cranberry crackle tart; a tuesdays with dorie post

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Cranberries are a vital part of the holiday season for many Americans.  In my family, we cook them up into a sweet sauce flavored with oranges, vanilla bean and spices and the kids eat them by the bowl full.  It is one tradition that I really will miss this holiday season.  We relocated from Nashville to Williamsburg and our family group that gathered together each Thanksgiving and Christmas is now separated by nearly 700 miles.  Even so, I couldn’t resist buying a bag or two, or four of cranberries and had to find a tasty way to use so many fresh cranberries.  Thankfully, this recipe used more than half of a bag, and now I only have 3 and a half more bags in the fridge…

The recipe gives you some good options and I decided to test some of them out.  With two different dough recipes to choose from,  I decided to mix up a batch of the sweet tart dough and as I mixed it, I chose to follow the recipe suggested in the “Bonne Idee” sidebar; it gave the option of using a small portion nut flour in place of the all purpose flour called for in the recipe.  It was quick to mix up in the food processor but I really think the amount of dough it produces was about double what was needed to make the pie shell.  As a result, I formed a patty with the leftover dough and tucked it away in the freezer.

As a person who literally has rolled out hundreds of pie shells by hand, this dough was very pleasant to work with and I did not have any sticking or crumbling or tearing.  It was so easy to work with that I had the crust rolled and in the pan in a matter of minutes.  Where I had issues, the baking time.  When I read the instructions and saw 20 minutes at 400, I was skeptical, it seemed like a long time for such a high temp.  In hindsight, I wish I had listened to my inner voice.  My crust came out of the oven a little black around the edges.  Luckily, I had not trimmed it down by one-third as the recipe called for and had enough to trim away the burnt edges and still have a side crust.

The filling of a marshmallowy meringue was such a small amount that I had trouble mixing it in my 6qt kitchen aid bowl; it just wasn’t enough volume for the beater to really come in contact with it at first.  After a really long time, it finally came together.  Since I did not want to buy any jam-I have two dozen jars of homemade blackberry jelly in my pantry, I just used some of my own from the open jar in the fridge.

As the tart baked in the oven, it puffed and cracked and finally, it was a nice, light golden shade and had a few deep cracks across the top. Carefully, I removed the pan from the oven, closed the door and set it down to cool.  A quick glance at the clock, 11:12pm; we wouldn’t be tasting this pie tonight.  Off to bed, to sleep and to dream of crunchy, crackly meringue and tart pockets of ruby red berries…

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18 thoughts on “cranberry crackle tart; a tuesdays with dorie post

  1. I bet the crust was wonderful with the nut flour. I also had an issue with the browned edges but I did better on my second attempt. My sense of smell proved much better than the timer. I think I’ll make a note in my book that it might take a little less time. Your final tart looks amazing!

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  2. I always keep an emergency stash of cranberries in the freezer (I get panicky if I have less than three bags in there…).
    My KA didn’t like the small amount of egg whites either – I wish I had pulled out the hand beater.
    The pop of the red cranberries against the while meringue is very stunning.
    Have a nice Thanksgiving!

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  3. Oh my goodness that slice of tart is fabulous…I have to get better at baking and photography! Your cranberry recipe sounds really good…we love them here as well. Really, I should hoard some in the freezer and use them year around!

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  4. You weren’t the only one to ignore your inner voice. I knew 400 degrees was too hot for blind baking but went with it anyway. Funny thing, the crust was still delucious and did not taste burnt. Your tart looks great.

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  5. I had a lot of the same thoughts as you did..and my crust came out a little darker than I would have liked. I also thought there wasn’t going to be enough meringue and kept double checking that it was only two egg whites we were suppose to use…seemed like it should be more. Your tart looks great!

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  6. that’s a nice looking slice–hope you liked it! I just made a couple of mini tarts, so I was watching them before the suggested baking time anyway, but I’ll make a note in my book about the blind baking time/temp for when I make a big version.

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  7. Well it looks delicious even if you all weren’t crazy about it! Fortunately for me I listened to my inner voice and reduced both the time and the temp on my crust:)

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  8. I am SO excited about this recipe–I was just combing through cookbooks to find some way to use up the 3 bags of cranberries my neighbor gave me when she moved away.

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  9. I’m glad to see that someone else had a bit of a problem with the 400F/20 min for the crust. I wondered if it was just me and my oven. Otherwise, the dough seemed great and easy to work with.

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  10. Your photos are absolutely gorgeous. The time and temperature worked for me with the crust, but I’d made a gluten-free version, so perhaps that affected things. I like the idea of blackberry jam with this tart. All the elements of this dessert add up to something truly wonderful, don’t they?

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