*This post marks Day 2 of Miss Ginsu’s 2008 Advent Calendar .
Everyone needs a nice little “company’s coming” recipe that they can make up ahead of time, and this one is an inexpensive and impressive trick that works with leftovers, so it’s super -thrifty.
I whipped up this idea for work to help people use up excess Thanksgiving cranberry sauce, but I think you could really use whatever fruit jelly strikes your fancy. In fact, I really want to do one with a batch of Lemon Curd. Yum.
You’ll see it has a few steps, but none of them are difficult. It’s about 20 minutes of your time actively mixing, etc., and then there’s a couple of hours of inactive chilling or cooking time, so this is a good one to work in while you’re doing other things in the kitchen.
Obviously, you’ll need a tart pan for this recipe. Use a 9" pan. I love the ones with the smooth coating and the removable base, because it makes serving up a flawless tart such an easy task.
Cranberry Cream Tart (Makes a 9" Tart)
For the Tart Shell:
1/2 cup hazelnuts or walnuts
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) cold, unsalted butter, cut in 1/2" pieces
1 large egg
For the Filling:
8 oz cream cheese
1 tablespoon sugar
1 large egg
3/4 cup cranberry sauce, warmed to room temperature
- To make the tart shell, pulse nuts, flour, sugar, nutmeg (if using) and salt in a food processor or blender until finely ground.
- Add butter pieces and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal with few small lumps. (You may also cut in the butter with the tines of a fork.)
- Blend in the egg, mixing just until the mixture clumps. Chill for 20 minutes to improve handling.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F, and press the chilled dough evenly across the bottom and sides of a tart pan.
- Bake in the center rack of the oven for 20 minutes, then remove the tart shell from the oven and cool on a rack for 10 minutes.
- As the crust cools, whip the cream cheese, sugar and egg in a mixing bowl until smooth.
- Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly across the base of the tart pan and bake 20 minutes.
- Cool the tart on a rack for 10 minutes before spreading the warmed cranberry sauce across the surface of the cream cheese layer.
- Cover loosely with plastic wrap and chill until firm, at least 3 hours (or overnight). Cut into 12 slices to serve.
I’ve served this dolloped with a little fresh whipped cream (sweetened with maple syrup mmmm….), but that’s just pure decadence, so skip it if you’re not in the mood.
I think this would make a smashing offering at brunch or maybe teatime, but go crazy and serve it for dessert if you want.