Category Archives: Pies and Tarts

Cranberry Pecan Tart

I would apologize for not posting this PRIOR to Thanksgiving as that seems to be the most appropriate holiday for this dessert, but is so good that there’s no reason that you couldn’t make it instead for Christmas or New Year’s or Channukah or Festivus or Thursday or Your Cat’s Birthday or whatever “holiday” comes next in your world.

I will say that I felt this crust could use some work. It’s blind baked before adding the filling, but I still had come of the filling leak through the crust and pan and caramelize on the baking sheet I had beneath it (Note: the leaked filling was delicious). I would still recommend this as is, but be warned that you should place a baking sheet under you tart pan so that you don’t candy coat the inside of your oven.

Cranberry Pecan Tart

adapted from Epicurious

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons ice water + more if needed

Filling

  • 3 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup light corn syrup
  • ½ stick (¼ cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ¼ cups fresh or frozen cranberries (7 oz; thawed if frozen)
  • 1 ½ cup pecans, toasted and chopped

Directions

For crust: Whisk together flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Blend in butter with your fingertips or a pastry blender until incorporated and the bits of butter are the size of peas. Beat together yolk and water with a fork and stir into flour mixture until combined well. Gently knead mixture in bowl just until a dough forms, adding more ice water as necessary. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently 4 or 5 times more. Form dough into a disk then wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Chill for at least 1 hour.

Roll out dough into a 13-inch round, or large enough to fit your tart pan with a 2-inch border, (1/8 inch thick) on a floured surface and fit into tart pan. Trim edge of dough so that it is flush with the edge on your pan. Lightly prick bottom of shell all over with a fork, then chill 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425°F and place rack in lower third of the oven. Line shell with foil and fill with pie weights (I used dried beans). Place tart pan on a baking sheet and bake until pastry is set and pale golden on rim, about 15 minutes. Carefully remove foil and weights and bake shell until pale golden all over, about 10 minutes more. Transfer baking sheet and tart pan to a rack.

For filling: Move oven rack to middle position and reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Whisk together eggs, brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, salt, and vanilla in a bowl until smooth, then stir in cranberries and walnuts. Pour filling into shell then cover the edge with foil to prevent crust from burning. Bake tart until filling is set and golden, 40 to 45 minutes, removing to foil edge about 30 minutes in. Cool completely in pan on rack.

Apple Galette

This is it, people. This. Is. It. I’ve been craving pie crust for a week but two things stood in my way. Firstly, the last time I made crust it was…dense. Hard to cut. Hard to chew. Hard to watch people eat. Therefore, I was hesitant yet eager (is that possible?) to try again. Secondly, I have lots of school work to do this week. I should have been studying for a test last night, but I decided to throw all conscientiousness to the wind and make pie instead. Is “I wanted it” enough justification?

Well, maybe it’s not, but this crust was. It turned out FABULOUSLY! So light! So flaky! (By the way, how delicious do these apples look? I’m really not sure how any of them actually ended up in the pie). Technically this is a galette, a free-form apple pie. Galettes are nice because you don’t have to worry about making them look fancy. I actually think that being rustic is what makes galettes fancy. It’s like when you see a model in magazines and her hair and clothes are messy in a way that still makes you want to look like them. Yep, just like that.

You should make this instead of doing something important too. But nothing too important. Just avoid doing moderately important things.

Apple Galette

Ingredients

  • 1 single pie crust (see recipe below)
  • 3 medium Granny Smith apples
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar (light or dark)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 egg, for glazing
  • Raw sugar, for decorating (optional)

Directions

Preheat over to 375° F.

Peel apples then with each apple cut a slice off the top and bottom so that both surfaces are flat and apple will stand up straight. Cut the apple into four quarters, then, with the apple still standing upright, cut out the core of each segment. Slice each quarter into 4-5 slices. Toss apple slices with sugars, cinnamon and flour in a bowl and set aside.

Sprinkle a large cutting board or a clean counter with flour then roll out dough rotating 90° after every couple of rolls so that it has even thickness and to make sure it doesn’t stick to the board. Roll out dough about ¼ inch thickness. Roll up the dough on the rolling pin then gently unroll onto a baking sheet. Spread apple mixture onto the dough making an even layer and leaving about a 2-inch border of dough. Fold the excess dough over the apple mixture, pleating as you fold.

Beat the egg with a little water then brush onto the dough. Sprinkle with raw sugar or granulated sugar. Bake 30-35 minutes until crust is golden brown.

Cool slightly before serving.

 

Pie Crust

Ingredients

  • 1 ¼ cups AP flour
  • 1 stick very cold butter, cubed
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tbsp sugar
  • ¼ – ½ cup ice water

Directions

Fill a cup with water and ice cubes.

In a bowl whisk together flour, salt, and sugar. Add the cubes of butter and incorporate into the flour mixture using a pastry cutter or two knives. Stop when butter is about the size of peas. Drizzle in ¼ cup of the ice water (without the ice!) then stir together with a spatula until combined. Add additional water, one tablespoon at a time, stirring after each addition, until dough sticks together and holds shape when you squeeze it in your hand. You want to see big bits of flour in the dough. Big bits of butter means serious flakiness. Serious flakiness means all your dreams come true.

Place a sheet of plastic wrap on the counter and dump the dough, along with any loose bits (it’s ok if there are some of these) onto it. Using the plastic wrap, form the dough into a disc and wrap tightly. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Makes enough for a single crust