Updated 2019. I adore this shimmering Cranberry-Almond Tart. The berries and nuts are stirred into luxurious homemade caramel sauce, and baked in an all-butter French pastry shell. The tart can be made up to two days ahead of time.
Here’s the recipe in photographic steps (scroll down for the printable recipe):
To start, make and blind bake a sweet tart crust, per these step-by-step instructions.
Back to the sugar. In about 10 minutes, and with only infrequent stirring with a metal spoon (yes, I know that’s a wooden spoon up top; just pretend it’s metal) the sugar will liquefy, and turn a beautiful shade of chestnut-brown.
No picture of this next step: Remove the sugar from the heat, and slowly stir in the hot cream mixture.
Note: If, after the cream is added, the sugar crystallizes and gums up the works (this can happen to the best of us), don’t despair! Just bring the sugar to an excited boil, stirring continuously until most — if not all — of the clumped-up crystals dissolve.
Bake on the middle rack of a preheated 350°F oven until the the caramel starts to bubble along the edge of the tart — 25-30 minutes.
Let cool on a wire rack for about 1 hour, and then chill in the fridge until the caramel sets — about 1 hour.
And dive right in.
Folks, this tart makes a beautiful presentation for the holiday table. The tender but firm crust is as delicious as its caramel-bound, cranberry and almond filling. The only accompaniment it requires is champagne.
Yes! Bring on the champagne.
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Here’s the printable:
- 1 recipe sweet tart crust, blind baked in a 9-inch-diameter tart pan (directions here)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
- 1 3/4 cups frozen cranberries
- 2 cups sliced almonds
- Making the Caramel -- Tip the sugar into a 10-inch-diameter non-stick skillet (or well-seasoned cast iron skillet). Set the skillet over medium-low heat. Meanwhile, put the cream and butter in a microwave-safe bowl or glass measure, and microwave on HIGH just until the butter melts -- about 1 minute.
- While stirring with a metal spoon from time to time, let the sugar cook until it liquifies and turns a chestnut-brown color -- about 10 minutes. Off heat, slowly stir in the hot cream mixture. (Don't panic if the sugar crystalizes, or "seizes." Just bring the caramel to an exited boil while stirring it constantly, until most if not all of the hardened clumps dissolve.)
- Straining the caramel and adding the cranberries and almonds -- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Pour the caramel through a wire mesh sieve set over a large bowl. Cool for 20 minutes. Add the cranberries and almonds, and stir until the berries and nuts are completely coated with caramel.
- Filling and baking the tart -- Put the tart shell (in its pan) on a baking sheet. Fill the shell with the cranberry mixture. Bake until the caramel begins to bubble along the sides of the tart -- 25-30 minutes.
- Cooling, unmolding, and serving the tart -- Let the tart cool to room temperature on a wire rack, then transfer to the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. (Or, cover the tart and refrigerate for up to 2 days.) When ready to serve, unmold the tart onto a large plate or platter. Cut the tart into 8 wedges, and serve cold or at room temperature.