medium-sized bowl, mix cream cheese and Greek yogurt on medium-high speed until well blended. Add sugar, egg, and vanilla extract. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated.
Assembly & baking:
- Preheat oven to 350° and lightly spray a 9-inch tart pan with baking spray.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the tart dough to about ¼” thickness. Use the rolling pin to roll up the dough and transfer to the prepared tart pan. Arrange the dough in the pan and trim away access. Use a fork to dock the bottom of the tart dough..
- To par bake the tart shell, place the tart pan on a sheet pan. Then lay a sheet of parchment over the tart pan and fill with pie weights, dried beans, or uncooked rice. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow parchment and weights to cool enough to remove them easily.
- Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.
- Spread the cheesecake filling in the bottom of the tart shell. Spoon blood orange curd over the top and smooth to the edges. Transfer cranberry sauce to a piping bag and cut off the tip, creating a small opening. Pipe straight lines of cranberry sauce across the top of the blood orange curd. Using a toothpick, move in perpendicular lines to swirl the cranberry sauce into the curd, or swirl however you like!
- Return the tart to the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely. Store loosely covered in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours, or overnight.
- Cut into slices to serve; enjoy!
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