Tomorrow, India celebrates 65 years of Independence from British occupation. On Independence eve, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru said, ““Many years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom.” We did, and I’m celebrating with this Baked Orange Pistachio Yogurt Tart.
Most of us may not have been born then but we should be ever thankful to those who gave us our freedom. Freedom is so easy to take for granted, when we have always had it. Tomorrow is also Julia Child’s 100th birth anniversary. I didn’t know of Julia Child until a couple of years back when the one of baking groups baked her French bread. I read and watched “Julie & Julia” and the book didn’t impress me much. The film, though brought Julia Child alive for me.
There’s only one thing better than baking by yourself, and that’s baking with friends. My fellow bloggers and friends Arundati, Arundathi, Arundhati, Nandita and Monika got together to bake virtually. It’s been a blast so far. So here I am, marking this day with a slight adaptation of one of Julia Child’s recipes. I know Julia said, “If you’re afraid of butter, use cream”, but I thought if I used yogurt I could tell myself that my baking a little healthier. She also said, “Moderation. Small helpings. Sample a little bit of everything. These are the secrets of happiness and good health. You need to enjoy the good things in life, but you need not overindulge.”
We picked Julia’s Baked Yogurt Tart or Tarte Au Yaourt – a simple yogurt and fresh fruit tart. I made my tart with her filling but used an oatmeal tart base instead. And followed the spirit of another Julia-ism – “Try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!” I have been wanting to try this oatmeal crust for a while now. It uses a lot less butter and is one of the easier tart/ pie crust recipes. You don’t need the conventional chilled water, cold butter, worry about butter melting or overworking the dough. This recipe needs melted and cooled butter. You just put all the ingredients in a bowl, mix them together and press that into your tart pan.
The only fruit I had were an apple, a pomegranate and 2 oranges! I wanted my Yogurt Tart to reflect the colours of the Indian flag – saffron (orange, white and green. So I made an Baked Orange Pistachio Yogurt Tart. I tweaked the original recipe some and reduced an egg too. Since Julia’s recipe was taking on a very Indian rebirth, I flavoured my yogurt filling with cardamom!
With a nice crunchy oatmeal crust and slightly tangy, creamy cardamom and orange filling this Yogurt Tart is much like cheesecake. By the way, PBSare celebrating Julia Child’s 100th birth anniversary with a “Cook For Julia” right through this week and you can join them by cooking any one of Julia Child’s recipes. The deadline to join the party is tomorrow, Julia’s birthday.
Baked Orange Pistachio Yogurt Tart
For The Oatmeal Crust :
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats powdered
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 100 gm butter melted and cooled
- 1 egg beaten, for sealing the dough
For The Orange & Cardamom Yogurt Filling :
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 cups thick plain yogurt lightly whisked till smooth
- 2 to 3 pods cardamom powdered
- 1/2 to 1 tsp orange extract
- Grated zest of 1 orange
- 2 tbsp corn-starch + all-purpose flour to make up to 3/4 cup
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Orange slices from 1 orange
- 1/3 cup coarsely chopped toasted pistachios
- Mint for garnishing
Make the crust:
- Lightly butter a 10” tart pan or cake tin with a removable bottom.
- In a bowl stir the dry ingredients together and add the melted and cooled butter. Mix till combined and press this evenly into the pan. Chill this for about 20 to 30 minutes to settle dough.
- Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and blind bake at 170C (325F)for about 15 minutes, until it is set and pale golden. Brush the bottom of the crust with the beaten egg, and bake again for another 10 minutes until set and shiny to prevent the crust from becoming soggy. Cool to room temperature.
Make the filling:
- In a largish bowl beat the eggs and sugar with a hand held mixer for 2 to 3 minutes, till it is a pale yellow and thickens slightly. Gently fold in the yogurt, orange zest and orange extract.
- Sift together the flour, cornstarch, powdered cardamom, salt and baking powder and slowly add this, gently folding it into the batter. Pour this filling into the cooled tart crust, upto about 2/3rds full.
- Bake the tart at 170C (325F). After about 25 minutes in the oven, sprinkle the chopped pistachios along the edge of the tart and return to the oven. Bake for a further 10 minutes or so till the top is golden. Transfer to a rack and cool. Unmould the tart and serve chilled or at room temperature. Just before serving, decorate with fresh orange slices and mint.
- This tart serves 10 to 12 people.