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Cranberry, Caramel and Almond Tart

I hope you didn’t think I forgot about cranberries. I didn’t. This Cranberry, Caramel and Almond Tart is one of my all-time favorite recipes. I have made it many times and it is always delicious. The tart is served at one of my favorite New York food spots, The City Bakery and the recipe was published in the LA Times a couple of years ago. Deb tackled this recipe a while back and her post [1] on it is useful to look at. Like Deb, I also had some trouble with the crust and so switched it out for an easier crust that I have had a much better relationship with. Not only is this beautiful, it is delicious.

Seriously folks, a buttery cookie-like crust topped with mounds of tart cranberries, toasted almonds and rich caramel? What could be better than this?

Cranberry, Caramel, and Almond Tart

Crust

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment,  combine the butter and confectioners’ sugar. Mix on low speed until combined, about 2 minutes.

Add egg yolks, and mix until incorporated, about 1 minute, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add 3/4 cup flour, and mix on low speed just until the flour is incorporated, about 30 seconds. Add remaining 3/4 cup flour along with the salt and the cream, and mix until flour is no longer visible, about 1 minute.

Turn dough onto a piece of plastic wrap, and shape into a flattened disk. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight. The dough can be frozen for up to 1 month; thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.

Roll dough out on lightly floured surface to 12 inch round or about 1/4 inch thick. Fit dough into a 9-inch round fluted tart pan with a removable bottom, pressing into edges. Using a sharp paring knife, trim dough flush with the pan. Chill the tart shell until firm, at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375° F. Prick the bottom of dough all over with fork. Line with parchment paper, leaving at least a 1-inch overhang. Fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until the edges are just beginning to turn golden. 20 to 25 minutes. Remove parchment paper and weights; continue baking until just barely lightly golden all over, 10-20 minutes more. Cool tart on wire rack.

Filling

Measure the cream and butter into a saucepan and heat it over low heat. When the butter has melted completely, remove the pan from heat and set aside.

Spread the sugar evenly in a dry, deep, 10-inch skillet and place over medium heat. The sugar will turn straw-colored, then gold and then a nutty-brown caramel after about 10 minutes. If the sugar cooks unevenly, gently swirl the pan to distribute the sugar, otherwise do not stir the sugar/caramel. Remove from the heat and slowly whisk the cream and butter mixture into the sugar, which might splatter, so be careful. If the caramel seizes, return it to the heat and continue to stir until it is smooth and creamy. Strain the caramel into a bowl and cool it for 30 minutes.

Stir the frozen cranberries and almonds into the caramel and mix until the cranberries and almonds are all coated. Spoon the filling into the partially baked tart shell.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the juices and caramel are bubbling slowly around the edges. Remove from the oven and let stand for 1 hour, then gently lift the tart ring off the pastry.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

***And if that wasn’t enough, I served this with Crème Fraîche Ice Cream, which you’ll be hearing about tomorrow…