Cranberry Eggnog Tart

Well hello, again. After being off the blogging radar for a few weeks, thanks to a move and now a long trip, I’m back to my barefoot and baking existence. Thank you for your patience!

Kicking off the pre-holidays, I’m here in Ohio visiting the fam for a healthy dose of Addam’s Family living.

Nothing says “hello” to the wee baby Jesus like Spock and T-Rex

xmasI’m also here to keep the Frenchie nugget company while she recovers from the inedible orange jello at the hospital.

Ladies of leisure, darling

leisureBut it’s my dad who sparked my natural inclination towards butter and sugar concoctions by requesting I make Gourmet‘s cranberry eggnog tart from their annual Holiday magazine.

I must admit that the thought of anything cranberry around this season seems fitting, but it’s the smoothness of the gelée, the bourbon in the cream filling, and the buttery cookie-like crust that make this tart, as Gourmet so snootily phrased it, “a choice centerpiece for any table.”

Now before you tell me you’ve never liked eggnog or other such nonsense, think of this more like a layered cheesecake than a milky filling: there’s nothing but cream cheese, crème fraîche and a healthy dose of bourbon…eat a few slices and you’ll be telling your uncle how you can barely notice his hair piece in no time.

Happy almost-holidays, everyone. Stay tuned for the onslaught of baking that can only happen when there’s the perfect storm of holidays, enthusiastic family, and Midwest boredom!

eggnog2[Serves 8-10. *Warning: I found Gourmet‘s recipe to be off in terms of quantity. There wasn’t enough crust to hold the amount of filling made. I’m printing this recipe as is, but if you make it and don’t want to throw away half the filling, either double the crust or halve the eggnog filling recipe. The cranberry gelée is just fine, though.]

Equipment:

  • 10-inch fluted metal quiche pan [2 inches deep] with a removable bottom
  • About 3 cups pie weights or rice/beans.
  • Small offset spatula [optional]
  • Food processor or blender
  • Disposable gloves [optional]
  • Fine-mesh sieve

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 7 Tbl. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg

Filling:

  • 12 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 2 Tbl. crème fraîche [I found one at Whole Foods that was Madagascar Vanilla Bean so I used that] or heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbl. sugar
  • 2 whole large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 3 Tbl. bourbon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Scant 1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • Scant 1/4 tsp. salt

Cranberry gelée:

  • 1 [12 oz] bag fresh or frozen cranberries [NOT thawed]
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice [from about 1 large orange]
  • 1 cup water

Make the crust: Either using a food processor on pulse, or using your hands with disposable gloves, mix all of the crust ingredients together just until a dough forms. Press dough evenly onto the bottom of the pan and 2/3 the way up the sides. Chill until firm, about 30 min.

This is what 2/3 looks like

eggnogMeanwhile, make the gelée: Bring all gelée ingredients to a boil in a medium heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 20 min. [jam will thicken as it cools].

Force jam through a VERY fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, discarding skins and seeds [this might take a while, but it’s worth it for the smooth presentation of the tart]. Cool, stirring occasionally.

Finish your crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in the middle. Line the shell with foil and fill with weights. Bake until the edge is PALE golden, 20-25 min. Carefully remove the foil and weights and bake shell until edge is golden and bottom is PALE golden, 15-20 min. more. Cool completely in pan on rack. Reduce oven temp. to 300 degrees.

Make the filling: Blend the cream cheese, crème fraîche, and sugar in a food processor or blender until creamy, about 1 min. Add whole eggs, yolks, bourbon, vanilla, nutmeg, and salt and process until smooth.

Melt gelée with 1/4 cup of water in a small heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring until smooth. Spread half evenly over the bottom of the tart crust [reserving remaining gelée in the saucepan]. Let layer of gelée stand until set, about 10 min. [this is IMPORTANT. If you don’t, the gelée will blend with the filling and you won’t get layers]. Gently pour filling over the gelée.

eggnog3Bake the tart: Cover the edge of the shell with a pie shield or foil and bake until filling is set but still trembles slightly in the center, about 35-40 min. Cool tart completely in the pan on a rack. Reheat remaining gelée over low heat, stirring until pourable, then SPOON over filling and spread evenly with an offset spatula. Chill tart, uncovered, until cold, at least 2 hours.

Just before serving, remove side of pan. Tart can be chilled up to 2 days [cover after 2 hours].

eggnog5

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