Friday, November 23, 2007

Cranberry Eggnog Tart

As the baker in the family, I'm always responsible for bringing bread/rolls and dessert for Thanksgiving dinner. I didn't have much trouble figuring out the rolls -- the "butter dipped rolls" from the Bread Bible. This dough took forever to rise, so there's a possibility that I need to freshen up my yeast supply. The finished rolls were very dense and buttery... I was reminded a lot of crescent rolls, both in flavor and texture.

A dessert choice took a little while to hit me. Most "traditional" Thanksgiving desserts are things that at least one person in my family won't eat or (in my case) is allergic to. I've relied on cakes for the last few years, since they transport well. For whatever reason, I couldn't find a cake recipe that I really wanted to make this year.

I turned to Epicurious, like I usually do when I'm in any kind of food quandary. They had picture slideshows of Thanksgiving recipes, including one of "Thanksgiving Pies and Tarts". Most of the recipes fell into the "Only one person would actually eat that" category or the "That has nuts and would make me puffy and unpleasant" category. And then I saw the Cranberry Eggnog Tart. Cookie crust on the bottom, thin layer of cranberry jam, cheesecake layer flavored like eggnog, and another layer of jam on top. The crust and the cheesecake are done in the food processor, and the jam is a basic stovetop cranberry sauce put through a strainer. Easy prep, don't need to use every bowl in the kitchen to make it... perfect.

Cranberry Eggnog Tart, pre-cranberry

My lone problem was that the cranberry "jam" never became anything thicker than a syrup. Maybe my cranberries weren't ripe enough, maybe I didn't force enough of the solids through the strainer; regardless, it would have been impossible to use it for layers in the tart. However, it was a lovely consistency for a dessert sauce, so... problem solved.

Cranberry Eggnog Tart

This was my first time making a cheesecake, and I really liked the "no water bath" aspect of it; it's thin enough that you don't need to bother. It also seems like getting a store-bought jam (cranberry or otherwise) would work nicely in place of the from-scratch cranberry jam. Heck, maybe even a thin layer of lemon curd spread over the top.

This will probably be a strong contender for next year's Thanksgiving dessert as well.

1 comment:

Javajem said...

Wow - looks yummy!