Recently I hosted book club and decided to go with a flatbread/tart theme. So I searched long and hard for some handheld bites that I thought would delight.

They also had to be fairly Simple to Make as book club is a weeknight event and I never know what my day will be like leading up to hosting.

Well, the Ombre Citrus Cream Tart from Half Baked Harvest delivered not only delightful flavor (more on that below) but was also the prettiest girl in the room…in a room filled with very pretty girls.

The deep blood orange color pairs beautifully with the lighter red raspberries. The thyme sprigs and the silky white cream offset the blood oranges and reds. And that flaky, golden puff pastry sparkled with the addition of sugar around the edge.

Regal. That’s what this tart is.

And such a welcome canvas of sunshine in the middle of a dreary winter.

This literally is one of the prettiest things I have ever made. Simply stunning!

Just looking at it on the counter made my heart happy. What more could you want from a tart?

Keep reading for my insights on this tart.

Savory Option

If you’re looking for a savory option to pair with the Ombre Citrus Cream Tart, check out this Six Ingredient Warm Pear Brie Arugula Naan. She’s a stunner, too!

Ready in less than 20 minutes, this recipe makes entertaining so simple and your guests will gobble it up. Better make 2!

Additional (Small) Party Ideas

Putting together even a simple party−menus, drinks, and presentation−is sometimes overwhelming.

But, it doesn’t have to be!

To keep things simple, over the years I’ve collected a stash of white serving platters.

Why white?

Because food looks better on white dishes. Chefs know this and so should you.

Colorful foods pop off a white plate whereas they compete on patterned platters.

Is this always true? Nope.

If you have a neutral-colored food (for some reason pancakes come to mind), or are serving something over rice (a neutral base), go ahead and grab that colorful, patterned platter. Your food will look great.

For this Ombre Citrus Cream Tart, I used this simple butcher paper on my island as the serving “platter.”

This tart bursts with color so white makes sense. A wooden serving tray would provide an earthy, warm, neutral foundation for the tart. And a blue platter also makes sense because blue is opposite red on the color wheel.

Looking for platters?

If you’re in the market for some new serving dishes, check out the simple yet elegant options below. The blue platter comes in multiple colors.

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Simple to Make | Made to Impress−The Simplest Ombre Citrus Cream Tart

Source: Half Baked Harvest

While I’m not a fan at all of navel oranges, I do love me some blood oranges. I think it’s their depth of flavor and their stunning color that keeps me coming back for more.

They’re everything my childhood self expected a navel orange to be when I first tried them. My how disappointed I was.

Until I discovered blood oranges.

I found myself asking what are these ombre-skinned creations and what all can I do with them?

Since I discovered the crown jewel of citrus, I’ve been on a mission to use them as often as possible.

There are currently seven sitting on my counter and, honestly, I have way more than seven ideas for them.

Another time. Another post.

Taste Test

Since we already established this tart is the prettiest in the room, you might wonder how it tastes.

Is it super sweet? Does the crust stay crispy?

The Greek yogurt provides a velvety texture and a bit of tang to the cream while the crème fraiche brings a nutty and somewhat sour flavor that balances the sweetness of the yogurt and honey.

The tart needs the cream to support and play off the heavy citrus and hint of raspberry flavor from the blood oranges.

And that unexpected raspberry flavor from the blood orange explains why topping the tart with raspberries brings the whole thing together!

You do need to make sure your puff pastry is baked through to a nice golden brown. Don’t under-bake it or your crust, besides being raw, won’t be able to support the heftiness of the cream and fruit.

How important is that golden brown crust to the tart’s flavor?

“I’ve eaten all the corners because the crust is so delicious”

Name withheld to protect the guilty

And, to be fair, it took all of my own willpower not to devour the crust before I even finished assembling the tart. I made the crust a day ahead and had to hide it from myself for fear of it “disappearing.”

Well, what was the verdict on taste?

“This tastes like a pop tart!”

Which is high praise from my daughter, the pop tart afficionado.

So, what does that mean? It means this tart evoked childhood memories of enjoying a special treat. Something you only get once in a while but that leaves you wanting more.

That’s what this tart does.

Six things to know about the Simplest Ombre Citrus Cream Tart recipe:

  • You can prep the puff pastry in advance. I baked the puff pastry one day ahead of book club and the only problem I encountered was that I wanted to eat it before I finished making the recipe! I’m a bit of a pastry addict and just having this sit in my house overnight was a lesson in patience. Maybe I could just break off one corner…Nope. So I baked it ahead of time and just covered it lightly with foil. And then put it on top of the fridge so it was “out of sight, out of mind.”
  • Be sure to fully cook the puff pastry to a golden brown throughout. The last thing you want is raw puff pastry, so make sure the center of the pastry is fully cooked on the bottom before you pull it from the oven. Not only do you not want raw pastry, but the tart toppings need the strength of the fully-cooked pastry to hold up the cream and fruit. You shouldn’t run into any problems, but if the edges of your pastry start to brown up faster than the center, just cover the edges with foil while the interior finishes baking.
  • No Meyer lemons, no problem! I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a Meyer lemon in my grocery store, but that wasn’t going to stop me from making this dessert. While I missed out on the somewhat sweeter, floral flavor Meyer lemons offer, I just slightly eased back on the amount of lemon I included so that the acidity of the “regular” lemon didn’t take over the cream.
  • Don’t forget to score the border of the pastry before baking. This creates a moat (for lack of a better term) that will hold in the cream once you spread it. You need this moat because puff pastry puffs up during the baking process and the interior of the pastry could end up being higher than the exterior. This moat keeps everything in the tart instead of letting it ooze out.
  • Slice your blood oranges as thinly as possible. It’s not the easiest thing to do, but the slices get heavy and tend to weigh down the tart. If you slice them thinly enough, you can overlap them on the cream. Sadly, I wasn’t able to slice mine thinly enough. Sigh…
  • Make more than one. Just a recommendation, but you’re going to want more than one, especially if this is for a party. Your time to double the recipe is minimal and the payoff will be huge.

Now, isn’t this just the prettiest thing you’ve ever seen???