A haiku about Valentine’s Day, by me:
I never get gifts
On Valentine’s Day, because
“It is made up.” Sigh.
Ladies with anti-Valentine’s Day husbands and boyfriends, can I hear a groan of sympathy? Every year when Valentine’s Day rolls around, something in the back of my mind thinks that maybe this is the year that I will wake up to a box of chocolate and roses and jewelry. Really, I would be thrilled to get just one of those. I know deep down that I will get zilch, but part of me always holds out hope.
As I was shooting this tart, with pink roses that I bought for myself, I started envisioning a romantic Valentine’s Day. One in which a woman has made a beautiful golden tart and gently brushed with egg whites and dusted with sugar 20 rose petals for garnish. And as she places the final petal, her husband comes in the door with pretty flowers. And she cuts the stems off and puts them in a jar with water. And then they pour two glasses of wine and have dessert together and stare into each other’s eyes and hold hands on top of the table.
Want to know the saddest part? I’m not even the woman in my own fantasy. She is way better-looking than me, and better dressed too. Maybe if I dressed like her, I would get presents.
When it comes down to it, I know that my husband shows that he loves me in a myriad of ways throughout the year, and I do the same. For example, I shared this tart with him. If I didn’t love him, I would have eaten his slice right in front of his face and laughed. In his stupid face.
I love using roses in dessert around Valentine’s Day, and I put roses in every part of this tart. Dried rose petals in the crust, rosewater in the grapefruit filling, and candied rose petals on top. Try to get organic roses for the garnish, but if you can’t, just wash the petals really well before candying them. Or, you know, you could slowly poison your husband with pesticides because he never bought you a Valentine’s Day gift.
- ¾ cup dried culinary rose petals
- 2 cups (240 grams) all-purpose flour
- ½ cup (60 grams) confectioners' sugar
- ¾ cup (170 grams) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons grapefruit zest
- 2/3 cup fresh grapefruit juice
- 10 tablespoon unsalted butter, cubed
- pinch of kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon rosewater
- 2 large eggs
- 4 large egg yolks (reserve one egg white for the Candied Rose Petals, below)
- 1 large egg white
- 1 teaspoon water
- 20 organic rose petals
- ½ cup caster sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In the bowl of a food processor, pulse rose petals until they are broken up. Add flour and confectioners' sugar and pulse until thoroughly combined. Pour flour mixture into a medium mixing bowl and stir in melted butter with a rubber spatula until no dry flour remains. Press dough evenly into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch square tart pan, using a paring knife to trim the edges flat. Bake crust for 30 minutes, until golden brown. Place on a wire rack while you make the filling, but keep the oven on.
- In the clean bowl of a food processor, combine the sugar and zest and pulse a few times until the sugar is light orange. (Alternatively, you can put the sugar and zest in a bowl and rub them together using your fingers so that the sugar granules cut into the zest and release the oils.)
- Combine grapefruit juice, zest-sugar, butter, and salt in a medium saucepan and warm over medium heat, until butter has melted. Remove from heat and stir in rosewater.
- In a heat-safe bowl, whisk together eggs and egg yolks until smooth. Gradually pour the warm grapefruit mixture into the eggs, whisking constantly with one hand until combined. Return the curd to the saucepan and cook over medium heat until it thickens slightly, stirring frequently with a rubber spatula.
- Pour the curd through a fine mesh strainer and into a bowl, pressing itthrough the strainer with your spatula. Pour warm curd into crust (the crust doesn't need to be cool), and return tart to the oven for 15-20 minutes, until filling has set. Let cool completely on a wire rack, then transfer to the refrigerator to chill, at least 4 hours or overnight.
- While tart is cooling, line a baking sheet or work surface with parchment or wax paper. In a small bowl, fork-whisk the egg white and water. Use a pastry brush to coat both sides of each rose petal with the egg white, then dip them in the caster sugar. Place on the parchment/wax paper to dry until crisp, at least 4 hours. (If making ahead, store the petals in an airtight container for up to 3 days.)
- When rose petals are dry and tart has chilled, remove tart from the refrigerator and sprinkle the surface of the tart with the candied rose petals. Cut and serve immediately.