For Thanksgiving 2014, I made four desserts that I never made before. I posted the pics on FB and here are the tweaked recipes, as I tend to not follow the original exactly. This tart was the favorite by most of the crowd. It does have a lot of sugar in it, but the tart cranberries keep it from being overly sweet.
Crust and Crumb topping:
2 cups crushed cinnamon graham crackers (about 14 whole crackers), divided
½ cup sugar, divided
6 Tbls. butter, melted
¼ cup flour
¼ cup brown sugar, packed
¼ cup cold butter, cubed
1 large naval orange
1 cup sugar
3 Tbls. quick-cooking tapioca
¼ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. allspice
4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, thawed
2 Tbls. Grand Marnier
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Crust: In small bowl, mix 1 ¾ cups crushed graham crackers and ¼ cup sugar; stir in melted butter. Press onto bottom and up sides of an ungreased 11-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Bake 7-8 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack. Turn oven temperature up to 400 degrees.
Topping: Mix flour, brown sugar, remaining ¼ cup crushed graham crackers and ¼ cup sugar. Cut cold butter into the mixture until crumbly. Refrigerate while preparing filling.
Filling: In large saucepan, mix sugar, tapioca, baking soda, cinnamon and allspice. Add rinsed cranberries and toss. Zest and juice orange, add to cranberry mixture along with Grand Marnier. Cook on medium-high until mixture boils and cranberries pop, stir constantly to help dissolve sugar, about 3-5 minutes.
Pour filling into cooled crust. Sprinkle with topping. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until topping is golden brown. Cool on wire rack.
Tips & Tricks:
· Fold a piece of aluminum foil in half and place under tart pan. Press the edges to the sides of the pan, but don’t fold over the top edge. This helps in two ways, 1) it keeps you from popping the tart crust out of the pan while taking it in and out of the oven, 2) it catches the excess butter that will inevitably leak through the tart pan’s rim, preventing grease from burning in the bottom of the oven. . . don’t even ask me how I know this . . .
· Even if you have some excess crust mixture, restrain your urge to add it to the topping. See note on above tip. Don’t ask questions and I won’t have to explain my stupid mistakes . . .
· If you don’t have Grand Marnier, you can use brandy, cranberry juice, or any other orange flavored liquor.
· The original recipe called for the oven to be turned up to 425 degrees, but that was when I managed to set the smoke alarms off, okay, not really, but I did smoke out the kitchen and had a grease mess to clean up in the oven. Try the lower temperature, since you aren’t ‘cooking’ the tart as much as browning the topping.