My favorite anytime-of-the-year color combination is red and orange, the colors that come to life when you join persimmon with pomegranate, cranberry with orange, kumquat with rhubarb, cherry with apricot, watermelon with cantaloupe, or peach with plum. Standing alone in a single fruit is the best mix of all, the vibrant orange and dark red of blood oranges, unpredictably beautiful because you never know how the colors have combined in any given orange until you cut it open.
I happened to be making this blood orange tart for Oscar night, and as we were swooning over the colorful gowns being shown off by gorgeously made up actresses, my husband called out, “You should name that tart after the painted ladies of Hollywood!” I couldn’t resist.
Once you have your Sweet Tart Dough shell baked (I like to have a frozen tart shell in the freezer at all times. When the mood strikes, I can take it out and bake it without thawing. A real time saver!) The filling goes together quickly, and paring and slicing the oranges is a snap once you get into the rhythm.
If you don’t have a Microplane grater, I highly suggest you get one. They make short work of zesting citrus, and grating nutmeg and fresh ginger. When zesting citrus I like to turn the Microplane upside down and draw it across the fruit towards me. The zest collects in the groove of the tool so you don’t need a bowl underneath to catch it.
Make sure you combine the almond paste, butter, and sugar before you add the eggs. Once the eggs go in it is very difficult to beat any lumps out.
A toothpick inserted into the center of the tart will come out clean. Gently paint the soaking syrup over the baked filling. This moistens the tart and adds more orange flavor.
Cut the top and bottom from the oranges, and stand upright on a cutting board.
Using a sharp knife, carefully cut the rind away from the fruit being careful to remove all of the white pith.
Arrange the orange slices in slightly overlapping concentric circles on top of the filling.