Sunday, October 31, 2010

Apple-Cranberry Spiced Tart

2 Granny Smith apples
1½ C dried cranberries
1 C chopped dates
½ C dry white wine (or apple juice)
¼ C honey
¼ tsp ground allspice
¾ tsp ground cloves
1 C butter, room temperature
1 C brown sugar
2 egg yolks
2 Tbls molasses
2½ C flour
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp salt
raw sugar

Peel, core and dice apples.

In a 2-3 quart pan over medium heat, combine apples, cranberries, dates, wine, honey, allspice, ¼ teaspoon cloves and ¼ cup water. Stir often until apples are soft and liquid has evaporated (10-12 minutes).

In a bowl, beat butter and brown sugar until well blended. Add egg yolks and molasses; beat until well combined. Add flour, ginger, cinnamon, salt and remaining ½ teaspoon cloves. Mix until incorporated into a stiff dough.

Roll one third of the dough out ¼ inch thick. Use cookie cutters to cut into festive shapes. Divide remaining dough into six pieces to make six 4" tartlets, or in half to make two 8-9" tarts. Press dough over bottom and up sides of tart pans. (I used a springform pan -- I have only the one small tart pan. I'm sure a simple cake pan would work too, though it isn't as impressive for serving.)

Spoon fruit mixture into tart shells, spreading level. Top each tart with festive cookie shapes. Sprinkle with raw sugar. Set tartlets on a baking sheet.

Bake at 400° until pastry is lightly browned (20-25 minutes for tartlets, about 30 minutes for larger tarts - longer if it's thicker!). Cool 1 hour; remove pan rims.

Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

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