Daring Baker’s Challenge: Pretty in Pink Grapefruit Tian

The 2010 March Daring Baker’s challenge was hosted by Jennifer of Chocolate Shavings. She chose Orange Tian as the challenge for this month, a dessert based on a recipe from Alain Ducasse’s Cooking School in Paris.

I usually consider March the low point of winter and this year has been no exception. I have been sick the entire month so far. So what could be better when you’re feeling unhealthy than to make a dessert rich in vitamin C. Since I favor grapefruit over orange, I chose to make a Pink Grapefruit Tian.

There are a few recipes and steps to making this dessert, which actually worked in my favor. Since I wasn’t feeling well I could make the dessert one step at a time and spread it out over a few days.


I decided to take a different approach to the marmalade than the recipe provided. Instead of using the whole peel, I cut off as much of the pith as I could. I sliced the fruit and set it aside. I didn’t want to blanch the pulp with the peel.

I was worried that the marmalade wasn’t going to set up, but after chilling in the refrigerator overnight, it thickened nicely.

I’m not a big marmalade fan because I don’t like citrus peel a whole lot.  But in the end it was pretty tasty.  I’m thinking of serving some this weekend with a lemon-ginger cheddar cheese I’ve been saving.

Pate Sablee

We had the option of choosing our own recipe for Pate Sablee.  I used the recipe from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

I had also decided to make one large tian, rather than individual desserts. I rolled the dough and patted it into the bottom of a 9″ springform pan. I removed the pastry circle from the pan after baking to cool and crisp up on a cooling rack.

I wasn’t thrilled with the way my Pate Sablee turned out. Julia’s recipe gave a range for the amount of sugar to add, and I don’t use enough to my taste. I would have liked the end result to be sweeter.

Caramel Sauce

Maybe it’s cheating, but I add a little water to the sugar when I make caramel. It’s a little insurance to keep the sugar from seizing on me. I thought the recipe given was too vague. Although it was called a caramel sauce, the recipe gave no instructions for cooking the sugar to any color, merely indicating to add the grapefruit juice when the melted sugar started to bubble (which would still have little or no color), at which point the caramelization process would stop.  In the end I decided for less caramelization to let the grapefruit flavor shine through.


I decided to line the springform pan with plastic wrap to protect the metal of the pan and the acidic grapefruit from each other. I don’t think I’ve ever thought about what a stunning color pink grapefruit has until I looked at these photos.  Be sure and save the juice from the grapefruit sections.  It’s great mixed with some mineral water.

The whipped cream was a straight forward gelatine-stabilized whipped cream with some of the marmlade folded in.  This was spread over the grapefruit.

I spread marmalade onto one side of the Pate Sablee disk.  It was a bit of a trick for me to flip it and fit it into the pan.  I’m notoriously clumsy when I do things like that.  I only broke a little piece of the edge.

Following a short rest in the freezer to set, I unmolded it to a place, sliced, sauced, and served.

Here is the pdf of Chocolate Shaving’s version of the recipe.

13 responses to “Daring Baker’s Challenge: Pretty in Pink Grapefruit Tian”

  1. nice job this month! i like your square jar btw 🙂

  2. Pink grapefruit is one of my favourites too, and this tian looks fabulous! I like your ideas for the grapefruit marmalade, and it looks lovely.

  3. I’m not a fan of grapefruit but this looks delicious.

  4. pretty tian! I love the way the caramel and marmalade look!

  5. Wow so beautiful! I love citric fruits, the pink grapefruit made your tian so femenine and beautiful … and yummy :9

  6. the pink of the grapefruit is so pretty!! such a great idea. i need to post mine still but im wishing i did pink instead!!

  7. Your tian looks really pretty. I agree with you – the caramel recipe was really too vague. Sometimes I find that’s a problem with DB’s challenge recipes.

  8. I love your grapefruit tian! The pink colour is so pretty and perfect for spring =)

  9. The pink grapefruit looks great – it’s a beautiful colour.

    Grapefruit marmalade with lemon-ginger cheddar cheese sounds lovely!

  10. Whoawhoawhoa…back up for a second. Lemon ginger cheddar?! Where do you get that??? It DOES sound amazing with marmalade.

    1. I get a cheese CSA along with my veggie CSA from Harmony Valley Farm in Viroqua WI. I receive some really great and unusual cheeses. Another favorite is garlic scape and ramp cheddar.

  11. Pretty in pink, indeed! Beautiful grapefruit tians. I went pithless with the marmalade too – makes a huge difference in the bitter factor. Well done!

  12. Your tian looks absolutely delicious!
    I’m glad you enjoyed it! Great job on this challenge!

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