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Delicious Festive Dessert

Cranberries are such a beautiful berry, so why use them only once a year for cranberry sauce? A gorgeous cranberry dessert makes for a showstopping finish to a fall dinner. This layered tart has a crisp cookie crust and luscious creamy filling. A cream cheese mixture subtly flavored with the egg nog spices is sandwiched between two sheets of sweet cranberry jam. Make this dessert the night before to ensure enough time to chill. To get the decadent recipe,

Cranberry Eggnog Tart
From Gourmet magazine

For cookie crust
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg
For filling
1 1/2 (8-oz) packages cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons crème fraîche or heavy cream
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 whole large eggs
2 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons bourbon
1 teaspoon vanilla
Scant 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Scant 1/4 teaspoon salt
Cranberry jam, recipe follows
1/4 cup water

  1. Make crust: pulse together all crust ingredients in a food processor just until a dough forms. Press dough evenly onto bottom and up side of quiche pan with floured fingers. Chill shell until firm, about 30 minutes.
  2. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.
  3. Line shell with foil and fill with pie weights, then bake until edge is pale golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Carefully remove foil and pie weights and bake shell until edge is golden and bottom is pale golden, 15 to 20 minutes more. Cool completely in pan on a rack.
  4. Reduce oven temperature to 300°F.
  5. Make filling: blend cream cheese, crème fraîche, and sugar in cleaned food processor until creamy, about 1 minute. Add whole eggs, yolks, bourbon, vanilla, nutmeg, and salt and process until smooth.
  6. Melt jam with water in a small heavy saucepan over moderately low heat, stirring until smooth. Spread half of jam evenly over bottom of shell(reserving remaining jam in saucepan). Let layer of jam stand until set, about 5 minutes, then gently pour cream cheese mixture over it.
  7. Bake tart: cover edge of tart shell with pie shield or foil and bake until filling is set but still trembles slightly in center, 35 to 40 minutes (filling will continue to set as it cools).
  8. Cool tart completely in pan on a rack. Reheat remaining jam over low heat, stirring, until pourable, then pour over filling and spread evenly with offset spatula. Chill tart, uncovered, until cold, at least 2 hours.
  9. Just before serving, remove side of pan.

Serves 8-10.

Make Ahead: Tart shell can be baked 3 days ahead and cooled completely, then kept in pan, wrapped in plastic wrap, at cool room temperature. The entire tart can be chilled up to 2 days (cover after 2 hours).

Cranberry Jam

1 (12-oz) bag fresh or frozen cranberries (not thawed; 3 1/2 cups)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1 cup water

  1. Bring all ingredients to a boil in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 20 minutes (jam will continue to thicken as it cools).
  2. Force jam through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, discarding skins and seeds. Cool, stirring occasionally.

Make Ahead: Jam can be made 4 days ahead and chilled, covered.

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