Cranberry Almond Caramel Tart

Have you heard of Smitten Kitchen? If you haven’t, you should check it out. It’s definitely one of my favorite food blogs (I’ve made a fewof herrecipes over the past couple of years). I love the photography and I want to try almost all of her recipes… I’ve had my eye on this recipe for quite some time now. Again, I think it’s the pictures on SK that really draw me in. When I showed it to Hubby, he was intrigued by the homemade caramel in the tart. See he’s a caramel man. Put caramel on anything and he’d eat it. I’m convinced of that… I’m definitely more of a chocolate girl myself.

We had more friends over for dinner and again, I was looking for something special to make. This recipe immediately came to mind. Usually, I am very organized about my baking. I plan everything out and work recipes in parallel so that I’m not sitting around waiting for something to finish before moving on to the next step. I failed at that organizational calmness with this recipe. I had read the entire recipe through, it just didn’t process that day. I had the dough chilling while the caramel was chilling, but I missed the fact that the dough had to be pre-baked. So then I had to bake the dough, allow it to cool again prior to putting the filling into the tart. Then the whole thing had to bake and cool prior to eating. I realized that the dough hadn’t been pre-baked about 20 minutes before our guests arrived.

And to make matters worse, I had visions in my head of cute mini-tarts just like Deb did, however it just wasn’t in the cards. I tried to hit up a Bed Bath and Beyond on my way home from a doctor’s appointment the morning of the dinner party and they didn’t have any tart pans in stock. No mini tart pans, no big tart pans. So I decided to use my 9″ springform pan instead.

In the end, it all worked out and this tart tasted amazing. The combination of a velvety smooth caramel, the tart fresh cranberries, and the crunch of the slivered almonds is just amazing. The sweet dough holding all of those components together is divine. This tart does take some time and patience to put together, but boy is it worth it!

Since Deb at Smitten Kitchen said that the dough in her recipe didn’t turn out so great for her, I read all the comments and decided to use Dorie Greenspan’s sweet tart dough recipe instead. It was very easy to work with and tasted great.

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Cranberry Almond Caramel Tart

Ingredients:

For the Dough
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon (4 1/2 ounces) very cold (or frozen) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk

For the Filling
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into eight pieces
1 cup granulated sugar
1 3/4 cup frozen cranberries
2 cups unblanched sliced almonds

Directions:

For the Dough
Put the flour, confectioners' sugar and salt in the workbowl of a food processor and pulse a couple of times to combine. Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is cut in coarsely - you'll have pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and pea-size pieces and that's just fine. Stir the egg, just to break it up, and add it a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. When the egg is in, process in long pulses - about 10 seconds each - until the dough, which will look granular soon after the egg is added, forms clumps and curds. Just before your reaches this clumpy stage, the sound of the machine working the dough will change - heads up. Turn the dough out onto a work surface.

Very lightly and sparingly - make that very, very lightly and sparingly - knead the dough just to incorporate any dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing.

If you want to press the dough into a tart pan, now is the time to do it.

If you want to chill the dough and roll it out later (doable, but fussier than pressing), gather the dough into a ball (you might have to use a little more pressure than you used to mix in dry bits, because you do want the ball to be just this side of cohesive), flatten it into a disk, wrap it well and chill it for at least 2 hours or for up to 1 day.

Butter the tart pan and press the dough evenly along the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Don't be stingy - you want a crust with a little heft because you want to be able to both taste and feel it. Also, don't be too heavy-handed - you want to press the crust in so that the pieces cling to one another and knit together when baked, but you don't want to press so hard that the crust loses its crumbly shortbreadish texture. Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer, before baking.

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil and fit the foil tightly against the crust. Bake the crust 25 minutes, then carefully remove the foil. If the crust has puffed, press it down gently with the back of a spoon. Bake for another 3 to 5 minutes, then transfer the crust to a cooling rack; keep it in its pan.

For the Filling and Assembly
Measure the cream and butter into a saucepan and heat it over low heat. When the butter has melted completely, remove from heat.

To make the caramel, spread the sugar evenly in a perfectly dry, deep 10-inch skillet and place it over medium-low heat.

The sugar should turn straw-colored, then gold and then a nutty-brown caramel after about 10 minutes. If the sugar cooks unevenly, gently tilt or swirl the pan to evenly distribute the sugar. Remove from heat and slowly whisk the cream and butter into the sugar, which can splatter as the cream is added. If the caramel seizes, return it to the heat and continue to stir until it is smooth and creamy. Strain the caramel into a bowl and cool it for 30 minutes.

Stir the frozen cranberries and the almonds into the caramel and mix until all the fruit and nuts are coated. Spoon the filling into the partially baked tart dough mounding toward the center.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the juices and the caramel are bubbling slowly around the edges. Remove from the oven and let stand for 1 hour, then gently lift the tart ring off the pastry.

Carefully transfer the tart to a serving platter. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Filling recipe from Smitten Kitchen
Tart dough recipe from Dorie Greenspan as seen in Baking from my Home to Yours

Check out my week of Cranberries here.

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31 Responses to “Raspberry Curd and an Interesting Twist on a Breakfast Sandwich”

  1. #
    1
    Sunshine — April 21, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    Thank God for the weird flavors and for not making em the only weirdo foodie out there. This sounds heavenly, and I can’t wait to try my hand at the curd this weekend.

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    yumventures — April 21, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    I am practically addicted to lemon curd, and since raspberries are by far my favorite berry I would be scared to make this, have so much left over, and pour it over everything I could eat! The breakfast sandwich also looks good, never had sweet with the eggs, but its worth a shot! Would be great with french toast, and I love cream cheese with sweet jam 🙂

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    Katie — April 21, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    Jen, that curd looks just wonderful! I LOVE raspberry!

  4. #
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    hannah! — April 21, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    it’s okay to have a weird tastebud. it all matters if you like it (: i think flutternutters are weird in comparison 😛 no offense, people!

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    Pam — April 21, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    Mmm, this sounds fantastic! I’m so used to curd being citrus – this would be a nice change of pace.

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    Sarah — April 21, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    You’re not the only one! Growing up, when we didn’t have tomato soup with our grilled cheese, there was usually jam spread on it after it was grilled. It’s a weird combo that one of my parents inroduced, but it’s surprisingly good.

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    Bridget — April 21, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    Ooh, raspberry curd sounds fantastic.

    Your sandwich seems like the breakfast version of a monte cristo sandwich, and I really like monte cristos.

  8. #
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    mrs. c — April 21, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    i have never had raspberry curd and it sounds yummy. I think it would taste great on french toast. i might just have to try this!

  9. #
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    Joanne — April 21, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    I actually love egg and jam sandwiches! I think it’s pretty weird…but oh so delicious. that curd looks fantastic! Gorgeous color.

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    Kelly — April 21, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    Wow, this could totally solve my problem with breakfast sandwiches. I just REALLY like sweetness in my breakfast but I want to like breakfast sandwiches because egg is so filling and good for you…I am definitely going to try this!

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    Kerstin — April 22, 2010 at 4:11 am

    I bet the sweet/savory combo is yummy! I’ve never made curd for a cake before but hope to soon – it sounds so delicious and versatile.

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    Elina — April 22, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    I’ve heard of this combo before and I have to say – it grosses me out and intrigues me at the same time. Maybe I’ll get the guts to try it some day. You do make it sound delicious 🙂

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    Sook — April 22, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    Oh wow, the curd looks so beautiful! The consistency looks perfect!

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    Kimberly Alexandra — April 22, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    Funny this should come up b/c I just had a ham & egg sandwich last night and I almost always have to add strawberry jam to that! Adding raspberry curd is sure to be just as good.

    🙂 Kimberly @ Poor Girl Eats Well

    PS – that curd is simply gorgeous!

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    smellslikehome — April 22, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    ooo i think i know which cake you’ll be posting soon…if it’s the one i’m thinking of, i have to say, this curd was the best filling i could imagine for that cake. this curd was just awesome (and i’m not a raspberry fan) and yours looks gorgeous!!

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    ABowlOfMush — April 22, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    Wow that is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen!

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    whisk-kid — April 23, 2010 at 4:12 am

    This certainly sounds like an interesting combination. I suppose it’s similar to a monte cristo, no? I’d love to give it a try!

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    A Cup Full of Cake — April 23, 2010 at 5:23 am

    I saw this recipe yesterday and immediately printed it. I made Vanilla raspberry cupcakes for a friend’s birthday and wanted to make them a little extra special. This curd is amazing. Its a little thinner than lemon curd but that was perfect for what I wanted. I didn’t want that thicker consistency. I will link to your blog when I post the cupcakes with pics and recipes to mine!
    Shanna
    http://acupfullofcake.blogspot.com/

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    ButterYum — April 23, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    I believe you when you say it tastes great with eggs. I’m not a ketchup fan, but I do like it on scrambled eggs – completely changes the flavor of both!

    I’m surprised your curd didn’t thicken after being chilled.

    Btw, tell you hubby that it’s true cheese and jelly seem like a strange combo, but well prepared cheese platters always include fruit selections (pears, grapes, etc) – they compliment one another beautifully.

    🙂
    ButterYum

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    NikiTheo — April 23, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    (1) Raspberry curd rocks, but I’ve never had a recipe for it, so thank you!
    (2) Berries are gerat on savory dishes! Every had a berry sauce on grilled rare venison meat? YUM!!!!
    (3) When I make over easy eggs, I always use toast covered in butter and raspberry preserves to sop up the yolk. So good!!!
    So you are in good company my dear!

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    Jen — April 23, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    I’m glad to hear I’m not the only “weirdo” that likes the jam/egg/cheese combo.

    I’m also surprised it didn’t thicken up more. Even this morning, it was still the same consistency and it’s been in the fridge since I made it.

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    doreeen sia — April 23, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    This comment has been removed by the author.

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    A Cup Full of Cake — April 28, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    Your raspberry curd recipe is amazing!! I made it and used it for some cupcakes. I credited and linked to your blog in my blog! Thanks for an awesome recipe
    Shanna
    http://acupfullofcake.blogspot.com/2010/04/vanilla-bean-cupcakes-with-raspberry.html

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    Joudie's Mood Food — August 7, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    This certainly looks addictive, and the colour is just DIVINE! Will have to try it ….. Am curioius to see what it tastes like with egg..

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    Kelly — March 17, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    I don’t know if I’m brave enough to try this one on an egg sandwich, but I did pin it 🙂

    • beantownbaker — March 18th, 2013 @ 8:18 am

      Thanks for the pin! I hope you try it some time.

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    Courtney — March 29, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    Jen, are the amounts above written the way that you made it (doubled)? Can’t wait to try it!

    • beantownbaker — April 1st, 2013 @ 8:36 am

      I’ve never doubled this recipe before, but I don’t see why you couldn’t. Let me know how it works out for you.

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    Nicole — May 10, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    I have been searching for a recipe just like this for a cake filling! Thank you so much 🙂

    • beantownbaker — May 12th, 2014 @ 4:55 pm

      Glad to help! I hope you enjoy it 🙂

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    Stacey — May 19, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    Is it possible to make this without the added sugar? I’m trying to find recipes that are good for a cancer diet. Thanks

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