Welcome!

Welcome to Romeo's Food Lady! This blog contains recipes for delicious vegetarian food. Most of these are not MY recipes, just a compilation of great veggie food I've found from all over the place, usually tweaked just a little. It's intended to be a reference you can consult again and again rather than a daily inspiration. After more than 25 years of being a vegetarian, I know what tastes good.
Romeo's Food Lady is named after my friend and cat, Romeo. Romeo is not a vegetarian, but his Food Lady is. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Citrus Tart

Here's a beautiful ovo-vegetarian (in case you're avoiding dairy) tart for your next special occasion.  I got the recipe from Southern Living magazine, and I topped it with citrus sections as they suggested.  I liked the citrus, because contrary to popular belief, citrus is actually in season in the winter.  However, sectioning the citrus was a bit tedious, and this would be equally delicious topped with kaleidoscopic strawberry and kiwi slices or maybe some other fresh fruit topping...use your imagination!


Ingredients:
CRUST -
1/2 c. sweetend flaked coconut
2 c. all-purpose flour
2/3 c. powdered sugar
3/4 c. vegan margarine (I used Earth Balance.)
1/4 t. coconut extract
FILLING -
2/3 c. sugar
2.5 T. cornstarch
1 1/3 c. orange juice
1 large egg, beaten
3 T. vegan margarine
2 t. orange zest
pinch of salt
TOPPING -
6 or so cirtus large enough to easily section with a paring knife OR
fresh fruit like sliced strawberries and kiwi OR
fresh fruit of your choice

Method:
The reason I intro'd this as "for your next special occasion" is that it takes a bit of effort to pull it all together.  You have to make the crust, make the filling, and slice or section all the fruit to arrange on top.  Keep that in mind.  Also, you'll probably want to make this a day or so in advance, because the filling needs to chill for several hours.  Here goes!

First, prepare the crust.  It's pretty easy!  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Bake the flaked coconut in a single layer in a shallow pan 4 - 5 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through.  Allow coconut to cool completely (about 15 minutes).

Pulse the coconut, flour, and powedered sugar in a food processor 3 or 4 times or until combined.  Add vegan margarine and extract, then pulse 5 or 6 times or until crumbly.  With the food processor running, gradually add 3 T. water, and process until the dough forms a ball and leaves the sides of the bowl.

Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface.  Roll it into a 10-in circle if using a 9-inch round tart pan or into a 12.5 x 10-inch rectangle if using a 12 x 9-inch rectangle tart pan.  Either way, the tart pan needs to have a removable bottom.  The rolled dough should be about 1/4-inch thick.  Press the rolled dough into the tart pan, onto the bottom and up the sides.  Trim the excess dough and either discard (gasp!) or save for another purpose.  (I used my excess to make 2 tiny crusts in ramekins for another use.)

Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes, and cool completely on a wire rack.

While the tart is cooling, make the filling.  Combine the sugar and cornstarch in a 3-qt. saucepan.  Gradually whisk in the orange juice.  Whisk in the egg.  Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking constantly.  Boil (still whisking) 3 - 4 minutes.

Remove the filling from heat.  Whisk in the vegan margarine, orange zest, and salt.  Spread the filling evenly into the cooled crust.  Place heavy-duty plastic wrap over the tart, directly touching the filling to prevent a skin from forming.  Chill the tart 8 hours.

Lastly, arrange your pretty citrus sections in a spiral or in rows on the tart.  I used Cara Cara oranges (which have a nice salmon color), Rio Star grapefruit (one of the reddest grapefruits), and white grapefruit (nearly colorless).  I think blood oranges would have been beautiful in the mix, but they were not available yet when I made the tart.  You could also choose to use all the same citrus for a monochrome effect.  To make your sections attractive, cut about 1/4 inch from the stem and blossom end of the citrus so that it can sit flat.  Then use a sharp knife to cut away every trace of the peel and pith around the sides.  Next use a sharp paring knife to cut the sections away from the membranes.  I found that very seedy or smallish citrus are nearly impossible to do....Alternatively, use the strawberry and kiwi slices or the fresh fruit of your choice.

It's kind of a lot of work, but the results are so pretty!  And no dairy!

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