I can hardly describe what a relief it is to finally feel an oh-so-slight chill in the air when you live in Fort Lauderdale. We’ve been regularly having temperatures above 80 degrees, but yesterday that hint of coolness finally crept into the air. Of course, Mike and I still went to the beach on Sunday morning. It was nice enough to lay out in a bathing suit, but I did have my legs covered with a towel for most of the time.
The first weekend of November was a very appropriate time to get our first “cool snap”--it was the weekend when we set back the clocks bringing on shorter, darker days, AND it was the weekend I started rolling out the holiday recipes. There are so many wonderful things to cook and bake during the much-too-short holiday season, so I spread it out over a bunch of little feasts. Since we are going to spend Thanksgiving with the O’Hara side of Mike’s family in Connecticut (a fabulously fun T-Day tradition), I took this weekend to make some Thanksgiving favorites in my own kitchen, and try out a few new recipes from my many food magazines.
I almost never follow a recipe exactly, so when I do, it had better be perfect. Okay, I made a couple hardly-worth-mentioning tweaks to this Cranberry Crostata from November’s Gourmet and still it was flawless. Really just a cross between a pie and a tart, this dessert has incredibly vibrant flavor from the fresh cranberry filling and richness from the almond pastry, but none of it is too sweet or flabby to enjoy after a big holiday meal. I highly recommend it for a Thanksgiving dessert or an anytime holiday treat--it kind of reminds me of a big Linzer cookie now that I think about it!
Here are my tweaks: I used whole wheat pastry flour in place of all-purpose. It’s a natural with the nutty crust, both for flavor and color. The recipe calls for 10 ounces of fresh cranberries, but as you may know, the standard bag of Ocean Spray cranberries in your neighborhood supermarket is 14 ounces. We picked out the smashed or dubious-looking berries, and used all that remained with no problems whatsoever. The dough is very soft and tender and doesn’t depend on being chilled during mixing. Follow Gourmet’s directions for rolling it out between parchment paper, and don’t worry about piecing it together in the pan. My lattice strips broke apart during transfer, but this didn’t matter much in the end. I also used turbinado sugar instead of granulated for sprinkling because I like the crunch. Click here for the recipe on Gourmet's website. What holiday recipes have you already tried?
If you enjoyed reading this article, and don’t want to miss a thing, you can sign up to receive new posts delivered to your e-mail box automatically. The service is provided by Feedburner and your e-mail address will never, ever be used for other purposes besides receiving my tasty blog posts. Just enter your e-mail address in the box in the upper right sidebar and click the subscribe button.
You can also subscribe to the RSS feed for A Mingling of Tastes through any feed reader. Here's an explanation of RSS feeds.
In case your cranberry appetite is never sated, here are some more mouth-watering cranberry desserts from blogs I love:
Cranberry Linzer Tart on Orangette
Maury Rubin's Cranberry, Caramel and Almond Tart on The Wednesday Chef
Cranberry-Orange Cookies (with pistachios!) on Culinary Concoctions by Peabody
Cinnamon Cranberry Rice Pudding on The Perfect Pantry
Cranberry-Raisin Pie on David Lebovitz
Cranberry Ribbon Cake on Coconut and Lime
Apple-Cranberry Pie on Simply Recipes
Cranberry Banana Bread on Chocolate & Zucchini
Technorati Tags: recipes, thanksgiving, tart, cranberry, almond