Fall Flavors: Cranberry and Orange Tarts

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Cranberries are so flavorful and fun, it’s a shame to relegate them to a supporting role on the holiday table. These festive tarts from Pastry Chef Lucia Davila Champeaux of Tapa Toro deserve a star turn at your next feast.

Yields six 5-inch tarts

For the tart shells

6 ½ ounces butter

4 ounces powdered (10x) sugar

1/3 tsp coarse salt

3/4 tsp lemon zest

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 large egg, beaten

12 ounces pastry flour, sifted

In a mixing bowl, combine butter, powdered sugar and salt. Mix on low speed, scraping the sides of the mixing bowl every couple of seconds. Add the vanilla.

Add in ⅓of the beaten egg and bring speed up to medium. Add the remaining egg in two stages at high speed. Mix until incorporated well, lower to slow.

Add the flour in four stages until evenly incorporated, making sure to scrape the sides.

Wrap dough in plastic wrap and form into a disk. Refrigerate for one hour.

Form dough into 5-inch round tart shells by hand, or by using an oven-safe ramekin large enough to accommodate, making sure to mold sides at about one inch deep (similar to a pizza crust).

Bake at 300 degrees, checking every 6-10 minutes or until shell is golden brown, semi-sturdy, and dry. Allow to cool.

For the cranberry filling 

3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, pitted

1 cup sugar

Zest of one whole orange

Juice of one whole orange

2 ounces corn starch

In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir together the cranberries, sugar and orange zest. Cook until reduced to a syrupy consistency. In a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice and cornstarch to make a slurry. Add slurry to cranberry sauce and stir until it thickens lightly (should have the consistency of jam). Allow to cool.

In a small saucepan warm up the cranberries, sugar, and orange zest. Reduce to syrup consistency.

Combine the juice of 1 orange and cornstarch to make a slurry. Add slurry to cranberry sauce and stir until it thickens lightly (should have the consistency of jam). Allow to cool.

For the Chantilly cream

2 cups heavy cream, cold

3 ½ ounces powdered (10x) sugar

Pour heavy cream into a chilled mixing bowl. Using the whisk attachment, whip at high speed until soft peaks form.Add the powdered sugar, and whip until stiff peaks form.

To assemble

Fill tart shells ¾ of the way up with the cranberry jam and allow to set. Garnish each tart with Chantilly cream and a sprinkle of powdered sugar. Optional garnish could include candied walnut halves and a sprig of mint.

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