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One of the things I love about holiday food is it is just so striking. The colors, the smells, the textures…it’s all so beautiful, both in the appearance and in the taste. I particularly like how cranberries get to shine during the holiday season. Cranberries tend to take a backseat the rest of the year, but this the time for cranberries to take the spotlight. And I really like cranberries. Yes, I am the person who goes straight past cranberry juice cocktail and stocks up on straight cranberry juice. That’s me. Seriously, try straight cranberry juice cut with a little sparkling water and lime. Delicious. But I digress…

My friend, Liz, recently made this adorable and super tasty cranberry pocket pies, which left me craving more cranberry desserts. I usually think of cranberries in the sauce, juice, baked brie context and therefore had to put some thought into what kind of dessert I wanted to make. I settled on a tart because (a) tarts are such beautiful and elegant dishes, (b) I thought the colors would be gorgeous and (c) the firm, rich crust seemed like the right way to complement and showcase the bold tartness of the cranberries. I also added pecans because they sounded tasty in my mind. And yes, they were tasty in reality as well. In the end, I was pleased with how the tart turned out. My family consumed it as the end to a pre-Thanksgiving turkey dinner and it was enjoyed by all, even by my dad who is typically not a big fan of the cranberry.

One last note. This post is really long, but please please please don’t be intimidated. The steps are not very difficult, the crust just requires a few steps in terms of cooling and whatnot. Just give the whole recipe a read-through before starting and you’ll be fine! Cranberry tart for all!

 

Cranberry Tart (1 of 35)

The Crust:
1 1/2 C Flour
1/3 C Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
3 Egg Yolks
1/2 tsp Vanilla
6 tbsp butter, very cold
zest of 1/2 large orange

The Filling:
1 bag of cranberries (icky ones picked out)
1/3 C water
zest of 1/2 large orange
juice of 1 large orange
1/2 tsp Ginger, ground
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 vanilla bean
1 tbsp butter
3/4 C almond flour
1 egg, whole
1/2 – 1 C pecans, ground

 

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Start off by making the crust, which is actually a french pastry crust called pâte sucrée.

First, using a whisk, beat together the sugar and egg yolks until they are thick and slightly lightened in color.

 

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Now prepare yourself, this is the best part: take your 6 tbsp of butter and a rolling pin. Beat the butter with the rolling pin to help soften it! So fun!

 

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 Scoop the flour onto a work surface, if you are really brave, and into a large bowl, if you aren’t. Pile up the flour and make a well in the middle. (I almost always use a large bowl. I’ve never been able to mix wet ingredients into the well of a file of flour without liquid going everywhere.)  Pour the egg mixture into the “well” of the flour, and add the salt, vanilla, orange zest and butter.

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Use your fingers to work all the ingredients together until you have a nice ball of dough. Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes and up to several hours.

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When you are getting ready to start up again, take the dough out of the fridge. Using plenty of flour to prevent sticking, roll out the dough and set into a tart pan with a removable bottom.

 

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Gently press the dough into the grooves of the tart pan and trim the edges at the top.

 

 

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I had extra dough and used it to make two mini tarts.

Put the crusts back in the fridge for another 3o minutes and start preheating the oven to 375°F. Set a cookie sheet in the oven to heat as well.

 

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This is a good time to start on the filling. Combine the cranberries, sugar, water, orange zest and juice, ginger, cinnamon and vanilla bean in pot and bring to a boil over medium heat.

 

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Once the filling reaches a boil, the cranberries should have burst and the mixture thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the butter. Set aside to cool.

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By now the dough has chilled again, you are going to blind bake the crust. Line the crust with crumpled foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans.

 

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Bake on a cookie sheet for 15 to 20 minutes (the edges should be browning), then remove the weights and foil and bake for another4-5 minutes, or until the crust has started to turn a little golden. Remove the tart crusts from the oven, but leave the cookie sheet in to remain hot.

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While the crust is baking, whisk the egg until it is a fluffy pale yellow. Fold the egg and almond flour into the cooled cranberry mixture.

 

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Pour the filling into the tart cases (crusts) and sprinkle the ground pecans over the top.

 

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Put the tarts back in the oven to cook for approximately 25 minutes. You’re looking for the middle of the tart to set.

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 Remove from the cookie sheet and set on a wire rack to cool. Once the tarts have cooled for 10 or 15 minutes, remove from the tart pans and continue to cool on the rack. While this tart is perfectly delicious on it’s own, adding a dollop of bourbon whipped cream makes it absolutely divine.

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Cranberry Pecan Tart
 
Recipe By:
Ingredients
  • The Crust:
  • 1½ C Flour
  • ⅓ C Sugar
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 3 Egg Yolks
  • ½ tsp Vanilla
  • 6 tbsp butter, very cold
  • zest of ½ large orange
  • The Filling:
  • 1 bag of cranberries (icky ones picked out)
  • ⅓ C water
  • zest of ½ large orange
  • juice of 1 large orange
  • ½ tsp Ginger, ground
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • ¾ C almond flour
  • 1 egg, whole
  • ½ - 1 C pecans, ground
Instructions
  1. Start off by making the crust, which is actually a french pastry crust called pâte sucrée.
  2. First, using a whisk, beat together the sugar and egg yolks until they are thick and slightly lightened in color.
  3. Now prepare yourself, this is the best part: take your 6 tbsp of butter and a rolling pin. Beat the butter with the rolling pin to help soften it! So fun!
  4. Scoop the flour onto a work surface, if you are really brave, and into a large bowl, if you aren't. Pile up the flour and make a well in the middle. (I almost always use a large bowl. I've never been able to mix wet ingredients into the well of a file of flour without liquid going everywhere.) Pour the egg mixture into the "well" of the flour, and add the salt, vanilla, orange zest and butter.
  5. Use your fingers to work all the ingredients together until you have a nice ball of dough. Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes and up to several hours.
  6. When you are getting ready to start up again, take the dough out of the fridge. Using plenty of flour to prevent sticking, roll out the dough and set into a tart pan with a removable bottom.
  7. Gently press the dough into the grooves of the tart pan and trim the edges at the top. I had extra dough and used it to make two mini tarts. Put the crusts back in the fridge for another 3o minutes and start preheating the oven to 375°F. Heat a cookie sheet in the oven as well.
  8. This is a good time to start on the filling. Combine the cranberries, sugar, water, orange zest and juice, ginger, cinnamon and vanilla bean in pot and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  9. Once the filling reaches a boil, the cranberries should have burst and the mixture thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the butter. Set aside to cool.
  10. By now the dough has chilled again, you are going to blind bake the crust. Line the crust with crumpled foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans.
  11. Bake on a cookie sheet for 15-20 minutes, then remove the weights and foil and bake for another 4-5 minutes, or until the crust has browned slightly. Remove the tart crusts from the oven, but leave the cookie sheet in to remain hot.
  12. While the crust is baking, whisk the egg until it is a fluffy pale yellow. Fold the egg and almond flour into the cooled cranberry mixture.
  13. Pour the filling into the tart cases (crusts) and sprinkle the ground pecans over the top.
  14. Put the tarts back in the oven to cook for approximately 25 minutes, or until the middle has set.
  15. Remove from the cookie sheet and set on a wire rack to cool. Once the tarts have cooled for 10 or 15 minutes, remove from the tart pans and continue to cool on the rack. While this tart is perfectly delicious on it's own, adding a dollop of bourbon whipped cream makes it absolutely divine.
 

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