Although the past year has been a crazy one, I managed to stay motivated and largely on task for most of it however, things have seemed to change just within the past month. Lately, I’ve just been over it all. I’ve lost focus. I’m having a hard time staying motivated and I haven’t cooked in weeks. I hate feeling like I am being unproductive and wasting time (I mean when are we ever going to have this much down time again?!!?), so I am getting myself together and getting back on it. I’m determined to start cooking again and to get back into my routine.
My first day back in the kitchen was this past weekend and honestly it was so relaxing and enjoyable. Besides the fact that I love making things that look and taste good, I think I love cooking so much because I get to use my hands. It’s something so satisfying and gratifying about rolling out dough or mixing up a sauce. You literally feel like you are creating something from nothing (I mean, technically you are). This past weekend’s creation was this perfectly balanced, Spiced Cranberry Tart. I got the idea for this from, The Great British Bake Off. While I haven’t been cooking much, I have been watching copious of “Bake Off”. Recently, I’ve been watching the Masterclass Series and I am more motivated than ever to bake. Of course they make everything look so simple and easy so I decided to try my hand a few of the recipes. This one is a variation of a tart Mary Berry made.
For this, Spiced Cranberry Tart, I made a simple tart shell, filled it with diplomat cream, topped it with the spiced cranberry sauce and garnished it with sugared and fresh cranberries. This was one of the best desserts that I have ever made. It wasn’t too sweet or tart and it really was the perfect festive dessert for the season. This would be perfect to make for either Thanksgiving or Christmas.
Check out the recipe for this tart below and if you are struggling like me to stay motivated, let me know how you are dealing with that. What tips and strategies are you using. And if you are just getting back in the kitchen share what your first recipe will be. I’d love to hear!
Spiced Cranberry Sauce
1. 4 cups whole cranberries
2. 1/3 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
3. 1 cup pineapple juice
4. 1/2 cup granulated sugar
5. 1/8 cup light brown sugar
6. 1 tea. nutmeg
7. 2 cloves (whole)
8. 1/4 tea cinnamon
9. 2 envelopes of unflavored gelatin
1. 1 cup heavy whipping cream
2. 1 cups whole milk
3. 4 egg yolks
4. 1/3 cup sugar
5. 1/8 cup cornstarch
6. 1/2 envelope of gelatin
7. 1 tea. vanilla
1. 1 1/4 cup flour
2. 1/2 cup powdered sugar
3. 1/4 tea salt
4. 1 stick butter (unsalted)
5. 1 egg
6. 1/2 tea vanilla extract
7. 1/4 tea almond extract (optional)
8. 1-2 table. cold water
1. Sift together flour, powdered sugar and salt
2. Grate in butter (the butter should be cold or nearly frozen)
3. Using a spoon or a pastry cutter, mix the flour and butter until the consistency of the mixture resembles sand.
4. Beat together the egg and vanilla (and almond extract if using) and add to flour mixture.
5. Combine. If the mixture is too dry, gradually add in water 1/2 teaspoon at at time just until a dough forms.
6. Rolls the dough into a disc. between clear wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
7. After dough has been chilled, remove from refrigerator and roll out.
8. Gently lay dough into the tart pan.
9. Trim the edges, dock the dough and return to the refrigerator to chill for 20 minutes
10. While the dough is chilling for the second time, pre-heat the oven to 350.
11. Once dough has been chilled. blind bake the tart shell for 15-20 minutes or until done.
12. Cool to room temp. While the shell is cooling, make the diplomat cream and cranberry sauce
Spiced Cranberry Sauce
1. In a medium pot heat combine all ingredients except for the gelatin and 1/3 cup pineapple juice . Cook for 20 minutes until mixture has thickened.
2. Remove cloves and transfer mixture to a blender. Blend until smooth.
3. Return mixture to the pot.
4. In a small bowl mix 1/3 cup of cold pineapple juice and gelatin. To mix gradually sprinkle gelatin over the juice while constantly and vigorously whisking. Whisk until there are no large lumps in the mixture.
6. Pour the pineapple and gelatin mixture into the pureed cranberry sauce. Whisk until combined.
7. Cover and chill until ready to use. Don’t worry is the mixture congeals, you can easily warm it and return it to its liquid state.
1. Gently heat milk and vanilla over medium low heat until hot. Do not scald or bring to a boil.
2. While milk mixture is heating beat egg yolks and sugar in a stand mixer until mixture is a pale yellow.
3. Beat in the cornstarch and gelatin
3.Temper the milk into the egg mixture. To temper, while the mixture is a medium speed, slowly drizzle in 1/3 of the milk mixture. Once fully incorporated add in another 1/3 of the milk mixture. Once that has been fully incorporate add in the remaining 1/3 mixture. Once all combined pour the mixture back into the pot and return to medium heat.
4. Over medium heat continuously whisk the mixture until it begins to thicken. The mixture may thicken unevenly so whisk vigorously and constantly.
5. Once the mixture has thickened (when holding up the whisk the mixture should fall back into the pot in thick ribbons) transfer to a bowl and refrigerate for 1 hour.
6. While the cream is cooling, while the whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate until ready to fold into cream . You may add in powdered sugar and/or vanilla if you wish. I did not add anything to my whipped cream.
7. After one hour gently fold the whipped cream until the cream mixture. You may not use all of the whipped cream. Incorporate just enough whipped cream to create a balanced mixture. I used about 1/3 of the whipped cream.
1. Once the tart shell has completely cooled, spoon the diplomate cream into the shell and refrigerate until set.
2. Once tart had cooled. Pour the spiced cranberry sauce over the diplomate cream and return it to the refrigerator until set. Do not pour warm cranberry sauce over the cream. Do not worry if the cranberry sauce has congealed. Simply sit the bowl in a larger bowl of hot water. The cranberry sauce will begin to soften and return to its liquid state. You can also reheat the sauce on the stove for a few minutes until the mixture has liquified.
3. Garnish with cranberries and additional fruit if desired.