Cranberry Tart

Makes one 11" tart 


For the dough:

1-1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1-1/2 sticks of butter (3/4 cup or 12 tablespoons), cut into slices
3 drops almond extract
3 drops vanilla extract
2-1/2 tablespoons ice water

For the cheese filling:

16 ounces mascarpone cheese (or cream cheese) room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon orange zest

For the cranberry topping:

1 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons orange juice
1-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon grated orange zest


For the tart dough: Put the flour and sugar in a food processor. Process til blended. Add the butter in slices and process. Add the extracts and just enough water that it gathers up into a ball when you process it.  Flatten the dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap with a little flour to prevent sticking and chill for at least 30 minutes or until you are ready to use it. Then take it out and let it sit at room temperature for about 5- 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Roll the dough out into an 11-inch tart pan.  This dough does not roll out easily like a pie dough - it is easier to press it into the tart pan.  Press it evenly over the bottom and up the sides and then prick the bottom with a fork.  Bake for about 15 minutes. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes before filling.

For the cheese filling:  Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Beat all ingredients in a mixer until smooth.   Pour into tart shell. Bake for 25 minutes.  Remove and allow to cool completely before adding topping.

For the cranberry topping: Boil first 5 ingredients in a saucepan until sugar melts.  Simmer for about 5 minutes.  The cranberries will start to burst.  Remove from heat and stir in orange zest.  Let cool completely. Pour onto top of cooled tart and spread evenly over top. 

The Italian Dish