Monday, November 9, 2009

Cranberry Frangipane Tart

Tart Shell

Not only is this tart shell relatively easy to prepare, it doesn't shrink up like others might. And it tastes like a shortbread cookie....As Ina would say, how bad can that be? Recipe adapted from Dorie Greenspan by way of Smitten Kitchen.


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon very cold (9 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 jumbo egg yolk


Place dry ingredients in a bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse to mix. Add butter and pulse until coarse crumbles form. Drizzle in egg yolk, while pulsing for 10 seconds at a time, until dough just comes together. It will look like clumps and curds, but should stick together if you squeeze it between your fingers. Turn out onto a floured board and knead gently into a ball. Wrap with plastic and refrigerate for two hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove plastic from ball and place on a floured surface. Roll out to a 12-inch round. Wrap the dough over the rolling pin, carefully lift it and center over a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Set dough in the pan, gently pressing together any cracks that may appear. Trim dough so that there is about a ½ inch overhang. Fold overhang towards the center to create an extra-thick edge. Prick dough all over the bottom and sides with the tines of a fork and freeze for at least 30 minutes.

Spray the shiny side of a piece of tinfoil with cooking spray and press onto the tart shell. To partially bake, place tart in the center of the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove foil. If crust has bubbled, press lightly with the back of a spoon. Bake for 5 minutes more or until crust is light golden brown. Stop here to continue with the frangipane tart recipe. To fully bake crust (as for a fresh fruit filled tart), bake for 5-10 minutes more until crust is a deeper golden brown color. Cool completely and fill as directed.

Cranberry Pecan Frangipane Tart

This dessert is both beautiful and delicious. Try using more cranberries for a tarter flavor. Either way, you'll find it's well worth the small effort to prepare, and the calories. Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen.


1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2/3 cups sugar
9 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1 tablespoon brandy (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 to 1 cup whole, fresh cranberries


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel-blade attachment, pulse the nuts with the flour until finely ground. Add the sugar, butter, egg, brandy and orange zest and pulse until smooth.

Spread into a pre-baked tart shell and dot with as many cranberries as you'd like. Bake for 45 minutes, or until filling is puffed and golden and cooked through. If necessary, test by inserting a toothpick near the center of the should come out clean. Serve with ice cream, whipped cream or just on its own.

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