Cranberry and Caramel Walnut Tart

8 servings

For the Tart Dough

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup powdered sugar

9 tablespoons (4 1/2 oz) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 extra large egg

For the Filling

1 cup granulated sugar

2 Tbsp water

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

pinch of kosher salt

1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries

1 cup walnuts, toasted (350º for 10 minutes) and roughly chopped

For the Tart Dough:

In the bowl of a food processor, add the flour, sugar, and salt.  Pulse until combined.  Scatter the butter pieces over the flour.   Process in short bursts until the butter is the size of peas.  Add the egg and process in long pulses, about 5-7 seconds until the dough has started to clump.  Place a piece of plastic wrap on the counter and dump the dough onto the surface.  Using the plastic wrap and the back of your hands, gently press the dough into a disk.  Wrap tightly with the plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.

Preheat the oven to 375º.  Remove the dough from the refrigerator.  If refrigerated overnight, let it rest at room temperature for 10 minutes.  On a  lightly floured work surface roll the dough out into a 12-inch circle, flouring the dough and surface as necessary to keep the dough from sticking.  Roll up the dough around the rolling pin and gently unroll it over an 9 1/2-inch tart pan with a removable bottom.  Fit the dough into the edge of the pan.  Roll the rolling pin over the top of the pan to remove the excess dough (let the kids practice their baking skills with the scraps).  Place the tart onto a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or place in the freezer for 15 minutes. 

Line the tart with aluminum foil and fill with dried beans or pie weights.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Remove the weights and foil and bake for another 3-5 minutes.  Place on a rack to cool completely.  Reduce the oven temperature to 325º.

For the Filling:

In a heavy-bottom saucepan, stir together the sugar and water.  Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat.  Tilting and swirling the pan so the sugar melts evenly.  Do not stir or the sugar will recrystallize.  Cook until the sugar dissovles and the syrup begins to turn golden.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue cooking until the syrup is a golden amber,  about 6-8 minutes.  Watch carefully to avoid burning the syrup.  Remove from the heat and very slowly pour in the cream.  The mixture will bubble up vigorously.  When the bubbling stops, return the pan to a low heat and stir well with a whisk to dissolve any caramel clumps.  Remove from the heat.  Stir in the vanilla and salt.  Add the cranberries and walnuts and stir to combine.  Pour the mixture into the cooled tart shell and bake the tart until the cranberries have popped and the mixture is bubbling, about 25-30 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool.  Remove the sides of the tart pan and slide the tart on to a serving plate.  Serve at room temperature with a dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream.  Enjoy!

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