Cranberry Tart with Sparkling Cranberry Garnish

Cranberry Tart

This showstopping dessert is bursting with flavor.  The sweet cookie crust is the perfect compliment to the creamy and tart cranberry curd.  It’s topped with gorgeous candied cranberries for an extra special presentation.  I used leftover dough to make glazed Christmas tree cookie cut-outs.  This recipe makes enough for one 9-inch cranberry tart.

CranTart.jpg

Sparkling Cranberries

I love this gorgeous garnish.  This is an easy, make-ahead addition that really elevates the presentation of the cranberry tart.  The fresh cranberries soak in maple syrup and absorb some of the sugar to make them more palatable.  Then they are rolled in granulated sugar and form a crunchy outer layer.  I found this recipe a few years ago on the Yummy Mummy Kitchen blog for Sparkling Cranberry Brie Bites.  I’ve made her appetizer many times, and they are always a huge hit at parties.  The cranberries need to soak overnight, so make sure you give yourself enough time before beginning this recipe.


DifficultyBeginner
Prep Time15 minsCook Time2 minsTotal Time17 mins

Ingredients
 2 cups Fresh Cranberries, rinsed well
 1 cup Pure Maple Syrup
 1 cup Granulated Sugar

Directions
1

Place the rinsed cranberries in a medium-sized bowl and set aside. In a small pan, heat the maple syrup on medium-low heat until it becomes warm, but not too hot (about 1-2 minutes). Too much heat will cause the cranberries to burst and become unusable.

2

Remove the warmed maple syrup from the heat and pour it over the cranberries. Make sure all the cranberries are submerged in the syrup then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let cool. Store the cranberries in the refrigerator overnight. If you are short on time, cut the cranberries in half, and let them soak in the refrigerator for about 2 hours.

3

Line a sheet pan with wax paper or parchment paper and set aside. Drain the cranberries in a colander set over a bowl. Pour the sugar into a medium-large bowl and drop in about half the cranberries. Gently toss them around in the sugar until completely coated. Scoop them out with a spoon and place on the sheet pan to dry. Repeat with remaining cranberries. Let the cranberries dry for at least an hour on the counter. Once they are dry, store up to a few days in an airtight container. Do not refrigerate because the moisture will ruin the sugar coating.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 2 cups Fresh Cranberries, rinsed well
 1 cup Pure Maple Syrup
 1 cup Granulated Sugar

Directions

Directions
1

Place the rinsed cranberries in a medium-sized bowl and set aside. In a small pan, heat the maple syrup on medium-low heat until it becomes warm, but not too hot (about 1-2 minutes). Too much heat will cause the cranberries to burst and become unusable.

2

Remove the warmed maple syrup from the heat and pour it over the cranberries. Make sure all the cranberries are submerged in the syrup then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let cool. Store the cranberries in the refrigerator overnight. If you are short on time, cut the cranberries in half, and let them soak in the refrigerator for about 2 hours.

3

Line a sheet pan with wax paper or parchment paper and set aside. Drain the cranberries in a colander set over a bowl. Pour the sugar into a medium-large bowl and drop in about half the cranberries. Gently toss them around in the sugar until completely coated. Scoop them out with a spoon and place on the sheet pan to dry. Repeat with remaining cranberries. Let the cranberries dry for at least an hour on the counter. Once they are dry, store up to a few days in an airtight container. Do not refrigerate because the moisture will ruin the sugar coating.

Sparkling Cranberry Garnish

Tart Shell

Pastry recipes can be pretty intimidating, but I promise you this dough is very easy to make.  This type of dough is called Pâte sucrée, a sweet shortcrust that has a high fat to flour content.  The fat limits gluten formation in the dough, giving it a crumbly cookie texture.  There are a few different ways to mix the dough, but I use the old-fashioned hand-mixing method.  I like to have full control over the dough, so it doesn’t get over-mixed.  I spare my fingers the pain of hand blending the flour with the butter and use a stand mixer for this step.  If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can use a food processor, pastry blender, or your fingers.

Many recipes use granulated sugar and ice water, but after a lot of testing, I found that powdered sugar and heavy cream yield the most tender crust.  Thank you, America’s Test Kitchen for that tip!  For this shortcrust, you will need a 9-inch round tart pan with a removable base, tinfoil, and pie weights (uncooked beans or rice works well, too). The dough needs to chill for at least 2 hours before it can be rolled out and baked.  You can make the dough ahead of time and refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.


DifficultyIntermediate

Ingredients
 180 g All-Purpose Flour (1 1/2 Cups, scooped and leveled)
 83 g Powdered Sugar (2/3 Cup, scooped and leveled)
 ¼ tsp Table Salt
 113 g Unsalted Butter, Cold (1 Stick or 8 Tablespoons)
 1 Large Egg Yolk
 ½ tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
 12 tbsp Heavy Cream

Directions
Making the dough
1

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the flour, powdered sugar, and salt for about 1 minute. Alternatively, mix the ingredients in a food processor or with a whisk and large bowl. Meanwhile, dice the butter into about 24 pieces.

2

With the mixer on medium-low, add in the butter and mix for about 6-7 minutes, until the butter is about the size of peas. Alternatively, pulse for about 30 seconds in the food processor or use a pastry blender/fingers to mix the butter into the flour mixture.

3

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, lightly beat the egg yolk, vanilla and 1 tablespoon of the heavy cream together and set aside. When the butter mixture is ready, dump it out onto a clean surface and make a well in the center and pour the wet ingredients into the well.

4

Gently mix until the dough holds its shape. If the dough is too dry, add the remaining heavy cream, a teaspoon at a time, until the dough reaches the right consistency. The dough should hold its shape well without crumbling apart.

5

Form the dough into a disk that is about the size of your hand, and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Rolling the dough and forming the shell
6

After the dough has chilled, remove the plastic wrap and set on a lightly floured surface. Let the dough warm up for a few minutes so that it is workable. If the dough becomes too sticky at any point, resist the urge to add more flour. Instead, refrigerate it for about 15 minutes, or longer as needed.

7

Lightly flour the rolling pin and the top of the dough. Start in the center of the dough and roll away from your body with gentle, even pressure. Rotate the dough after every couple rolls to keep the circle even. The edges will probably start to crack, and that's ok. Gently pinch the cracks together when you notice them.

8

Stop rolling when the circle is at the desired size: the width of your pan + the height of the sides + an inch or so for wiggle room. For a 9-inch pan with 2-inch sides, the diameter of the dough should be 12 to 13 inches wide. At this point, you are going to transfer the dough to the tart pan. If the dough is too soft or too warm, refrigerate it for about 15 minutes, until it has hardened enough to transfer without tearing.

9

To move the dough to the pan, gently roll the dough around the rolling pin, then gently unwind the dough over the pan so that it is evenly covered. Gently push the dough into the pan so that it molds to the bottom and fluted sides. Trim the excess dough from the edges by rolling the rolling pin all the way around the top of the pan. Use the excess dough to patch any holes you see.

Baking the shell
10

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and move the rack to the center. Prick holes all around the bottom of the dough with the tines of a fork. Line the dough with tinfoil, and fill with pie weights, beans or rice. This will keep the dough from rising while it bakes. Refrigerate the dough for 20 minutes while the oven preheats.

11

Place the tart pan on a cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes, then pull the pan out of the oven, and gently remove the tinfoil and weights. Place the pan back into the oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes or until the dough begins to slightly pull away from the edges and lightly browned. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool for a few minutes. Then, remove the shell from the pan and let it cool for another 10-15 minutes. The crust will harden as it cools.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 180 g All-Purpose Flour (1 1/2 Cups, scooped and leveled)
 83 g Powdered Sugar (2/3 Cup, scooped and leveled)
 ¼ tsp Table Salt
 113 g Unsalted Butter, Cold (1 Stick or 8 Tablespoons)
 1 Large Egg Yolk
 ½ tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
 12 tbsp Heavy Cream

Directions

Directions
Making the dough
1

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the flour, powdered sugar, and salt for about 1 minute. Alternatively, mix the ingredients in a food processor or with a whisk and large bowl. Meanwhile, dice the butter into about 24 pieces.

2

With the mixer on medium-low, add in the butter and mix for about 6-7 minutes, until the butter is about the size of peas. Alternatively, pulse for about 30 seconds in the food processor or use a pastry blender/fingers to mix the butter into the flour mixture.

3

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, lightly beat the egg yolk, vanilla and 1 tablespoon of the heavy cream together and set aside. When the butter mixture is ready, dump it out onto a clean surface and make a well in the center and pour the wet ingredients into the well.

4

Gently mix until the dough holds its shape. If the dough is too dry, add the remaining heavy cream, a teaspoon at a time, until the dough reaches the right consistency. The dough should hold its shape well without crumbling apart.

5

Form the dough into a disk that is about the size of your hand, and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Rolling the dough and forming the shell
6

After the dough has chilled, remove the plastic wrap and set on a lightly floured surface. Let the dough warm up for a few minutes so that it is workable. If the dough becomes too sticky at any point, resist the urge to add more flour. Instead, refrigerate it for about 15 minutes, or longer as needed.

7

Lightly flour the rolling pin and the top of the dough. Start in the center of the dough and roll away from your body with gentle, even pressure. Rotate the dough after every couple rolls to keep the circle even. The edges will probably start to crack, and that's ok. Gently pinch the cracks together when you notice them.

8

Stop rolling when the circle is at the desired size: the width of your pan + the height of the sides + an inch or so for wiggle room. For a 9-inch pan with 2-inch sides, the diameter of the dough should be 12 to 13 inches wide. At this point, you are going to transfer the dough to the tart pan. If the dough is too soft or too warm, refrigerate it for about 15 minutes, until it has hardened enough to transfer without tearing.

9

To move the dough to the pan, gently roll the dough around the rolling pin, then gently unwind the dough over the pan so that it is evenly covered. Gently push the dough into the pan so that it molds to the bottom and fluted sides. Trim the excess dough from the edges by rolling the rolling pin all the way around the top of the pan. Use the excess dough to patch any holes you see.

Baking the shell
10

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and move the rack to the center. Prick holes all around the bottom of the dough with the tines of a fork. Line the dough with tinfoil, and fill with pie weights, beans or rice. This will keep the dough from rising while it bakes. Refrigerate the dough for 20 minutes while the oven preheats.

11

Place the tart pan on a cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes, then pull the pan out of the oven, and gently remove the tinfoil and weights. Place the pan back into the oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes or until the dough begins to slightly pull away from the edges and lightly browned. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool for a few minutes. Then, remove the shell from the pan and let it cool for another 10-15 minutes. The crust will harden as it cools.

Tart Shell

Cranberry Curd


Fruit curd is similar to jam, but it’s creamier and more intensely flavored. The mixture is thickened with eggs and butter, making it rich and indulgent. Curd is typically made with citrus fruit so the tart flavor pairs perfectly with a sweet shortcrust.  Many recipes will require a double boiler to heat the mixture, but I don’t think it is necessary as long as you continuously stir the mixture, paying close attention to the sides and bottom.

DifficultyBeginner
Prep Time10 minsCook Time25 minsTotal Time35 mins

Ingredients
 12 oz Bag of Cranberries (Fresh or Frozen and Thawed)
 1 ½ cups Granulated Sugar, divided
 ¼ cup Water
 3 Large Eggs
 2 Large Egg Yolks
  tsp Salt
 12 tbsp Unsalted Butter, cubed and at room temperature
 ¼ cup Lime Juice, Lemon Juice, or Orange Juice +1 tsp of the zest

Directions
1

In a medium-sized saucepan, bring cranberries, water, and 1 cup of the sugar to a boil. Reduce the heat, and let the mixture simmer for about 15 minutes. The cranberries will pop open and the mixture will cook down. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.

2

Pour the cranberry mixture into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour the blended mixture through a fine mesh strainer to remove any bits that didn't blend. Push it through with the back of a spoon. You should have about 1 1/2 cups of puree.

3

In a medium saucepan, warm the puree, remaining 1/2 cup of sugar, eggs, yolks, salt and optional citrus juice with zest over medium-low heat. Whisk the mixture continuously for about 10 minutes, until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer to remove any bits.

4

While the mixture is still warm, stir in the butter, a few tablespoons at a time. When all the butter is fully incorporated, pour the curd into the prepared tart shell. Smooth out the top and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to fully set.

Add the sparking cranberries
5

Start in the center of the tart and keep adding cranberries in a circle until you've covered the entire tart. The cranberries will stick to the surface easily. Keep the tart refrigerated until you are ready to serve.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 12 oz Bag of Cranberries (Fresh or Frozen and Thawed)
 1 ½ cups Granulated Sugar, divided
 ¼ cup Water
 3 Large Eggs
 2 Large Egg Yolks
  tsp Salt
 12 tbsp Unsalted Butter, cubed and at room temperature
 ¼ cup Lime Juice, Lemon Juice, or Orange Juice +1 tsp of the zest

Directions

Directions
1

In a medium-sized saucepan, bring cranberries, water, and 1 cup of the sugar to a boil. Reduce the heat, and let the mixture simmer for about 15 minutes. The cranberries will pop open and the mixture will cook down. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.

2

Pour the cranberry mixture into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour the blended mixture through a fine mesh strainer to remove any bits that didn't blend. Push it through with the back of a spoon. You should have about 1 1/2 cups of puree.

3

In a medium saucepan, warm the puree, remaining 1/2 cup of sugar, eggs, yolks, salt and optional citrus juice with zest over medium-low heat. Whisk the mixture continuously for about 10 minutes, until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer to remove any bits.

4

While the mixture is still warm, stir in the butter, a few tablespoons at a time. When all the butter is fully incorporated, pour the curd into the prepared tart shell. Smooth out the top and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to fully set.

Add the sparking cranberries
5

Start in the center of the tart and keep adding cranberries in a circle until you've covered the entire tart. The cranberries will stick to the surface easily. Keep the tart refrigerated until you are ready to serve.

Cranberry Curd

Cranberry Tart with Sparkling Cranberry Garnish

Advertisements

Leave a Reply