I'm posting along with the Baking Bible Alpha Bakers this week, at least if I get this post done tonight. The week's recipe is a "tart tart"--two mouth-puckering ingredients (lemon and cranberries) together in a tart, baked in a cookie crust made with almonds. I baked this for the actual Christmas Day supper, though we postponed the stockings-and-presents bit until my sister-in-law could be with us. (That turned out to be yesterday, January 3.)
With lots of other holiday sweets around and a small crowd, I made a half recipe, using a 6" tart pan. The dough for the tart shell was pretty well behaved although it softens fast...aided by the unseasonable Christmas temps of mid-to-high 70's (F). The half-shaped shell made several trips into the fridge to firm back up, as it seemed likely to slump into the bottom of the tart pan after only a bit of handling to shape the crust. I overbaked it a bit in the stage with the pie weights in, as I was simultaneously making cranberry-pecan Christmas bread and white bean, pancetta, and kale pot pies. By the time I checked on the par-baking crust, the bottom had browned even with the weights in and I declared it done without further baking.
Then I turned to the filling, which is lemon curd with dollops of a cranberry sauce. With my half recipe, I needed to end up with about 3 tablespoons of cranberry sauce, and I didn't want to start from scratch for that small an amount. In my freezer, though, was the leftovers of the family favorite cranberry relish from Thanksgiving, an uncooked mixture of fresh cranberries, whole orange, whole lemon (both peel and all), apple, ground together and mixed with sugar and raspberry jam. I took about 1/3 cup, microwaved for a minute or two stirring every 30 seconds, and let it cool. Later I added a bit of hot water since the mixture got a bit thick.
On to the lemon curd, and again I'm afraid I ducked some of the effort. Instead of 4-6 egg yolks for a very rich curd, I used 1 whole egg, 1 yolk, and filled the rest of the weight with a bit more white. The curd set up nicely, aided by the optional gelatin added to make the tart a bit firmer. To assemble the tart, half of that hot lemon curd went into the baked tart shell, then dollops of the cranberry sauce, a swipe of an offset spatula to spread it a bit, then the rest of the curd. The whole thing baked about 15 minutes to reach the target temperature of 160 F.
As I mentioned, this was our Christmas Day dessert, but for an informal meal of roasted butternut squash soup, some fancy French onion puffs, challah, and the tart. Consensus was that the tart was fine, but not outstanding--no one found it really great, and no one asked for more than the small pieces I'd cut, maybe half of a normal serving. Maybe my less-rich lemon curd was the culprit.