Pie of the Week: Cranberry Apple Nut Tart
This tart represents my philosophy for starting fresh in the New Year: it's all about quality and moderation. Made from good ingredients that are in season (not to mention vitamins, although let's face it, this is still dessert), this tart is small, but mighty. A little sliver, with its delightful combination of tart apples and cranberries with sweet and mellow frangipane, will satisfy your sweet tooth without overdoing it.
Baking a tart with raw apples exposed can be a risky proposition, but blanching the apple slices prior to arranging them over the top of the tart will prevent them from becoming leathery and dried out. Tucking the cranberries into the frangipane helps them stay moist, allowing them to simmer until they pop with tart juice. I think that you'll find that frangipane works just as well with apples as it does with pears, a bold alternative for sensible folks who want to have a little tart to start the year off right.
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About the author: Lauren Weisenthal has logged many hours working in restaurant kitchens and bakeries of Brooklyn and Manhattan. She is a graduate of the Artisan Bread Baking and Pastry Arts programs at the French Culinary Institute and holds a CS certification from the Court of Master Sommeliers. You can follow her on Twitter at @evillagekitchen.