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Cranberry, caramel and almond tart

Cranberry, caramel and almond tart
Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times

MAURY RUBIN knows crust. If you've had the lemon tart at City Bakery in Brentwood, you might describe his crust as almost ethereal, so buttery and rich, crisp yet tender. If only he would show you how to make it.... ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour, plus 2 1/2 hours chilling and cooling time | Serves 10 to 12

Standard tart dough

  • 13 tablespoons (1 stick plus 5 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream

Step 1Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Let the butter sit at room temperature for 15 minutes, until malleable.

Step 2Place the powdered sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer or a large free-standing bowl. Add the pieces of butter and toss to coat. Using a paddle attachment with a standing mixer, combine the sugar and butter at medium speed, until the sugar is no longer visible.

Step 3Add the egg yolk and combine until no longer visible.

Step 4Scrape down the butter off the sides of the bowl. Add half of the flour, then begin mixing again until the dough is crumbly. Add the remaining flour and then the cream and mix until the dough forms a somewhat sticky mass.

Step 5Flatten the dough into a thick pancake, wrap it in plastic and refrigerate at least 2 hours before preparing to roll out the dough.

Step 6Lightly butter a 9-inch pastry ring or fluted tart pan and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a nonstick Silpat pad.

Step 7Once the dough has thoroughly chilled, cut it in half, then cut each piece in half lengthwise. Rotate the dough 90 degrees and repeat, until you have 16 equal pieces. Sprinkle your work surface with a thin layer of flour. Knead the pieces of dough together until it forms one new mass and shape it into a flattened ball. Flour a rolling pin and sprinkle flour again on the work surface underneath the dough. Roll out the dough into a circle one-eighth-inch thick.

Step 8Dock the dough with a pastry docker or prick the dough all over with a fork. Transfer the dough into the ring or tart pan by rolling about a third of it around your rolling pin, lifting it and placing it into the ring. Gently pat the dough onto the bottom and up the sides of the ring. Trim the edges so that they are flush with the top. Put the baking sheet with the ring into the freezer for one hour. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature before filling.

Filling and assembly

  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into eight pieces
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup frozen cranberries
  • 2 cups unblanched sliced almonds

Step 1Measure the cream and butter into a saucepan and heat it over low heat. When the butter has melted completely, turn off the heat.

Step 2To make the caramel, spread the sugar evenly in a perfectly dry 10-inch deep nonstick skillet and place it over medium-low heat.

Step 3The sugar should turn straw-colored, then gold and then a nutty-brown caramel after about 10 minutes. Slowly whisk the cream and butter into the sugar. Be extremely careful about the sugar, which can splatter as the cream is added (long sleeves are a good precaution). Strain the caramel into a bowl and cool it for 30 minutes.

Step 4Stir the frozen cranberries and the almonds into the caramel and mix until all the fruit and nuts are coated. Spoon the filling into the partially baked tart dough mounding toward the center.

Step 5Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until juices and the caramel are bubbling slowly around the edges. Remove from the oven and let stand for one hour, then gently lift the tart ring off the pastry.

Step 6Carefully transfer the tart to a serving platter. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Note: From Maury Rubin, chef-owner of City Bakery. You can use your hands to mix the dough instead of a mixer. You will need a 9-inch tart ring or fluted tart pan.


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