Monday, December 15, 2008

With a Bow on Top

Whew! 'Tis the season for overscheduling.

My apologies for my absence on Thursday. One thing led to another and before I knew it, I'd missed my regular post during the week and was well on my way to cramming today's in late. This forced me to take a look at my calendar, and I've got to confess that I'm pretty booked for the next few weeks. For good reasons, may I add, such as holiday parties and volunteer engagements with causes like this. Couple these obligations with a trip out of town to visit my family for Christmas, and you've got one busy person.

Therefore, I've decided that it's a good idea to reduce my posts to one per week until the New Year. I hope that you will continue to stop by early each week during the remainder of the holiday season to catch up and have a little slice of something tasty. I'll be back to my regular schedule during the first week of January.

Today, I would like to offer you a cranberry-raspberry tart to make up for it all. It's even got a sprig of pastry holly on top, which is sort of like a bow on a present.

Cranberry-Raspberry Tart
Original source has been lost in the mists of time

For the almond pastry dough
2 1/4 cup of flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 cup cold shortening (put the can in the fridge for 1 hours before using)
1 egg, yolk and white divided
2 tablespoons almond extract
1/4 cup of ice water

For the cranberry-raspberry filling
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (thawed if frozen)
1 16-ounce package of frozen raspberries (thawed so that they are still somewhat firm, but pliable)
3/4 cup of sugar
4 tablespoons of instant tapioca (the fine variety, not the large pearls)
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of almond extract

Make the filling
Pulse the cranberries in a food processor for a few seconds, until the cranberries are coarsely chopped. Scoop the chopped cranberries into a large bowl and gently fold in the raspberries, sugar, tapioca, salt, and almond extract until blended. Set aside to rest while preparing the pastry dough.

Make the pastry dough
Sift together the flour, salt, and sugar in another large bowl. Cut in the cold shortening using a pastry cutter or two knives, until the mixture is finely crumbled. The crumbs should be pea-sized.

In a separate small bowl, beat the egg yolk, almond extract, and ice water together until blended. Sprinkle over the flour mixture and fluff the flour with a fork. Gradually, you will see the dough starting to come together. Add additional drops of water if the dough does not hold when you pinch a bit between two fingers.

When the dough holds, take 2/3 of the dough and roll it out on a floured surface; this will be the tart shell. Roll out the remaining 1/3 on another floured surface; this will be the lattice topping. When the dough is evenly rolled out to 1/8-inches thick, lift it into a buttered fluted tart ring and gently press the edges against the fluting.

Pour the cranberry-raspberry filling into the tart shell until it is almost level with the top of the tart ring.

Turning to the smaller rolled-out pastry dough ball, cut 12-inch long strips measuring about 1-inch wide. Place over the filling in a criss-crossing pattern to create a lattice top. Beat the reserved egg white in a cup, then brush over the lattice top with a pastry brush.

Nestle the tart pan onto a cookie sheet to guard your oven from any spillage during baking. Bake at 425 for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375 for 40-45 minutes. The tart will be done when the lattice pastry top is golden brown and the cranberry-raspberry filling is bubbly.

Serves: 8-10 pieces


Foodycat said...

That's so pretty! I am in awe of your pastry.

muddywaters said...

I've been known to get frazzled during this time of year. I'm doing well this year. I seem to be juggling all the holiday parties and such.

This is such a beautiful recipe. I can hear the collect ooh's and ah's when it's placed on the dessert table. If I possessed some skill and grace, I'd make this.

take care,

Grace said...

i do like a good tart, and this puppy definitely falls into that category. very nice. :)