The recipe of the month for March comes from Madja, who offers a cook service to guests staying at Villa Mauresque in Morocco. Madja enjoys cooking for the guests immensely, using fresh ingredients from the vegetable patch such as tomatoes and aubergines, as well as lemons and oranges from the trees at the villa. She prepares a variety of dishes from Moroccan tagine and assorted salads, to Moroccan breads and a range of beautiful desserts.
Madja also takes a lot of care over the setting in which guests enjoy their meals. The style of the table settings is different for each meal and thoughtfully planned between the dining room and the outdoor terrace. The tables are always laid with block printed tablecloths from India and ceramics, glassware and cutlery from Morocco, while freshly cut roses and herbs from the garden add the finishing touches.
We asked Madja to she the recipe for her favourite dessert which is Tart a l’orange, our recipe of the month.
Recipe for Tart a l’orange
FOR THE PASTRY
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup ground almonds
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- Finely grated zest of 1 orange
- 125g butter
- 2 eggs, beaten
FOR THE FILLING
- 200g caster sugar
- 225ml water
- 4 large oranges, sliced horizontally into 5mm-thick slices, end pieces discarded and pips removed
- 1/2 cup apricot jam
- Crème fraîche for serving
1. Put all of the pastry ingredients in a food processor and blend until it forms a ball. Or you can blend everything together with your fingertips until it can be pressed into a ball. Remove from the food processor or mixing bowl, flatten into a thick disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or until cold enough to roll out. It needs to be quite firm.
2. Meanwhile, place the sugar and water in a wide frying pan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
2. Add the orange slices and spread them out as much as possible.
3. Bring back to the boil and simmer for 40 minutes until the liquid has almost all evaporated and the orange slices are soft and syrupy. Remove from the heat and cool. Reserve.
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Roll the pastry out on a floured surface into a disc about 28cm in diameter.
2. Transfer this to a baking sheet and fold the edge in all around the disc so it is now 25cm in diameter and has a raised edge. Prick the pastry all over inside the raised edge.
3. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until well cooked, crisp and browned.
4. Remove from the oven and arrange the orange slices in overlapping layers to fill the tart.
5. Turn the oven up to 200°C.
5. Place the tart in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven. Melt the jam over low heat or in the microwave and brush it all over the orange slices.
6. Place the tart back in the oven for 5 minutes until the jam is bubbling and the filling is beginning to brown. Take from the oven and cool a little. Serve warm with crème fraîche.