Cranberry Curd Tart

And just in time for Thanksgiving!  This tart has the slightest bite, the twang from the cranberries pairing beautifully (both literally, as you can see, as well as figuratively) with the nutty, crumbled crust.

This adapted version is gluten free and without any refined sugar.  Woo hoo!

Though its a slightly time consuming one to make, the end result is gorgeous, as well as divinely delicious.  In fact, one of the best desserts I’ve ever had the pleasure of sampling, and its made by none other than Master Chef Maxx.  Yes, this is his recipe :-).

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Here I am with the celebrity chef in question ;-).  Lucky me.

We were having a baking battle (aka cooking competition) in the kitchen.  The contest?  Who could bake the best sweet treat, though minus the sweet (meaning, no sugar.  The only sweeteners permitted were honey or maple syrup).

Maxx won!  The results, for your sampling pleasure below.

For the hazelnut crust:
1 ¼ cups/180 grams raw hazelnuts
1 cup/125 grams rice flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1/4 cup maple syrup
6 tablespoons/100 grams softened butter, more as necessary
For the cranberry curd:
12 ounces/340 grams cranberries
1 cup of honey
Juice and peel (orange part only) of 1 orange
4 ounces/113 grams softened butter (1 stick)
2 eggs plus 2 egg yolks

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  1. Make the crust: Heat oven to 325 degrees. Put hazelnuts on a baking sheet and roast for 10 to 15 minutes, until skins darken and crack. Put roasted nuts in a clean towel and rub off skins. Discard skins and let nuts cool.
  2. In a food processor, grind nuts with half the rice flour until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Add remaining rice flour and salt and pulse briefly.
  3. Cream maple syrup and butter in a mixing bowl with a wooden spoon for a minute or two until pale and thick. Add nut mixture and combine until dough comes together. If it seems crumbly, add 1 to 2 tablespoons softened butter or a little cold water.  Keep in mind, the texture of this crust will be slightly different than a usual crust, as we omitted the sugar from this recipe.  I can assure you though that its still superbly delish.
  4. Press dough evenly into a 10-inch French tart pan; use half the dough for the sides and half for the bottom. Prick bottom with a fork and freeze for 30 minutes (or several days if desired).  Heat oven to 350 degrees. Bake chilled tart shell about 15 minutes until lightly brown. Cool.
  5. Make the cranberry curd: Put cranberries, honey, and orange juice and peel in a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer until cranberries have popped and softened, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a food mill or medium mesh sieve and press cooking liquid into a bowl. Whisk the butter into the warm liquid.
  6. Put eggs and egg yolks into a bowl and beat lightly. Slowly whisk a cup of warm cranberry liquid into the eggs to temper, then combine both and whisk together. Wipe out pot if necessary, return liquid to pot and cook over low heat until nearly bubbling and thickened, about 10 minutes. If using immediately, let cool to room temperature. If working ahead, cool to room temperature, cover with plastic wrap (press wrap against curd) and refrigerate. (Curd may be cooked up to 1 day ahead.)
  7. Pour cooled cranberry curd into the cooled prebaked tart shell and smooth top with a spatula. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes to set curd. Cool on a rack. Store at room temperature for up to 2 days.

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