Sunday, November 4, 2012

Almond & Cranberry Tart

The wrath of Sandy was terrible. I count my Blessings for being spared the big damages as suffered by the folks down in New Jersey and New York . Other than toppled trees and alot of mess outside in the yard, nothing terrible nor devastating around my neighborhood area. Another Halloween day ruined like last year, carved pumpkins rotting away and Trick or Treat postponed to a later date...forecasted to be a cold night too! Sigh....I am really not ready for the winter!
But one thing I am looking forward to is X'mas and end of year cooking and baking! And I just love the mood for X'mas with its white, red and green colors that adorn everything from house decorations to the pine trees and snow outside! Although I am not a very big fan of snow, a little white powder coating outside when everyone feels merry and thankful feels peaceful.

Cranberry is such a beautiful red and when cooked down into jam, it beats the usual strawberry and raspberry jams in terms of taste and color. I used up the remaining packet of fresh cranberries from my previous Muffins and cook them all down to jam to fill these tartlets. A pinch of nutmeg spice makes these tartlets wonderful and something different from the usual Apple pie. The tart base was made up with ground almond which bakes and browns faster than the usual flour based tart but the taste is superb with a very smooth melt in your mouth crunch and full of the nut flavor. I used both cups and the weighing scale in my baking and weighing, hence the cups and metric measurements in writing up this recipe.


Almond Tart
1 & 1/4 cup All Purpose Flour
1/4 cup Almond flour
1/8 cup Confectioner Sugar
1 stick (4oz) Cold Butter
1 egg

1. Sift the flour, Almond flour and confectioner sugar into a large bowl or food processor.
2. Cut the butter into smaller cubes and mix into the flour bowl. If using hands, crumble the butter into the flour till resembling crumbs. If using food processor, pulse together for about 20 seconds till cubes of butter is not present. Beat in the egg just enough to form a soft dough. Cover and let it rest in the fridge for 30 mins.

Cranberry Jam Filling
250g fresh cranberry
125g Sugar (don't skim on this...the cranberry is super tart if you do!)
1 pinch of grated nutmeg
1/4 cup plus 1/8 cup Orange juice

1. Put everything into a small saucepan. Bring it up to a boil and lower the heat to simmer.
2. Cook for about 20 mins, till the cranberry breaks down and keep stirring. Remove from heat and let cool completely.

To Assemble
1. Grease an 8 inch removable bottom tart pan all over with butter or use five of 4 inches tartlet pans.
2. Preheat the oven to 350F.
3. Remove the tart dough from the fridge. Let it sit at room temperature for 5 mins and start to roll out to the size of the tart pan/s. The dough may easily tear apart when rolling, if you prefer , you can roughly roll it out and line the tart pan and free handly patch up with pieces in the pan.
4. Spoon the cranberry jam into the lined tart pan. Sprinkle with slivered almonds and bake for 25 mins (for smaller pans) or 30 mins (for 8 inch pan).
5. Remove from oven immediately as the almond tart burns easily once past the cooking time. Let it cool inside the tart pan for 10 mins and remove to cool completely.

Serves: 6 or 8

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