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Cranberry, Caramel, and Almond Tart

1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1 3/4 cups cranberries
6 ounces sliced almonds
6 partially baked tart shells, made with Standard Tart Dough, rings left on

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

To make the caramel, spread the sugar in a large heavy skillet and
heat over low heat. Place the cream in a small saucepan over low
heat next to the sugar, until the sugar melts into a sheet of even
caramel, approximately 5 mintes.

Meanwhile, heat the cream over low heat.

Whisk the heated cream into the caramel and cook until any large
pieces of hardened caramel melt. Strain into a medium bowl, and
let cool for 15 minutes.

Add the cramberries and almonds to the caramel, and stir to coat.

Place the tart shells on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Divide the cranberry mixture among the tart shells, mounding it up
in the centers.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the cranberries have puckered and
the juices are bubbling slowly around the edges. Remove from the
oven and let sit for 30 seconds, then remove the rings with tongs.
Using a wide spatula, transfer to a wire rack to cool for at least
10 minutes before serving.

Working note: If using tart pans, leave the partially baked shells
in the pans. Cool the baked tarts in the pans on a wire rack for
at least 10 minutes, then unmold.

Standard Tart Dough

13 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 13 pieces
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon heavy cream

Let the butter sit at room temperatures for 10 to 15 minutes. It
should be malleable, but still cool.

Place the confectioners' sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer or a
medium mixing bowl. Add the butter and toss to coat. Using the
paddle attachment or a hand-held mixer, cream the sugar and butter
at medium speed until the sugar is no longer visible. Scrape down
the sides of the bowl. Add the egg yolk and beat until well blended.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl again. Add half of the flour
and beat until the dough becomes crumbly. Stop the machine, add
the remaining flour and then the cream, and beat until the dough
forms a sticky mass.

Shape the dough into a disk, and wrap well in plastic. Refrigerate
until firm, approximately 2 hours.

Dust a work surface with flour. Cut the chilled dough into 1-inch
pieces. Using the heel of your hand, knead the pieces back together
into a smooth disk. As you work, use a dough scraper to free the
dough from the surface if necessary. Keeping the surface well
dusted, roll the disk into a 12-inch log. If using flan rings,
cut the log into 8 equal pieces; if using tart pans, cut into 7
pieces. Refrigerate for 5 minutes.

If using flan rings, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and
set eight 4-inch flan rings on it.

Dust the work surface and a rolling pin with flour. Using your
fist, flatten one pieces of dough into a 2- to 3-inch round. Lift
it up off the work surface to dust underneath with flour. Using
the rolling pin, roll the dough into a 5 1/2-inch round, or a 6-inch
round if using tart pans, about 1/8-inch thick. With a pastry
docker or a fork, prick holes all over the dough. (If the dough
is too soft to handle at this point, use a dough scraper to move
it to a small baking sheet and refrigerate it for 2 to 3 minutes
before proceeding.

Center the round of dough over a flan ring or a 4 3/4-inch fluted
tart pan with a removable bottom. If using a tart pan, be careful
that the sharp top edge does not tear the dough. With your thumbs
on the inside and the tips of your fingers outside, run your hands
around the ring or pan several times, easing the dough down into
it. Speed does not matter, finesse does. Lower your thumbs to
the inside bottom of the ring and press to form a right angle
between the bottom and sides of the dough. Keeping your thumbs on
the inside of the ring or pan, again circle around it, applying
light pressure to the sides; if you move the ring or pan around
through your hands, the process will be easier. There should be
at least a 1/2-inch rim of excess dough extending above the top
edge. With a small knife, tilted upwards, trim the excess dough
flush with the top of the ring. Or, if using a tart pan, simply
roll the rolling pin over the top to trim the excess. Repeat this
process with the remaining pieces of dough. (Refrigerate the
scrapes from each piece as you work, then combine them and refrigerate
or freeze for another use.) If using tart pans, place them on a
baking sheet.

Place the tart shells in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Position a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat the oven to
375 degrees F.

If you are partially baking the tart shells, bake for 10 to 12
minutes, until the pastry is light golden brown and the interior
is dry. If the bottoms of the shells puff up as they bake, tap
down lightly with your fingers as often as necessary. Leave the
tart shells on the paking sheet in their rings as they're easy to
break and as you'll need them on the sheet in order to return them
to the oven.

If you are fully baking the tart shells, bake for 12 to 15 minutes,
or until golden brown. If using flan rings, remove them, and using
a wide spatula, transfer the shells to a wire rack to cool. If
using tart pans, let the tart shells cool completely in the pans
on a rack before unmolding them.


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