Almond-Orange Tart

French Fridays with Dorie

Almond-Orange Tart

Making the Orange-Almond Tart for this week’s French Friday’s with Dorie assignment brought to mind an ex-boyfriend of mine from many years back. I hadn’t thought much about him in a long time but just like this frenchie tart, he was a bit fussy and, once all put together, not quite right. The comparison is furthered by my recollections of the many and excessive steps and preparations required in order for him to be “ready”. More steps than ideally necessary, I would have to say. Final reviews and inspections would usually reveal at least one thing that was a wee bit wrong leaving the final product not as perfect as you would otherwise expect so much trouble to create. Going to a friend’s house for dinner at 8 required the ‘get ready’ process to begin at 3 — and this would only possible if outfit choices and the requisite laundry operations were completed the day prior. Final sartorial options were laid out and ironed should they eventually be called into active duty.

The personal grooming routine was as endless as the individual steps in this tart. How many individual starts and stops should a grooming regime require anyway for a simple night out? Shower, cleanse, exfoliate, shave, face mask, cleanse again, tone. The hair routine alone had its own list of steps involving a similar sounding list of ingredients. “Tonic”,”pomade”, gel, and “finishing spray”. Once body and face were properly cleansed and moisturized cologne was applied and final outfit choices were applied. Phew! How exhausting. Just like this tart.

Its not that this ex of mine was really a bad guy. Like this tart, the stuff in the middle was abundantly decent if often unwilling or unable to show itself through its slightly affected crust, er, manner. We all have our quirks, right? This guy certainly had more than his share of them. The discovery of each one made it increasingly difficult to see past to his sweet filling. He wasn’t hard to look at either. Sigh. In fact, many would take a look and say “mmmm”. Just like this tart. And yet something just wasn’t right! This would often provoke those around him to try to take a closer inspection or even a taste. The shirt a bit too loud? Perhaps he is just slightly eccentric. Too much cologne? Often. Uneven side burns? Yup. Usually. You have to wonder how a person with such a detailed grooming routine wouldn’t insist on making everything perfect. Do you think he just didn’t know?

Almond-Orange Tart

The erratic and unpredictable final product would often have me wondering whether or not the payoff was worth the lengthy routine at all? If all that routine still couldn’t showcase him at his best why bother with it at all? (Obviously, since we are no longer together, I ultimately decided not to. Bother with him that is.)

Unlike my ex, whom I have managed to avoid for over a decade, I have been frequently running up against another of my former somewhat complicated relationships; one which also also failed to avoid perfection despite the meticulous attention to detail it recieves: Crust. WTF? Perhaps its not the tart but rather the crust that is drawing my mind to make these comparisons with Whatshisname? All those damn steps and procedures resulting in stunning mediocrity! Cold butter, cold egg, rolling, freezing, oiling, foiling, weighing down and finally, baking. Then, uncovering, more baking, filling and baking yet again. Geesh.

In the end it turned out good enough. Upon closer inspection you could tell that just something, one thing was off. A tad overdone? Not enough oranges? (Maybe actually chop them up next time?) Maybe it was an oven issue — I don’t recall overdoing crust back in the day. Proportion issues? (Hate it when men have proportion issues!) Nonetheless, my guests devoured it just as my family loved him.

 Almond-Orange Tart
I wanted that crust to be a little more tender and, well, less ‘crusty’. And I like a bit more fruit in my fruit [pause] tarts. I will certainly take advantage of our next crust assignment by stockpiling and experimenting more. This almond cream stores quite well so I will make a triple batch of that and flirt. Its ok to flirt with an ex, isn’t it?

Too much cologne, a loud shirt, or a toasty crust can be overlooked every now and then but you really don’t want it that way all the time.

(Find the recipe here.  Or email or follow me @sisboomtweet to get the keys to my entire Dorie library.)

Almond-Orange Tart

 Almond-Orange Tart


About Trevor Kensey

To be truthful, I don't know what “Sis. Boom. [blog!]" means either. The name implies something explosive just happened I suppose I would like it if each post would make made a small 'boom' in your day or at least a fizzle. Even though a recipe is included with every post I have a hard time calling this a "food blog" or even myself a "food blogger".

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  1. Oh, your comment re: a bit fussy and once put together not all quite right had me cracking up.
    The holy grail of perfection is not an easy journey…

  2. Love your post. I made the pear version & felt the same way about it – in fact, I brought the rest of it in to work today.

  3. Holy crap is this a funny post. This tart sounds too complicated by half. I think the beauty of a thing like this should be its simplicity … and you are not the first Dorite (is that what we are?) I have seen with a slightly overbrowned crust, so that makes me wonder about the ratios in this recipe. Oh well – we’ll always have salad.

  4. I love this post–you are hilarious! I also love the comparison to the ex (it’s always weird when a guy takes longer than me to get ready)! Thanks for the laughs!

  5. Exactly! And I confess, I ignored a lot of the fussiness. I didn’t use the foil and the beans and all that jazz. I didn’t supreme the segments. I figured if the recipe was good, then I might try it again with the fanciness to see if it escalated to great. I refuse to get too fancy for a “just good” result.

  6. Trix, thanks for the feedback. For the record, I lovingly refer to us as “Doristas”. (See my sidebar!)

  7. First, your tart looks amazing. I hope you enjoyed eating it! Second, I feel that this tart, much like your ex-boyfriend, is a classic example of “high maintenance”. Or, to quote when Harry Met Sally, “You’re the worst kind; you’re high maintenance but you think you’re low maintenance.”
    Ha! But, I’ll probably make the almond cream again as it was just too delicious.

  8. Great metaphor! And you carry it out to perfection. Sorry to hear the final result of both endeavors was anything but!

  9. Thanks for making me laugh. I didn’t make the tart but if I ever do, I’ll think of your ex. Great story and imagery and your tart looks pretty good too. Great post!

  10. Oh, darn, not the right man…oh, I mean tart, for you! Too funny in your comparisons. The pear tart was sublime, but I agree, there were a LOT of steps!

  11. Thoroughly enjoy your post. The parallels are stunning. 🙂

    The recipe is a good starting point. I took it as an invitation to tweak it to my liking. (i.e. lots and lots of citrus flavour in many guises)

  12. Hilarious post! I feel the same way about pie dough, too many steps for often mediocre results!

  13. SisBoom … I can so relate (both to ex’s and tart shells). In fact, I skipped this week, because I couldn’t do another freakin’ shortbread tart shell. What is the fascination with this shell recipe – I see it all the time in Bon Appetit? Le sigh.

  14. I just flew across the country and I am so very tired, but I am happy that I read your post – only you would compare a tart to an ex-boyfriend! Great reading as always and your tart is charming and perfect. Love that soft glow in the final picture. 🙂

  15. I think your tart looks entirely perfect. And, I loved eating too much of it…it is wonderful and will be baked over and over and over…enjoyed your post.

  16. hilarious. almost choked on my coffee reading your posts. and i’m totally with you on crusts. over them.

  17. I am now tossing all pomade, wax and anything related to hair care, except shampoo. In spite of all the steps (one reason I didn’t make this) your tart looks (yes, overkill), but worth the time and effort! Unlike “Ken” or “Bob” or “Ted” (I know he’s one of those three). The preparation shots are sometimes more interesting that the end results – love yours. Oh, and your romanic, fuzzy-wuzzy shot looks a bit overdone, don’t you think?

  18. Congrats Mike! You win the prize!

  19. Funny, Trevor – I don’t think I’m very good at crusts, either! Just goes to show we’re too self-critical! For baking, in general, I set the timer 5 – 10 minutes less than the recipe says – you can always bake things longer, but once they’re over-done, you’re screwed!

  20. Clearly, love is in the essence, not the preparation! I think you win the prize for funniest Dorista.

  21. Your post is hysterical and made me laugh…I do think your tart looks delicious. Sorry you weren’t happy with it. I did not pre-bake this tart shell. I thought it would be fine because the almond cream does not have that much moisture in it. I was very happy with the results.

  22. Twin!! We might be twins when it comes to food but I am not even half as hilarious as you. I’m not here this week but I couldn’t miss my snarky friends posting. I don’t care what you cook just keep talking!!! B:)

  23. I must be the lowest maintenance guy out there. A straight friend of mine stays over occasionally and he complains that I don’t even have shower gel for him to use.

    Hell, I’d probably use dishwashing liquid as a shampoo if it were within reach.

    My grooming habits are much like my tart-making preferences– unfussy.

    Excellent post.

  24. Love your analogy. 🙂 I had a boyfriend like that. I didn’t make this tart, but thanks to you I’ll think of him if I do make it one day. 🙂

  25. Unlike you, I liked everything about this tart. However, your post had me in stiches laughing. Hilarious post!

  26. Without seeing either the recipe or a photo of your ex, I suspect that this both are lacking in a crucial ingredient: beef fat.


  27. What a wonderfully written post! But, I always expect excellence when I visit your blog.
    The crust was my nemesis, too. It was easy to make, tasted great afterward, but it was overdone, even though i baked it shorter than instructed. If my husband did not pick off all of the oranges, I would have whined about not enough fruit. This way I got his share, but I’ll have to remember to pile much more on top.
    And the cream was fabulous and not fussy at all, although I ground the walnuts (allergies to almonds) in the old-fashioned contraption with the suction cup and a crank.
    I would say that our tarts look pretty much alike:)

  28. I think this post wins the prize for best FFwD post so far (in my book). So cleverly written…so entertaining…a total delight to read! I have to say that I’m happy I don’t have an ex in my past that compares to your guy at all! Thanks for a good laugh!

  29. I love visiting here before starting my day. Trevor, you’re one of a kind! I love your humor!!!