Recipe: Cranberry Tart

2009_01_15-CranberryPie2.jpgThis tart is exactly the kind of dessert we want this time of year. It’s not too sweet or too heavy, and it satisfies our need for “a little something sweet” at the end of the day. Here’s what we did…

2009_01_15-CranberryPie.jpgFresh cranberries are the best for this recipe, but it’s fine to substitute frozen cranberries if you can’t find fresh. Just be sure that the cranberries you buy are uncooked and unsweetened. Let them thaw a little in a colander or strainer before mixing them in the filling.

This recipe is meant to be baked in a tart pan, but if you (like us, woefully) don’t have a tart pan, it’s ok to bake it in a regular pie tin. You can either roll out the crust so it only comes halfway up the sides of the pie tin or you can double the amount of filling to make a full-sized pie.

2009_01_15-CranberryPie3.jpgCranberry Tart
Serves 8 – 12

1 recipe Basic Pie Crust or Sour Cream Pie Crust
5 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1 1/2 cups sugar (add up to another 1/2 cup if you like sweeter or decrease by 1/2 cup if you like tart)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
pinch of cloves
zest from one orange
4 teaspoons instant tapioca
2 Tablespoons cold butter, cut into small chunks
Demerara sugar for sprinkling on top (optional)

Place oven rack in the middle position. Place another rack beneath it with a cookie sheet to catch any drips. Preheat oven to 325°.

Prepare pie crust. While it is chilling, combine cranberries, sugar, walnuts, spices, zest, and tapioca in a bowl.

Roll out the crust and transfer it to your tart pan. Pour the filling on top. It’s ok if it looks like there’s a little too much filling; the filling cooks down quite a bit. Dot the top of the tart with butter.

Bake for about one hour, until the crust is well-browned and the filling has cooked down and is bubbly. If the crust starts to brown before the filling is done, cover the just the crust with a ring of aluminum foil.

Sprinkle top with sugar, if desired. Allow to cool and set completely before serving. We also just happen to know that this pie is excellent with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and/or drizzled with dark chocolate. Enjoy!

(Image: Emma Christensen for the Kitchn)