boston.com Your Life your connection to The Boston Globe
Recipes Game Globe Santa Holiday Scenes Gift Tags Get Wrapped Home Get Wrapped Home

Cranberry Crumb Tart

Jim Dodge of the Museum of Fine Arts says this dough feels especially velvety and is easy to handle because it is made with cream. For the crumb topping he prefers King Arthur flour (it has a high protein content) and Rumford baking powder (it has no aluminum).

For the pastry:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter
1/4 cup whipping cream
For the filling:
8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups (1 bag) fresh cranberries

For the pastry: Set the oven to 425 degrees. On a large work surface, blend the flour, salt, and sugar together with your fingers. Using the flat of your hand, form the dry ingredients into a ring 14 inches wide. The center of the ring should be empty. Cut the butter into 1/2-inch slices and put them in the center. Press the butter into the work surface with the heel of your hand. Notice how brittle, cold, and firm the butter is. Continue to work it until it is free of lumps. As you work the butter, it will become smooth but stay cool. Use both hands to push the flour mixture into the butter in the center of the ring. Once you have closed the ring and covered the butter, use your fingertips to gently pinch the flour mixture into the butter, each time lifting your hands a few inches and dropping the ingredients they hold. This keeps the mixture cool and light in texture.

Continue blending the butter and dry ingredients until they form a coarse meal. Form a well in the mixture. Add the cream and gently blend with your hands until the dough comes together. Press the mixture into the work surface but with a gentler action and with short straight-down motions rather than the long, deep strokes used for making bread.

Roll into an 11-inch circle. Fold in half and unfold over a 9-inch tart pan. Center the dough in the pan. Lift the edges so the dough falls into the bottom of the pan. Press the dough into the sides and trim the edge against the rim of the pan. Refrigerate as you prepare the filling.

For the filling: Cut the butter into 1-inch cubes and place it in a mixing bowl with the flour, baking powder, and 1 cup of sugar. Mix with the paddle attachment at medium speed or by hand until it forms large clumps, which crumble when pinched. If you pinch into butter that's still solid, keep mixing. Set aside. Combine the remaining sugar with the salt and toss it with the cranberries to coat them. Spoon the cranberries into the tart shell, mounding them slightly in the center. Spoon the crumb mixture on top. Bake in the center of the lower rack until the top is golden brown and the fruit bubbles a little around the edges, about 35 minutes.

Serves 6 to 8.

By Claire Hopley, Boston Globe Correspondent

Sponsored Links