Post-Thanksgiving deals at the supermarket are too good to pass up. For example, packages of deep red cranberries reduced to just 75 cents for 340g (12 oz). Of course, you buy them with good intentions, but it’s funny how time slips away and then the firm, ruby spheres aren’t at their peak anymore. Fortunately, my wife remembered seeing a vivid tart in a magazine last year and asked if I could make it.
It turned out that my two packages of cranberries, after picking through and discarding all the mushy ones, were the perfect amount to make this tart. The recipe comes from Cook’s Illustrated, in their Nov/Dec 2020 issue.
An appealing feature of this recipe is that the curd is made completely in a food processor, and doesn’t even need to be baked. Cooking the cranberries with sugar and water until they’re hot and bothered is all that’s needed. The residual heat cooks the eggs and cornstarch. How easy is that?
Apparently, cranberries have a lot of pectin which helps to set the curd without as much eggs or starch that, say, a lemon-based one would need. This lets the cranberry flavour really come through. The crust happens to be gluten-free, and is built on an almond flour and cornstarch base.
Finally, the topping is heavy cream that has a bit of the cranberry filling whipped into it. The pectin helps to keep it extremely stable. My daughter and I had fun using a St. Honoré tip to pipe our design.
We really, really loved this tart. The colour was brilliant, as was the tartness and purity of the cranberry flavour. Highly recommended.