I know we still have Thanksgiving to get through but as Christmas gets closer, you’ll start to see more and more cranberry recipes. I love the muffins and loaf cakes you see filled with plump cranberries and orange zest, but I wanted to make something a little different. It was actually the color of cranberries and a popular dessert from England- the bakewell tart- that inspired me to make this.
You can find bakewell tarts available in almost every bakery back home. A buttery crust is filled with raspberry jam and then topped with a ground almond and egg batter, also known as frangipane to make a super moist sponge cake. The top of the tart is usually covered with a thin layer of fondant icing and a cherry is plopped in the middle. Cranberry and white chocolate are true besties so I skipped the traditional fondant and went with a simple drizzle of white chocolate in it’s place. I hope the people of Bakewell Village don’t get too upset at me!
This tart isn’t that difficult to make but can be a little time consuming. Try and make the cranberry relish, filling and tart shell all a day ahead and then just put the tart together the next day. I reduced my fresh cranberries down to a relish consistency and used them to cover the bottom of the tart. Once the frangipane was ready, all I had to do was dollop it onto the prepared crust and spread it out evenly with a spatula. Top with some slivered almonds and let the oven do the rest! I slightly adapted this version from The Smitten Kitchen and used Deb’s tart shell recipe which was really easy to work with. Eating this tart brought back some memories for me and half of it’s gone already!
Cranberry Almond White Chocolate Tart
This is the perfect dessert for Thanksgiving.
- For The Cranberry Spread:
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- 1 large orange zest and juice
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup red wine
- For The Pie Shell:
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 9 tbsp cold butter chopped
- 1 large egg
- For The Filling:
- 1 cup chopped almonds
- 1 1/2 tbsp all purpose flour
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 9 tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg white
- Zest of one orange
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- More almonds for garnishing if desired
- 1/2 cup white chocolate melted
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Prepare the cranberry relish. Heat the cranberries, orange zest and juice, sugar, wine and water in a small pot until boiling. Simmer for about 15 minutes until the mixture thickens.
In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar and salt and pulse until mixed. Add the butter gradually and mix until combined. Finally add the egg and pulse gently just until the dough comes together.
Roll the dough into a ball and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
When the dough has been chilled, roll it out large enough to easily fill a 9 inch tart pan. Prick the base with a fork and bake for about 10 minutes in the oven. Let cool while you make the filling.
Using the food processor, grind the almonds and flour together. Add the sugar and then the butter, extract and zest. Blend until smooth.
Add the egg and egg white and pulse until everything is mixed. Transfer to a bowl and cover.
Spread enough of the cranberry relish over the base of the pre-baked tart shell to cover it. Spread the almond mixture evenly over the cranberry and smooth it out with a spoon or spatula.
Sprinkle with more chopped almonds and bake in the oven for about 45-50 minutes and the top is golden brown. Let cool.
Drizzle the top of the tart with a melted white chocolate and dust with powdered sugar if desired.
The cranberry relish and the almond filling can be made a day ahead. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Let the almond filling sit for 15 minutes until soft before adding to the tart shell. Adapted from The Smitten Kitchen, http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2010/03/bakewell-tart/