This French style fruit tart stars tart cranberries & a nutty almond frangipane nestled in a buttery pastry shell & topped with sugared cranberries & honeyed pistachios. This elegant, yet easy dessert is sure to impress at your next party.
Well, it’s been far too long since we last got together, hasn’t it? What can I say. . . other than life continues to throw twists and turns my way, making it extremely challenging to keep up with this little space.
That’s not to say I’ve forgotten about you. As a matter of fact, I have a baking list a mile long and I get all school girl giddy just thinking about sharing each and every one of these tasty creations with you. But just as I start firing up the mixer and flouring the cake pans, something far less exciting causes my whisks and spatulas to come to a screeching halt.
First, I unwillingly became cold & flu season’s latest victim. I really tried to shake it, but with each bit of energy I mustered up to fight it, it’s germ-y, little claws seemed to take an even firmer grip on me. And just when I thought I would slay it for good, bronchitis crept in for its yearly visit. So there I was, down for the count yet again. Fortunately, after some hard core rest and relaxation, loads of puffs on an inhaler, and a round of steroids, I’m back to fighting. . .er. . .baking form.
On top of all the fever, coughs and fatigue, the Mr. and I continued our search for a home that we could call our very own. Personally, I feel like I have long overstayed my welcome at the apartment that was only supposed to be a temporary resting point for us. But with the Mr. being in China, it just didn’t seem feasible to move.
I’m happy to report that he is now based back in Boston…which means no more excuses. We need to butter ourselves up and squeeze our way out of this little apartment and find a place that will accommodate my mounds and mounds of dreamy pots, pans, & candy molds. A space adequate enough to comfortably bake the day away.
If you’ve been following The Road to Honey on Instagram stories, you know that there is a bit of urgency behind this endeavor as there is some hardcore construction swallowing up both sides of our current apartment.
If you haven’t seen my Instagram stories, let me help you understand the situation a little bit better. . .
So imagine this. . . you’re laying all snuggly and warm in your bed dreaming about puppy dogs and butterflies. You’re gently awoken out of your slumber by the sweet, intoxicating serenade of spring’s song birds. Sounds beautiful, doesn’t it?
Well, that is NOT my reality. Instead, I’m jolted out of my sleep by the grating sounds of thump, thump, thump as monstrous and scary construction equipment pounds poles that seem to be a mile long inch by inch into bedrock. Each smash brings pulsating tremors that violently shake all the cherished pottery in my china cabinet. The wine thrashes fiercely in the bottles and I can’t help but fear that the cork will be sent spontaneously sailing through the air. Surely these manmade earthquakes would measure a 10 on the richter scale. And with all this shaking and rattling. . . well you can forget about taking photographs. That is unless fuzzy photographs are au courant.
So with a sense of urgency, the Mr and I did put a contract on a penthouse with loads of windows and sweeping views of the Boston skyline from it’s large, beckoning roof top deck. But before you start tossing out big, juicy congratulations you should know that house numero dos (ah. . .remember the church?) was not what destiny had in store for us. No siree! The home inspection uncovered something that could potentially result in financial ruin if an accident were to occur. While it wasn’t on the unit we had the contract on, it could impact the homeowners association, which would have included us. So, the Mr. and I tightly laced up our black Nike sneakers and went running for the hills.
What can I say, the home buying situation in Boston is no bueno. But rest assured, this Cranberry Tart with Almond Frangipane is definitely muy bueno and has all the comforts of home.
This Cranberry Tart with Almond Frangipane starts off with a buttery crust that is gently pressed into the tart pan. That’s right, no need to mess with chilling and rolling out pie dough. What could be easier and more tasty than that?
It’s then filled with a nutty almond frangipane. For those of you who don’t know, frangipane is a filling that is prepared from or flavored with almonds. It’s normally made with butter, sugar, eggs and ground almonds. But to keep things simple I used almond paste which can be readily found in the baking aisle in most grocery stores.
Sugar coated cranberries are perched on top of the frangipane like little alert soldiers. For those of you who have difficulties finding cranberries, I think blueberries would make an equally tasty substitute. Whether you use cranberries or blueberries, you will want to avoid pressing them into the frangipane given it will rise during baking and completely engulf the berries.
To give this Cranberry Tart with Almond Frangipane a little more pizazz, I topped it with sugared cranberries and honeyed pistachios. Both are tasty on their own right and would make for a delicious compliment to yogurt, ice cream, or even your morning bowl of oatmeal.
Well that’s it for now. I’ll keep you posted on how house hunt-apoolza goes.
XOXO – Lynn
P.S. I’m sad to see you go. But, if you must, I would love for you to take a few more seconds & join our little Road to Honey family. It’s really simple. Just enter your email address in the box in the upper right hand corner on this site. This will guarantee that you are first to see any new posts from the Road to Honey. And you can be confident that I will never, ever, not in a million years share your e-mail with anyone else – pinky swear.
- 3/4 cup + 1 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/8 tsp kosher salt
- 1 vanilla bean (seeds)
- 3/4 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
- 3 tbsp granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp (6.5 ounces) almond paste
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup (8 oz) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp finely grated orange zest
- 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- confectioners sugar, for dusting (optional)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 6 ounces (about 1 1/2 cups) fresh cranberries
Beat the butter, sugar & vanilla beans on medium in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light & fluffy.
Scrape down the bowl, then beat in the egg yolks.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour & salt.
On low speed, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture & mix until just incorporated.
Press the dough evenly into an 11 inch fluted tart pan. You want an 1⁄8-inch thick layer.
Trim off any extra dough.
Prick the dough with a fork every 2 inches.
Place the tart pan onto a baking sheet & freeze for 30 minutes or until firm.
Meanwhile, set a rack in the top third of the oven & preheat to 350° F.
Mix the cranberries with the sugar. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the sugar, almond paste, & 1 egg on medium speed until blended.
Add the butter, vanilla, zest, & cinnamon and beat until smooth.
Scrape down the bowl, then beat in the remaining eggs.
In a separate bowl, briefly whisk the flour, baking powder, & salt together.
Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture & beat on low speed just until absorbed. Note: You can transfer the frangipane to an airtight container & refrigerate for up to 2 days.
Place 1/4 sugar & 1/4 cup water in a shallow pan over medium heat. While stirring, heat the mixture until it starts to simmer but does not boil. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
Place the cranberries in the sugar water & stir until they are well coated.
Using a slotted spoon, place the cranberries on a wire rack.
Use a fork or skewer to separate the cranberries as much as possible to keep them from sticking together.
Allow the cranberries to dry for an hour. They should be glossy & feel sticky.
Place granulated sugar in a shallow pan or bowl.
Working in small batches, pat cranberries in the sugar until they are thoroughly coated.
Transfer coated cranberries to a piece of wax paper & allow them to dry for an additional hour.
Retrieve the baking sheet, the tart pan & the frangipane.
Pour the frangipane into the tart crust.
Using an offset spatula, spread the frangipane so that it fills the tart shell all the way to the edges. Alternatively, you could place the frangapine into a bag fitted with a piping tip & pipe it into a spiral starting from the center & circling around to the edges of the tart.
Individually place the cranberries, long side facing up, on the surface of the frangipane in a pattern you like. Be sure to leave space in between each cranberry. Don't push the cranberries into the frangipane as it will rise around them during baking. Discard any excess sugar or juices from the bowl.
Bake until the top of the tart is golden, about 40 minutes. The tart will be slightly jiggly in the center when it is removed from the oven; however, it will set up as it cools.
Allow the tart to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then carefully transfer the tart pan to a rack & allow it to cool completely.
In a small bowl, mix together the pistachios & the honey using your fingers.
Just before slicing, unmold the tart & dust with confectioners' sugar (if desired).
Top the tart with the sugared cranberries & the honeyed pistachios.
Note: You can transfer the frangipane to an airtight container & refrigerate for up to 2 days.