This tart requires some of advance planning, because there is a lot of chilling and waiting time. The way the filling came out took me totally by surprise. I was expecting that it would essentially be orange curd. I was wrong, because the finished filling has a completely different consistency than fruit curd. I should have realized that the use of gelatin and the procedure for making the filling (cooking, chilling, whipping, and chilling again) was going to produce something different than a curd.
While I stirred the filling on the stove and waited for it to thicken and reach 180 degrees, I became a little concerned. The mixture did thicken, but it wasn't creamy and translucent the way I was expecting it to look. Also, the mixture began to boil when it reached 165 degrees, so I took it off the stove before it reached 180. After I took the filling off the heat, incorporated the gelatin and lemon juice, and pressed the mixture through a sieve onto a stick of butter, it looked like a opaque pale yellow pudding. I whisked the filling furiously as directed for several minutes, but saw no discernible increase in volume.
The tart dough was quick to mix together and easy to roll out and press into the pan, despite the recipe's warning that it would be sticky. Before rolling, I chilled the dough for about 90 minutes, instead of just the 30 minutes specified in the recipe, but I'm not sure if that's the reason my dough wasn't difficult to handle. The tart shell baked up beautifully, although it did shrink a little.
After the filled tart had chilled for about an hour, I made the orange whipped topping, which is just whipping cream, sugar, and orange cream soda. I was unable to taste any orange flavor in the finished topping. I used a pastry bag with a closed star tip to pipe the whipped cream onto the tart. I hadn't really planned to make any particular pattern, but in the end, the mound of overlapping rosettes and stars reminded me of swirling ocean foam.
Recipe: "Orange Creamsicle Tart," from Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented, by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, recipe available here at BAKED Sunday Mornings.