Nigella’s Christmas Feast – Bitter orange tart

This is more that a simplified version of my Seville Orange Tart from How To Eat. It uses a crushed gingernut-and-butter base in place of homemade pastry, and is even more acerbically – and excitingly – sharp. The sherbetty, cheek-squeaky bitterness is my favorite part of this recipe. However, I do recommend that you add a teaspoon of good honey to your plate and invite everyone to use it as a condiment.



250g plain gingernuts

ginger biscuits

Soft, unsalted butter 75g


3 large eggs

2 egg yolks

100g of caster sugar

Get zest and 140ml juice

1 medium or 2 large oranges

60ml lemon juice (from 2-3 limes). 150g soft butter, cut in 1cm pieces


Runny honey is a good choice

  • Once the ginger biscuits are broken down and not whole, add the butter to the bowl and continue processing, waiting patiently until the mixture becomes clumpy and looks like dry, dark sand. If you don’t have a processor, put the ginger biscuits in a resealable plastic bag and bash with a rolling pin or similar heavy implement, even if it’s one with less comedy value. Transfer the crumbs into a bowl. Melt the butter. Stir in the butter to coat the crumbs evenly.
  • Place the prepared biscuits in a shallow, loose-bottomed flan tin of 24 cm.
  • Put the tin in the fridge, to allow the biscuit base to harden, for at least 1 hour – although it may take up to 2 hours if your fridge is stacked. I often find it easier to get the base done in advance, so it’s coolly ready and waiting, in which case, I do it up to two days ahead.
  • When your base is firm, it’s time to start filling your curds. In a heavy-based saucepan – off the heat – whisk together both the whole eggs and the yolks and sugar, making sure you incorporate them well.
  • Add the orange zest (grate gently so you don’t get the pith, too) and juice from the oranges and limes along with the cubes of butter, then put the pan over a medium heat and cook, stirring constantly; I use a small flat whisk.
  • It will thicken in about 5 minutes. But, do not heat it for too long. When the curd is thickened, remove it from the heat. Continue whisking for approximately 30 seconds and then pour the liquid into a large jug. Next, place the filled mixture on a sheet of parchment paper or greaseproof paper. It will not form a skin.
  • After the filling is cool but not solidified, you can pour it and then spread it evenly in your biscuit-lined pan.
  • Allow the tart to rest in the fridge until it sets, at minimum 4 hours or overnight. The tart can be kept there for up to 2 days before being unmoulded. This is best done while it is still cold – so don’t take it out of the fridge for more than 5-10 minutes before you want to cut it. Serve in thin slices with honey drizzled over.

TIP: MAKE A MAPTwo days before the start of making your base, you can store it in the refrigerator covered with clingfilm until required. After the base has fully set, it can be covered tightly with a double layer (clingfilm + foil) and kept in the fridge for up to 1 Month. Before filling, let the base cool in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. You can make the curd up to two days in advance. Cover the tart in foil and place it in the refrigerator for approximately 4 hours.

STORE TIP Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for two days. As the tart rises, the tart’s base will begin to soften.