I’m dealing with a deep-rooted frustration I can’t shake off.
In every Language Arts class I have taken since elementary school, and up until the present day, I have struggled to find words that rhyme with “orange.”
It’s. Not. Possible.
Try all you want, but you can never make a feeble attempt like “door hinge” sound anything like a suitable rhyme.
And “sporange” just doesn’t seem like a pretty word I want to use too often. Or ever.
I don’t care about a silly door hinge. Or sacs filled with spores. Which is technically what a sporange is, by the way.
I think it’s time to throw in the towel, and finally give up. Maybe the more important thing to focus on here is less about what rhymes with orange. Perhaps it’s more about what goes with orange.
Why live a sad existence of constant disappointment when there is a dessert available that has warm, juicy oranges enveloped in a buttery crust?
This fresh orange mini crostata recipe is enough of a reason to forget the years of struggle and strife, and to blissfully release every frustration I have ever felt with an unfinished rhyme.
I’ve created my own poetic pastry with a harmonious marriage of citrus and sweet sugar.
The focus now is all on this crunchy sugar-encrusted treat that wraps around thick orange slices that release their juices as the dessert bakes and bubbles in the oven.
I like to use both sweet navel oranges and blood oranges, which have that perfect bite of bitterness. And the color combination is beautiful!
When they are ready to serve, top each warm crostata with a spoonful of thick and creamy mascarpone cheese, and watch it slowly melt over the whole thing.
This is my current happy place: far away from any Language Arts classroom, sitting on a rocking chair in the front porch during a warm summer evening, a glass of chilled sweet wine in my hand, a freshly baked dessert on the table…
And no sporanges in sight.Print
Want to enjoy fresh oranges in a sweet new way? Make crostatas with a sugar-encrusted pastry and a pretty combo of navel and blood oranges.
For the Sweet Tart Dough:
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 tablespoons cold water
For the Filling and Assembly:
- 2–3 navel oranges, peeled and sliced
- 2–3 blood oranges, peeled and sliced
- 1/2 cup orange marmalade
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup turbinado sugar
- 8 ounces (1 tub) mascarpone cheese
For the Sweet Tart Dough:
- Whisk together the flour, salt, and confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Add the egg yolk and water and cut in with the pastry cutter. When the dough starts coming together, knead with your hands just until a smooth dough forms. Do not over-knead.
- On a lightly floured surface, turn out the dough and press into a flat disc. Tightly wrap in plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
For the Filling and Assembly:
- Remove from the refrigerator and divide the dough into 6 equal pieces on a lightly floured surface.
- Working with one piece at a time, lightly dust the top with flour. With a rolling pin, roll out each piece into a small circle about 1/4 inch thick and about 6 inches in diameter. Use more flour as necessary to prevent sticking.
- With a pastry brush, spread a thin layer of orange marmalade in the center of the disc, leaving about an inch of space around the edge. Shingle 4-6 slices of oranges on top of the marmalade. Fold up the sides of dough over the filling, forming loose pleats.
- Immediately transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
- Repeat with the 5 remaining dough pieces, leaving about an inch of space in between each crostata on the baking sheet.
- Chill the crostatas in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, or until the dough is cold and firm.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F while the crostatas are chilling.
- When ready to bake, remove the baking sheet from the fridge. Whisk the whole egg in a small bowl, and brush the edges of each crostata with a thin layer of the egg wash. Liberally sprinkle the edges and the exposed top of the crostatas with the turbinado sugar.
- Transfer to the oven, and bake until the crust is a deep golden-brown color, about 35-45 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, and allow the crostatas to cool on the baking sheet for 15 minutes before transferring to plates and serving with a small dollop of mascarpone cheese on top.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Category: Crostata
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Dessert
Keywords: orange, crostata, mascarpone
Cooking by the Numbers…
Step 1 – Prep
Don’t throw out the peels! Save them and make our candied citrus peel recipe.
Measure all of the ingredients for the tart dough, cutting the butter into large cubes and separating the egg yolk from the egg white. This is a great way to use up an extra yolk that you may not have used in other recipes!
Measure all of the ingredients for assembling the crostatas.
Step 2 – Make the Sweet Tart Dough
Whisk together the all-purpose flour, salt, and confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Add the egg yolk and water and cut these in with the pastry cutter. When the dough starts coming together, knead with your hands just until a smooth dough forms, being careful to not over-knead.
You can also choose to make the dough by pulsing the ingredients in your food processor.
On a lightly floured surface, turn out the dough and press into a flat disc. Tightly wrap in plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
While we like this sweet tart dough for its shortbread characteristics, you can also use pie dough for a flakier end result.
Step 3 – Divide the Dough
Once chilled, divide the dough with a knife or pastry cutter into six equal portions on a lightly floured surface.
Step 4 – Roll Out the Dough
Working with one piece at a time, lightly dust the top with flour.
With a rolling pin, roll out each piece into a small circle about 1/4 inch thick and about 6 inches in diameter. Use more flour as necessary to prevent sticking.
Step 5 – Assemble and Chill
With a pastry brush, spread a thin layer of orange marmalade in the center, leaving about an inch of space around the edge of the disc. This space is necessary for when you fold up and pleat the dough to form the edges.
Change up the flavors! Add a spicy kick by using our hot chili zucchini marmalade!
Shingle about 4-6 slices of oranges on top of the marmalade, depending on the size of the slices. Fold up the sides of the dough over the filling, forming loose pleats. Any ripped edges are totally fine, and actually encouraged! This makes the final dessert look more rustic.
Just be sure there aren’t any big ripped holes around the pastry. If there are holes, just push and press the dough together to fix them.
Repeat with the 5 remaining dough pieces, leaving about an inch of space in between each crostata on the baking sheet. Chill the crostatas in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, or until the dough is cold and firm.
Step 6 – Apply Egg Wash and Sugar
Preheat the oven to 400°F while the crostatas are chilling.
When you are ready to bake, remove the baking sheet from the refrigerator.
Whisk the whole egg in a small bowl, and brush the edges of each crostata with a thin layer of egg wash. Sprinkle the edges and the exposed tops of the crostatas with the turbinado sugar.
I personally love a thick, sugar-encrusted crust, so I tend to apply my sugar liberally. However, you can go a little thinner.
Step 7 – Bake and Serve
Transfer to the oven, and bake until the crust is a deep golden-brown color, for about 35-45 minutes. Don’t be surprised if you see some juices leaking out of the pastries.
Remove from the oven, and allow to cool on the baking sheet for 15 minutes before serving with a small dollop of mascarpone cheese on top of each.
The Finishing Touches: Choose Your Own Sweet and Creamy Option
While I love a big dollop of thick and velvety mascarpone cheese, it may be too mild of a topping for you if you’re craving something sweeter or more flavorful.
I’d suggest staying within the realm of milky garnishes (we love that oranges and cream vibe!) and try a sweetened whipped cream or a homemade vanilla ice cream instead.
You can also use crème fraiche, a smooth, cultured cream with a bright and tangy flavor.
Let me know what you end up choosing! I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below, so let’s chat about this recipe, or any of our pies and sweet tarts!
Do you have some leftover oranges from this recipe? Try even more baked goods featuring this colorful citrus fruit:
Photos by Nikki Cervone, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published by Shanna Mallon on April 6, 2011. Last updated: February 1, 2022 at 13:05 pm.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Nikki Cervone
Nikki Cervone is a full-time cheesemonger and specialty foods buyer living in Pittsburgh. Nikki holds an AAS in baking/pastry from Westmoreland County Community College, a BA in Communications from Duquesne University, and an MLA in Gastronomy from Boston University. When she's not nibbling on her favorite cheeses or testing a batch of cupcakes, Nikki enjoys a healthy dose of yoga, wine, hiking, singing in the shower, and chocolate. Lots of chocolate.