If you like, you can use refrigerated, store-bought, ready-to-unroll pie crust. You can skip steps 1 through 3 — just follow the baking instructions on the box before filling with pastry cream.
For Vanilla Tart Crust:
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
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2 tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) butter, chilled and cut up
1 large egg yolk
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 to 3 tablespoons ice water (or more as needed)
For Orange Custard Filling:
¾ cup plus 6 tablespoons whole milk
2 large egg yolks
3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoons butter
8 teaspoon salt
1 vanilla bean or ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
3 medium navel oranges (1¼ pound)
2 tablespoons apple jelly
2 teaspoon triple sec
Red currants for garnish
1. Make crust: In food processor with knife blade attached, pulse flour, sugar and salt until blended. Add butter. Pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add egg yolk and vanilla; pulse until combined. Add ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing until mixture holds together when pinched. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk, wrap disk in plastic, and refrigerate until firm, at least one hour or up to two days.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On lightly floured surface, with floured rolling pin, roll disk into 12-inch round. Gently roll dough to drape over rolling pin to transfer to 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Gently press dough onto bottom and side of pan. Run rolling pin along top of tart pan to trim away excess dough. Freeze 30 minutes or until very firm.
3. With fork, pierce dough all over. Line tart shell with foil and fill with pie weights or dry beans. Bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Remove foil and weights. Bake crust another 15 to 20 minutes or until golden. Cover rim with foil if browning too quickly. Cool in pan on wire rack.
4. While crust cools, make filling: In 2-quart saucepan, heat ¾ cup milk to simmering on medium. In heatproof medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks, remaining 6 tablespoons milk, and sugar until blended; whisk in cornstarch and flour until smooth. Slowly whisk hot milk into egg mixture. Return to same saucepan.
5. Cook mixture on medium four minutes or until very thick, whisking constantly. Remove from heat. Whisk in butter and salt until smooth. With knife, cut vanilla bean lengthwise in half; scrape out seeds and whisk into milk mixture (or whisk in vanilla extract). Transfer mixture to small bowl. Place plastic wrap directly on surface to prevent skin from forming. Refrigerate until cool, about 45 minutes. (Can be refrigerated up to one day; remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before using.)
6. With sharp paring knife, cut peel and white pith from oranges. Thinly slice crosswise. Spread pastry cream evenly in cooled tart shell. Arrange orange slices in one layer on pastry cream, overlapping slightly. Can be refrigerated, covered, up to two hours.
7. In 1-quart saucepan, combine jelly and triple sec. Heat on medium until melted, whisking. Cool slightly and brush fruit with jelly. Garnish with currants.
Adapted by the Austin American-Statesman from “The Good Housekeeping Christmas Cookbook” (Hearst, $30).