Cranberry Orange Chocolate Tart

First Monday of December, and I am in full holiday baking mode!

I’m starting the month off with this festive cranberry curd tart, made with chocolate graham crackers and a cranberry curd with orange juice and zest and topped with sugared cranberries!

This showstopper tart is sour and sweet and a great quick dessert to make for any holiday party.

Cranberries tend to be just a Thanksgiving time kind of berries, but since they are so good for you, I am on a mission to try to use them all year round. Thinking about adding them to a nice pork roast or even to a grain bowl If you have any ideas, let me know, and we will try them together!

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Ingredients 

Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups of graham crackers crumbs

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted

Filling

  • 8 oz. fresh or frozen (thawed) cranberries, plus 4 oz. for topping

  • 1 cup granulated sugar, plus 1/2 cup for topping

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 large egg yolks

  • 1 tsp. finely grated orange zest

  • 1 tsp. finely grated lime zest, divided

  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice

  • Pinch of kosher salt

  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into pieces

Recipe

Chocolate Crust

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. In a food processor, pulse chocolate grahams until finely ground. Pour sugar and melted butter, pulse until mixture resembles wet sand.

  3. Place mixture into tart pan and press evenly into the bottoms and sides of the pan. Blind bake the crust by placing a piece of parchment paper, or aluminum foil on top of the crust. Pour in pie weights, or dried beans.

  4. Bake for 10-12 minutes

  5. Carefully remove the parchment/aluminum foil with the weights, or beans, and allow to cool.

Filling

  1. Bring 6 oz. cranberries, 1 cup granulated sugar, and ¼ cup water to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high. Reduce heat; simmer until cranberries burst and most of the liquid evaporates, 12–15 minutes. Let cool.

  2. Purée in a blender until very smooth.

  3. Cook cranberry purée, egg, egg yolk, orange zest, orange juice, salt, sugar, and 1/2 tsp. lime zest in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water.

  4. Stir with a rubber spatula and scrape down sides of bowl often, until curd thickens and coats spatula, around 10 minutes (might take a few minutes longer). Let cool until just warm.

  5. Using an electric mixer ,or whisk, beat curd.

  6. Add butter a piece at a time and incorporate after each addition until curd looks lighter in color and texture. Pass through a sieve, then scrape into crust and chill until firm, at least two hours 2 hours.

Cranberry Topping

  1. Bring ½ cup granulated sugar and ½ cup water to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add 4 oz. cranberries and cook until barely starting to soften, about 1 minute.

  2. Using a slotted spoon, transfer cranberries to a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet. Chill until no longer sticky, 20–30 minutes.

  3. Toss remaining ½ cup granulated sugar and 1/2 tsp. lime zest in a small bowl. Toss cranberries in lime sugar.

  4. Top tart with cranberries as you like.

Classic Apple Pie

Countdown to Thanksgiving has officially begun!

In the past couple of years, I’ve been experimenting with all different kind of pies, from pecan, caramel apple pie, pear, and berry pies. But nothing comes close to a classic good Ol’ American apple pie.

While making these pies, I always had a difficult time finding the perfect pie dough recipe. I have tried many different methods and couldn't seem to have an easy time with any, until this one! This is my absolute favorite! I've made it many times, and each time it rolled out and baked beautifully.

When it comes to the filling, you can mix different kinds of apples or use your favorite. I, for the most part, only use granny smith apples because I enjoy their tartness and how it helps balance the sweetness of the brown sugar, spices and the sweet pie dough. Honeycrisp and granny smith are also a delicious combination.

For the top dough, if lattice seems too scary to make, you could leave it plain, cuttings vents on top and add a few decorative dough shapes.

Happy Pie making!

pre-bake apple pie 2
pre-bake apple pie
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Ingredients 

Double Pie Crust

  • 2 1/2 cups  all-purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar

  • 1  teaspoon fine-grain sea salt

  • 2 sticks cold unsalted butter

  • ½  cup very cold water, divided

Filling

  • 6 large granny smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch chunks or thinly sliced

  • 3 tablespoons of flour

  • Juice ½  lemon

  • ½  cup light brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

  • ½ tsp. salt

  • 1 large egg beaten ( egg wash)

  • 1 ½ tbsp of turbano, or any type of course  sugar for topping

Recipe

  1. In a large bowl, whisk the dry ingredients. Using a box grater, grate the cold butter, or cut the cold butter into dice sized pieces. Use your hands to break up the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles the size of peas. Drizzle the ice cold water, a tablespoon at a time and mix suing your hands. Add as much water until the dough comes together. Note: do not pour in the entire water, as you may or may not need to use it all.

  2. Flour your surface area and turn out your dough. Knead your dough for few more times until it all comes to together. Divide your dough in half, flatten into disks, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least an hour.

Filling

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.

  2. Core, peel (optional), and slice your apples. In a large bowl, combine apples, and lemon juice and toss. Additionally, add your sugar, cinnamon and flour and toss to fully coat your apples.

Assemble

  1. Remove the dough from the refrigerator, allow the chilled dough to come to room temperature for 5 minutes.

  2. Liberally flour your work surface, roll out your dough, being sure to rotate it every so often to avoid sticking. Roll into a 13-inch round. Carefully transfer it to your pie pan, gently pressing to fit the tin, leaving an overhang.

  3. For the second pie dough, roll out the dough the same way as the first. Cut about seven 1-1 ½ inch-wide strips from your rolled out dough using a pizza cutter or sharp knife.

  4. Spoon the filling into the tin over the dough, spreading to make an even layer.

  5. Lay half of the strips over the pie, evenly spaced, across the pie vertically. Once all the pieces are placed, rotate the pie 90 degrees so that the strips are running horizontally.

  6. Now repeat the same process as you would for a traditional lattice. Trim the excess dough, leaving 1 -inch overhang. Tuck your latice and pie dough under and crimp as you desire.

  7. Beat the egg and brush the pie with the egg wash. Sprinkle the raw sugar over the top.

  8. Bake about 50 minutes, until the crust is golden.

NOTES: Pie will keep well for 3-4 days at room temperature. For apples, use ones that will hold their shape will baking: Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Honeycrisp, Braeburn.