CHOCOLATE CRANBERRY CURD TART


If you are tired of pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, may I offer the perfect alternative? The color of the cranberry curd as you cut through the pie is enough to make your heart miss a beat. Plus, if you prefer a dessert that is not cloying sweet, look no further.  Tartness in the center, subtle chocolate sweetness on top and bottom. Oddly enough, I’ve had this recipe in my files to try soon ever since Helen published it in her blog. We are talking November 2014. I know, what’s wrong with me?  (Please, refrain from answering, it is a purely rhetorical question).

CHOCOLATE CRANBERRY CURD TART
(from Helen’s Pastries like a Pro)

Chocolate Press-in Shell
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cake flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 stick butter, cold and cut into small pieces
1 egg
1 egg yolk

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray the bottom of an 11”x1” quiche pan with removable sides in the center only. Set aside. Combine flours and cocoa in bowl of mixer. Mix briefly to combine. Add butter and cut in until very fine. Add sugar and baking powder. Mix to combine. Add egg and egg yolk; mix until it balls up and rides the blade. Remove from the processor and divide in half.

Divide one half into 2 pieces.  Roll one piece into a rope and press it in evenly along one side of the pan. Repeat with the second half of dough.  Overlap the seams and seal well so no seam shows. Press the remainder of the dough into the bottom of the pan. Seal the edges very well so no line shows. Prick the shell before baking.

Bake approximately 10 to 12 minutes or until completely baked. Cool completely.

Cranberry Curd
12 ounce bag fresh or frozen cranberries picked over
1 cup sugar (7 ounces or 200 grams)
2 tablespoons water
5 egg yolks (3 ounces or 85 grams)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 stick unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces (4 ounces or 114 grams)

Place the cranberries in a rimmed baking sheet and pick over.  Shake the tray to move the berries around.

Place the  cranberries in a saucepan with sugar and water over low heat until the cranberries are very soft and some of them have popped.   Stir frequently as this will be very thick and can scorch. Immediately, puree them in a food processor (by batches if necessary). Puree for several minutes to get the skins as fine as possible. There will be tiny specs of red which is as it should be. If you prefer to remove the skins, strain the puree before proceeding. Add the yolks and lemon juice to the processor and process briefly.

Place the cranberry mixture in the top of a double boiler and add the butter. Bring the water underneath to a boil.   Stir the curd constantly until an instant read thermometer reads 170 degrees. Immediately pour into the cooled crust. Smooth the top. Cover directly with film and refrigerate for several hours or preferably overnight.

Chocolate Cream Glaze
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 1/2 ounces semisweet chocolate, cut into small pieces

Bring the cream to a simmer. Submerge the chocolate. Allow to sit for 4 to 5 minutes then whisk gently to smooth the chocolate completely. Remove the film from on top of the cranberry curd. Pour the glaze in the center and move it out to the edge of the curd with an offset spatula.

Refrigerate if using within a day or two. Freeze for up to a month for longer storage.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: First of all, I urge you to visit Helen’s site because as is always the case for her blog posts, you will find a step by step tutorial that will guide you through the process. Even if you’ve never baked a tart in your life, her explanations will take you to a happy – and tasty – ending. This was my first time making this type of press-in crust. I normally delegate all things crust (pies and tarts) to Phil, but not this time. My pan was a little smaller than the one she used, so the crust turned out a bit thick at the bottom. With my inexperience, I was a bit insecure to use less crust, not knowing exactly what to expect.  Next time I’ll make sure it’s thinner. Anyway, if you have the right size pan, just follow the recipe exactly.

The color of the cranberry curd is something! I shared a few photos on my Facebook page, and some of my friends were wondering how to get the finalized tart to show the curd, maybe reducing the glaze to a zig-zag drizzle, or putting the glaze underneath the curd instead.  Having tasted it, I think the tartness of the curd really benefits from a nice layer of ganache on top. So the striking beauty of it will have to be appreciated only after slicing. Gastronomic compromise.

This is a perfect recipe for those who don’t like overly sweet desserts. The colors scream end of the year festivities, so I hope you consider making it if not for Thanksgiving, before 2017 says goodbye.

Helen, thanks once again for a fantastic recipe and tutorial…
I am a bit ashamed it took me so long to get to this tart, but better late than never!

ONE YEAR AGO: Slow-Cooker Pork Ragu with Fennel

TWO YEARS AGO: Pimp your Veg, a Guest Post

THREE YEARS AGO: Cooking Light Pan-Charred Veggies 

FOUR YEARS AGO: Pomegranate Chicken Thighs and Carrot Mash

FIVE YEARS AGO: The Many Faces of Kale

SIX YEARS AGO:  Short and Sweet 

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Ciabatta, a Classic Italian Bread

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Magical Lamb Stew

 

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SECRET RECIPE CLUB: LEEK AND CHEESE TART

tart1

One more month flew by us! Last Monday of April, first Secret Recipe Club of a favorite season, Spring!  I was paired with the blog Food Baby Life, and had a blast browsing Susan’s site. She has a well-organized index which makes life a lot easier for the stalker.  Being a busy mom, many of her recipes are compatible with our own life style. You know, that life style in which the day doesn’t seem to have enough hours, and each night we ask ourselves “why isn’t tomorrow Saturday instead of Tuesday?”   😉    I had quite a few recipes on a list of favorites to choose from, including her  Spiced Meatball Wrap, but settled on this tart because of the unusual crust: instead of butter, olive oil. Instead of white flour, a combination of 50/50 white and whole-wheat. A few modifications of my own for reasons specified in the comments, and there you have it: a Leek and Kale Tart with Olive Oil Crust!

LEEK AND KALE TART WITH OLIVE OIL CRUST
(adapted from Food Baby Life

for the filling:
2 large leeks, washed and sliced thinly
1 small bunch kale, sliced thinly
1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
dash of nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
4 eggs
1 cup (250ml) evaporated milk
125g cheddar cheese, grated (see comments)
for the crust:
125g plain flour
125g whole -wheat flour
1 ts salt
60 ml olive oil
100-120ml cold water
Lightly grease a 28cm (11 inch) tart dish, preferably one with a removable bottom, but a Pyrex type will work too.  Heat  the oven to 390 F  (200 degrees Celsius).
To make the pastry, place the flours and salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Pour in the oil and stir with a fork. Add the water and continue to stir with a fork until it is just absorbed then start to knead with your hand, until the dough forms a ball and comes away from the sides of the bowl.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll out to fit the tart pan. Transfer the dough to the pan, trim the edges and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.

While the pastry is chilling, make your filling. Melt the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the leeks and garlic and cook, stirring often for about 10 minutes, then add the kale and cook for a few minutes more, until wilted. Season with nutmeg and remove from the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes or so. In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs and milk along with salt and pepper to taste.

Blind bake the pastry for 10 minutes lining it with parchment paper and filling it with beans. Remove the beans and paper and bake for a further 10-15 minutes or until the edges are golden and the base is totally dry to the touch. Remove and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

To assemble the tart, fill the pastry shell with the cooked leek and kale mixture, sprinkle over the cheese and then pour over the egg mixture. Bake for approximately 25 minutes. The filling should be just set and the edges of the pastry a deep golden brown. Cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

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Comments:
What’s life without a little adrenaline rush? You would think that by staying away from cakes I’d be safe, right?  Not so fast.  Things were going quite well up to the moment of adding evaporated milk to the game. I grabbed my can opener, a little gadget that works like a charm, smooth, graceful, leaving no sharp edges. It usually performs a little magic around the edges, so that you cannot quite tell the can is open, but it is.  Or is it really?  Something about the edge of the can of evaporated milk simply would not cooperate and it refused to open.  I had a second can in the pantry, tried to work on it,  again no luck. I searched everywhere for an old-fashioned type can opener, but apparently ours was lost during the move.  A few slammed doors and drawers, a few words not fit to print, I finally had the brilliant idea of pairing an oyster knife with a hammer.  Punched a square hole on top of the can, and back in business I was.  (BTW, I don’t recommend doing that, it is both messy and dangerous).

IMG_1627
To add a little more emotion to the day, I forgot to buy Cheddar cheese for the recipe!  I had no cheese around, except for three little triangles of “Laughing Cow Light Original Swiss Cheese”.   I ended up mixing it as well as I could to the evaporated milk, and that was that. Finally, If you followed the original link to Baby. Food. Life, you will notice that she removed the excess dough after covering her tart pan, for a very polished look. I don’t know what I was thinking, but obviously I went into a different direction.  Oh, well…   What matters is that this crust might very well become my default recipe from now on.  We both absolutely loved it, it does have a more rustic quality thanks to the whole-wheat flour and the olive oil.  Plus, making it in a bowl using just a fork and your hands was awesome!

Susan, it was great to meet you and your blog through The Secret Recipe Club, we loved this recipe, enjoyed it three days in a row, it only got better and better!

slice

For those who want to see what my fellow friends from group D cooked up this month, don’t be shy, just click on the blue frog at the very end of my post, and happy browsing!  And those who are curious to see which recipe was chosen from my blog, and who had it, jump here for a fantastic article by Fran!  She made a favorite of ours, Vietnamese Spring Rolls.

ONE YEAR AGO: Secret Recipe Club; Triple Chocolate Brownies

TWO YEARS AGO: Shaved Asparagus Salad

THREE YEARS AGO: Indonesian Ginger Chicken