Cranberry, Orange & Walnut Tart

by Brenda Langdon, Tastemaker in Residence

Please visit Brenda at Spoonriver or her website www.spoonriver.com for more treats.

Cranberry Tart.jpg

This is a festive tart to serve for the holidays, but is certainly welcome all fall and winter long. You can use fresh or frozen cranberries. There is no need to thaw frozen cranberries, and they are easier to chop when frozen. This is a very simple tart to make. If you have a tart shell already prepared, you can throw it together in just a few minutes. 

Serves 10-12

CRANBERRY, ORANGE & WALNUT TART
2 eggs
1/2 c. honey or sugar
1/4 c. butter, melted and cooled
2 T. orange juice
1 t. vanilla
1/4 t. salt
1 c. chopped fresh or frozen cranberries
1/2 c. walnuts, chopped
1 1/2 t. grated orange zest
1 partially baked tart shell (see Tart Dough below)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°
  2. Combine the eggs, honey, butter, orange juice, vanilla, and salt.
  3. Beat with a whisk until the mixture is smooth.
  4. Stir in the cranberries, walnuts, and orange zest. 
  5. Pour the filling into the prepared tart shell.
  6. Bake in the center of the oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden.
  7. Place the tart on a wire rack to cool. Let it cool completely before serving. 

TART DOUGH
This is a light and flaky tart dough that you can use for both sweet and savory tart recipes. The recipe makes enough dough to line one 8 or 9 inch tart pan. 

1 1/4 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 t. salt
5 T. unsalted butter
1 egg
1-2 T. ice water

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine the flour and salt in a bowl.
  2. Cut the butter into small pieces and drop then into the flour.
  3. Work the butter into the flour with a pastry blender or two knives until the mixture resembles coarse meal. 
  4. In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg.
  5. Add 1 tablespoon of ice water and stir to combine.
  6. Slowly pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture while stirring with a fork.
  7. The mixture should be moist but not wet and should hold together in a ball. If the mixture seems too dry, add more water a little at a time until the dough comes together.
  8. Gather the dough into a ball. Flatten into into a disk and wrap it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes. 
  9. Flour a work surface. Roll out the dough, starting from the center and moving toward the edges. Turn the dough and flour it, as you go, to prevent it from sticking. Roll until the tart dough is 1/8 inch thick.
  10. Carefully lay the dough in the tart pan. Trim the excess dough, leaving about an inch beyond the edge of the pan. Fold in the extra dough and press it against the sides to double the thickness of the sides. 
  11. Chill the tart shell for at least one hour before pre-baking or filling it. 
  12. To partially bake a tart shell, preheat the oven to 425°. Line the shell, with aluminum foil and fill it with dried beans, rice or aluminum pellets. This keeps the sides from caving in and the bottom from bubbling up. Place the tart pan on the bottom shelf of the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, remove the weights and the foil, and return the shell to the oven for 5 more minutes to dry the bottom crust.
  13. To bake a shell completely, follow the above steps but bake it for 20 minutes before removing the weights. Return the shell to the oven for an additional 5 minutes. The crust should be a light golden brown.