Tartlettes, do we have a treat for you. Guess who is guest posting right here, right now on this very blog? The original Blue-Eyed Baker...our mummy! We talk incessantly about the teeny tiny British baker extraordinaire, so we figured we should get her to say a little something. So take it away Mummy!
I am the mother! And while I would love to take credit for the baking skills of my two incredible daughters, I have to confess that their prowess was acquired rather by default than by any specific intention on my part to instill in them the art of dessert making!
No baking at mother's knee for us! We did do well eating desserts though!
In the same way, my search for recipes tends to have been somewhat haphazard rather than the handing down of time-tested family gems - there aren't really any, anyway! Being English I would panic whenever holiday seasons came around, requiring those very traditional, family gems ... made worse by the fact that there are certain American tastes that I simply cannot understand ... root beer, and pumpkin in particular!
Consequently, at Thanksgiving and Christmas, when pumpkin seems to loom large in the American vernacular, life was very stressful! How happy I was to stumble upon this cranberry walnut tart, which sounds traditional...and uses traditional holiday ingredients and looks like a family gem! It tastes delicious, and more importantly, is not pumpkin and can be made throughout the year.
Cranberries are red...and Valentine's Day is right around the corner, after all! So an early Happy Valentine's Day, cupcakes, happy baking and keep reading this beautiful blog...the Blue-Eyed Bakers constantly amaze me and I am so proud of them!
Cranberry Walnut Tart
Adapted from Gourmet
For the pastry dough:
1 1/3 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 tablespoons ice water
For the tart:
3 large eggs
2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups chopped fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup chopped walnuts
Make the pastry dough: In a food processor, pulse together flour, sugar, and salt. Add in butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with some small butter lumps remaining. Beat together yolk and water with a fork and add into flour mixture until combined well.
Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently until dough forms. Form dough into a ball, then flatten into a 5 inch disk. Wrap dough tightly in plastic wrap, and chill at least 1 hour. Dough can be prepared up to 2 days ahead.
Make the tart: Roll out dough into a 13 inch round (about 1/8 inch thick) on a floured surface fit into a 10 inch tart pan with a removable bottom (note: we divided the recipe between 2 rectangular tart pans instead). Trim edges of dough. Lightly poke the bottom of the tart shell all over with a fork, then chill for half an hour.
While dough is chilling, preheat oven to 425 F. Remove chilled dough from fridge, line with foil and pie weights, and bake for 15 minutes, until pastry is set and pale golden. Remove foil and weights and bake shell an additional 5-10 minutes, until pale golden all over. Transfer tart pan to rack.
Next make the filling. Reduce oven temperature to 350 F.
Whisk together eggs, brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, salt and vanilla in a bowl until smooth, then mix in cranberries and walnuts.
Pour filling into shell and bake until filling is set and golden, about 40-45 minutes. If the edges of the tart start to darken before filling is set, cover edges with foil. Place tart on wire rack and cool completely.
The tart can made up to a day ahead and kept covered, at room temperature.