Holiday cookie baking is in full swing (if you’re the Christmas celebrating type), as evident on blogs, Facebook news feeds and lots of neighborhood cookie exchanges. We baked one batch of sugar cookies here – with store bought dough because I’m too busy this week to bother with “from scratch” AND because it happened to be on sale. Santa needs his home-baked (not necessarily “home made”) cookies, right?
It’s fun to bake other desserts too, and the flavors this time of year are so rich and satisfying! I’m loving this blend of sweet citrus and warm, cozy spices….
Orange Spice Vanilla Tart
[Print this recipe]
Prep: 15 minutes
Bake: 15 minutes
Chill: 4 hours
Serves: 6 to 8
1 refrigerated pie dough round
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon cinnamon-sugar
2 boxes (3.4-ounce) vanilla instant pudding
2-3/4 cups whole milk
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1-1/2 tablespoons Clementine zest (about 2 Clementines)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spread the pie dough into a standard tart pan (or a 9″ pie pan will work fine as a substitute), making sure it comes up to the very top of the rim. Use a fork to poke lots of holes in the bottom of the dough, and then baste all of the dough with the melted butter.
Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar evenly on top, and then bake for about 15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Remove the tart crust from the oven and allow to cool completely.
Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, combine the instant pudding, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice and 1 tablespoon of the Clementine zest. Add the milk all at once, and whisk until it the pudding starts to thicken – about 2 minutes. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and make sure to press the plastic onto the top of the pudding so that it prevents a skin from forming while it cools. Place the pudding in the refrigerator until it’s completely set, about 30 minutes.
To make the tart, pour the pudding into the cooled crust. Garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon and 1/2 tablespoon of the Clementine zest. Chill for another 3 to 3-1/2 hours before serving.
Great to make ahead by letting the pudding set overnight in the fridge, and then putting the tart together just before your dinner party!