December 6, 2008

Cranberry-Cherry Tart with Ginger and Orange

My Thanksgiving didn't go quite as planned and I wasn't able to do all of the cooking I wanted to do. This left me with a glut of fresh Michigan cranberries. Coincidentally, I have had time to catch up on my food magazine reading. The cover recipe for cranberry-cherry lattice pie in the latest free magazine from Whole Foods Market caught my eye as the perfect use for my extra cranberries.

Today we were celebrating my father-in-law's 80th birthday. (Happy Birthday Pappou!) I had already offered to make a chocolate cake but I decided to make a small tart for those who weren't big on cake. (Yes, it may sound crazy but I'd almost always pick pie over cake.) I used the super easy oil crust from Mother's Kitchen, swapped out the lattice for crumb topping, and added fresh ginger and a pinch of cinnamon. I loved the ginger flavor and the sweetness from the dried cherries. Favor the pie lovers in your life and make this!

Just to let you know what's up with my lack of posts:
The past few weeks I've been dealing with an ectopic pregnancy. It's been an emotional and stressful time and I've needed to take a break from a lot of things including my computer. I can't put into words the disappointment, uncertainty and fear I've been feeling. My family and friends have been great support and I can't thank them enough. I hope to be feeling better and cooking and blogging like crazy soon.

Cranberry Cherry Tart
I made my tart with Michigan cranberries and Michigan dried cherries. Both are easy to find this time of year. The recipe fills a 7 1/2 inch tart pan which is one of my favorite baking pans. It's the perfect size to make a small dessert for 4-6 (or 8 when there is cake too). I can't remember where I got mine but you can buy one online at Kitchen Fantasy. To make this recipe in an average pie pan I would suggest doubling the recipe.

Adapted from Cranberry-Cherry Lattice Pie in Nov/Dec 2008 Whole Foods Market magazine
Makes enough to fill an 7 1/2 inch tart shell
2 cups fresh cranberries
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
a pinch of cinnamon
1/2 cup sweetened tart cherries
3 tablespoons orange juice

-Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and prep your tart shell.
-Process 1 cup of the cranberries with the sugar, orange zest, ginger, cinnamon and cherries until the cranberries are roughly chopped.
-Add the remaining whole cranberries and the orange juice and stir with a spoon/spatula until all the ingredients are well combined.
-Fill the prepared tart crust and top with the crumb topping.
-Bake for 50 minutes, or until the tart crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.
-Cool for 5 minutes and then place the tart pan over an inverted bowl or glass to remove the outer ring. Carefully press down on the outer ring so that it drops down. Allow the tart to cool completely and serve. Removing the outer ring while the tart is still warm prevents any bubbled over juice from sealing the crust to the outer ring. It is an optional step but I find it very helpful for creating presentable, easy to slice tarts. Check out the photo of my cat Abbie with the tart on an inverted bowl at the end of this post.

Tart Crust
Adapted from Mother's Kitchen
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup neutral oil (I use grape seed)
2 teaspoons milk

-Mix all the ingredients together.
-Press into the tart pan until evenly covered.
-Chill in the fridge while you prepare the filling (~10 minutes, but more is fine).

Crumb topping
1/4 cup all purpose flour
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter (Earth Balance margarine in our house)

-Smash the ingredients together with a fork until combined. Then rub the mixture with your hands to get good crumbs. Set aside to top the tart.

Another kitten-approved recipe
I hope my family will still be willing to eat my baked
goods after seeing this. I swear I didn't let her touch it!