Saturday, December 19, 2009

Cranberry Lime Tart

This tart and I go way back. Way back to before Franny was even born- December 2003. The company I worked for held a Christmas boutique and employees, their spouses, or associates came and sold their crafts, food items, etc. One employee's wife was selling homemade tarts and cinnamon rolls and she was handing out samples of what I believe was this tart. We loved this tart! We all stood together trying to guess what the flavors were. I remember my friend Missy's mom was there and she was able to identify almonds in the shortbread crust. We could all taste lime. A few months or years later (I'm really not sure), I took these clues and headed for the computer to search high and low for the recipe.

It led me here. Cranberry Lime Tart, Bon Appetit, 2003. So I held on to the recipe, waiting for the perfect opportunity to reunite with such delicious memories. I chose a cooking club about 3 years ago. The recipe calls for Chinese Five Spice Powder. Leave this out! It will ruin your dish. Though the tart was a hit at cooking club, I was terribly disappointed, knowing it was not what it ought to have been. Not the tart I had tasted so many years before at the Christmas boutique at I decided to go for it one more time and make it for a Christmas party that my friend Krista was throwing for the ladies at our church. I left the Chinese spices out and was much happier with the result. Definitely the same recipe and I was so happy to try it again after such a long separation!

Cranberry Lime Tart
The white chocolate cream recipe is not very impressive to me. I followed this recipe as written, however, for two reasons. #1) I was too tired to care about a preferable alternative. #2) There are so many flavors in this dessert, that I didn't think the extra effort for a better quality white chocolate cream sauce would be noticed. I think I made the right choice. I also didn't bother with the garnish. I am so lazy about garnishes and picture-taking these days. But I'm sure the white chocolate curls and lime zests would have been lovely.

Lime curd
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
3/4 cup sugar
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
2 1/2 teaspoons grated lime peel

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup whole almonds, toasted, cooled
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cranberry Topping
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
2/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder* (optional)- Consider yourself warned. This is a bad idea.
1 12-ounce bag (3 cups) fresh cranberries or frozen, partially thawed

White Chocolate Cream
5 ounces white chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

White chocolate curls
8 thin lime twists

For lime curd:

Whisk lime juice and cornstarch in heavy medium saucepan. Whisk in sugar and yolks, then add butter. Whisk constantly over medium heat until mixture simmers and thickens, about 8 minutes. Strain into small bowl. Mix in lime peel. Cover; chill overnight.

For crust:

Finely grind flour, sugar, almonds, and salt in processor. Add butter and vanilla; cut in, using on/off turns, until mixture just forms soft moist clumps. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic. Refrigerate 1 hour. Press dough onto bottom and up sides of 11-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Using thumb, press dough up sides to extend 1/8 inch above rim of pan. Freeze crust 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake crust until golden brown, pressing with back of spoon if crust bubbles, about 25 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool completely.

For cranberry topping:

Whisk 1/4 cup water and cornstarch in heavy large saucepan to blend. Add sugar, honey, and five-spice powder, if desired. Stir over medium-high heat until mixture comes to boil. Add cranberries; cook until mixture boils and berries just begin to pop but still maintain shape, occasionally stirring gently, about 5 minutes. Cool completely (mixture will thicken).

For white chocolate cream:

Stir chocolate in top of double boiler over simmering water until melted and smooth. Remove from over water; whisk in sour cream and vanilla. Cool completely.

Spread white chocolate cream into crust; freeze 15 minutes. Spoon curd over; spread evenly. Spoon cranberry topping by tablespoonfuls over, then spread carefully to cover completely. Cover and chill overnight. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep refrigerated.)

Remove pan sides; transfer tart to platter. Sprinkle chocolate curls around edge of tart. Garnish with lime twists.


Erin said...

This looks wonderful!

Mindy said...

How funny that my sister and I both found this tart irresistible. :)

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