Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Hugo & Victor's Pink Grapefruit Tart


There are two things I tell my friends to get when they go to Paris:  the mango passion caramels from Jacques Genin and this pink grapefruit tart from Hugo & Victor.  So when I saw a recipe for the tart in Dorie Greenspan's Baking Chez Moi, I was ecstatic!  I even bought a $25 bottle of Campari just so I could have the 2 1/2 tablespoons needed to make the grapefruit crémeux because I wanted to follow the recipe as close as possible.

And yet so many things went wrong, mostly because I was impatient.  First the sweet tart dough shattered when I tried to fit it into the tart pan because I hadn't waited long enough for it to warm up a bit after letting it chill in the freezer.  Luckily, this was pretty easy to fix because you could just patch up the cracks but pressing the extra dough in.  (next time I'll just fit the crust into the tart pan after rolling it out and then chill it, which is how I wrote the recipe below.)  


Then, when it was time to add the grapefruit crémeux (which I think is just a fancy French word for gelatinous cream), I didn't whisk it long enough so it was still kind of curdy when I spread it on.  Again, I was kind of fortunate because the grapefruit topping hides most of it, and the texture doesn't affect the taste at all.

That said, please learn from my mistakes and take plenty of time to make this tart.  I'd definitely start the sweet tart dough and maybe the grapefruit crémeux the day before.  There's lot of chilling the dough, then blind baking it, then cooling it, then baking it again (with the lemon-almond cream), and cooling it again before topping it with the crémeux and grapefruit topping and then chilling it one last time to set before serving.  


But it's worth it!  Not only is it totally beautiful to look at, it tastes incredible.  Even people who don't like grapefruit love this tart!  I think it helps that you've done some of the hard work by removing all the membrane from the grapefruit segments already so that all you have to do is take a bite, and you get the tartness of the fruit, a hint of bitterness from the Campari, sweetness from the fillings, and lots of buttery richness from the snappy crust.


Hugo & Victor's Pink Grapefruit Tart (adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Baking Chez Moi)
makes 1 tart

For the sweet tart dough:
1 1/2 cups (204 g) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (60 g) confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
9 tablespoons very cold unsalted butter
1 large egg yolk

Put the flour, confectioners' sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse a few times to blend.  Cut the butter into small pieces and scatter over the dry ingredients.  Pulse until the butter is cut in coarsely.

Stir the yolk just to break it up and drizzle over the rest of the ingredients.  Pulse until the egg is incorporated, then process in longer pulses, about 10 seconds each, until the dough forms clumps and curds.   Finish blending the dough by turning it out onto a work surface and smearing small amounts across the surface with the heel of your hand.

Shape the dough into a disk and place between two sheets of parchment or wax paper.  Roll the dough out evenly until it is about 12" in diameter.  Carefully fit into a buttered tart pan and trim the excess dough.  Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or if you're short on time, for 1 hour in the freezer.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.  Prick the crust all over with a fork.  Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil and fit snugly on top of the crust.  Fill with pie weights (you can use dried beans, rice, etc.).  Bake the crust for 25 minutes, then carefully remove the foil and weights.  Bake for another 7-10 minutes, until firm and golden brown.  Cool the crust completely.


For the grapefruit crémeux:
2 teaspoons powdered gelatin, bloomed in 1 1/2 tablespoons cold water
3/4 cup (150) g sugar
2 large pink grapefruits
3 large eggs
14 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 tablespoons Campari

Put the sugar in a 2- to 3-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan and grate the grapefruits over it.  Rub the sugar and zest together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist.  Squeeze the juice from the grapefruits into a measuring up until you have 3/4 cup of juice.  Add the eggs to the sugar and start whisking immediately.  Continue to whisk as you add the juice.

Place the saucepan over medium heat and continue whisking.  Eventually, after 7-9 minutes, the custard will start to thicken.  When it reaches 180°F (or when the first bubble pops at the surface), remove from the heat and strain into a blender.

Allow the custard to sit in the blender for about 5 minutes, pulsing a few times to help the cooling process.  Heat the bloomed gelatin in the microwave for 15 seconds to liquefy, then add to the blender.  Blend on high, and start adding the butter, two tablespoons at a time.  After all the butter has been incorporated, add the Campari and blend until homogenous in color.  Scrape the crémeux into a bowl, press a piece of plastic wrap to the surface, and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.

For the topping:
2 large pink grapefruits

About 3 hours (or up to 8 hours) before you want to serve the tart, cut off all the peel and pith away from the tart.  You want to carefully cut through the outer membrane of the grapefruit, too.  Then, using a small paring knife, cut on either sides of the membranes in between each section to release each section.  There should be no membrane left on the sections.  Place the segments on several layers of paper towels, cover with more paper towels, and allow to dry at room temperature.  At this point, you can try arranging the segments to see if you'll have enough to cover the surface of the tart.


For the lemon-almond cream:
3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup (50 g) almond flour
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 large egg, at room temperature

Beat butter until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes.  Beat in the brown sugar for a minute, and then beat in the almond flour and grated zest until smooth again.  Add the egg and beat until fully incorporated.  Refrigerate for at least an hour.

Assembling the tart:

Preheat the oven to 375°F.  Whisk the chilled lemon-almond cream until it is spreadable.  Spread the cream over the bottom of the tart crust and bake for 6-7 minutes, until the cream is set.  Cool the tart completely before the next step.


About 2 hours before you want to serve the tart, whisk the grapefruit crémeux until it's smooth (unlike the picture above).  Spread over the lemon-almond cream.  Arrange the grapefruit segments on top of the crémeux.  Chill the tart for another 2-8 hours before serving.


Next:  Matcha Financiers with White Chocolate Centers
Previously:  First Night in Florence Spaghetti
Two Years Ago:  Cauliflower Steak with Cauliflower Purée
Six Years Ago:  Boston Cream Cupcakes


  1. This is absolutely gorgeous! I am a citrus maniac, and can't get enough of it...I even have a grapefruit tree in the backyard, so I'm going to have to try this!

    1. Thanks! I'm jealous of your grapefruit tree!

  2. Sorry about your crust! You did a great job repairing it, though! I winced when I saw how much one bottle of Campari cost, too...for such a small amount.

  3. Isn't it amazing how this tart comes together. I am not a fan of grapefruit either but loved this beautiful tart.

    1. It is! I actually love grapefruit so this is kind of like my dream tart. =)

  4. Now we need to find more uses for the campari we bought!

    1. I just saw this post on Food52 today with a recipe for a cocktail that uses Campari! https://food52.com/blog/12364-grilled-cheese-egg-in-a-hole-the-serpenti

  5. And the cost for the Campari is why I skipped using it! Your tart looks beautiful, I have to say!

    1. Thanks! It's a good thing the grapefruit covered up the curdy cremeux which covered up the broken crust!

  6. So pretty with that lovely arrangement of fruit on the top. Did I misread, or are you saying you've had the original tart in Paris? I'm so jealous!

    1. Thanks! And yes, I have had the original! It is to die for! You must try it if you ever go. Hugo & Victor's chocolate hemispheres are also heavenly!

  7. Very nice process photos, thanks, always fun to see those, and those are a lot of work!! Fun to read about your experience in Paris with this tart. You can make a lot of tarts with that bottle...lol! :-) Your tart looks perfect!

  8. Love all your photos, and your tart looks perfect with the fruit arranged just so. Wonderful job.

  9. I skipped the Campari only because the liquor store was closed when I needed it - I've since realized that I need to add this to my collection.
    Your tart came out beautifully - excellent grapefruit segment organization skills :-)

    1. Haha, thanks! I visited 5 different liquor stores asking if they sold the little bottles before finally ponying up for the big bottle!

  10. Your photos look great and so does your tart. Was this tart close in taste to Hugo & Victor?

    1. To be honest, it's been years since I had the real thing, so I wouldn't be able to give an accurate comparison, but it certainly tasted very similar to what I recall! What I really liked about the Hugo & Victor version is that if you just get a slice, the tart crust goes all the way around the slice. Also, they cram soooo many grapefruit segments onto that one slice so it really bursts with flavor and juiciness.

  11. wonderful--how'd ever know you had that crust mishap? and I agree that taking the time to supreme citrus makes it so much nicer to eat.

    1. Right? You don't have to worry about the thick, tasteless membranes getting in the way; it's just pure juiciness!

  12. Great crust repair. We would never have known if you hadn't confessed. :) Your tart is beautiful!

    1. Thank you! This was my first time using a rolled out crust (I usually just press in) but despite the issues I had, I really preferred the texture more this way so I think I'll have to try it again!

  13. That cremeux really was hard to stir. Good thing it didn't affect the taste. Now what to do with all the campari?