Guinea Pig Mondays: Cranberry Apricot Date Tart

Cranberry Apricot Date Tart, originally uploaded by sockmonkeyrevolt.

This week my baking adventure is a little more adventurous than usual. That’s because instead of following a recipe, I created one. Creating a baking recipe scares me a little bit because baking is such a science. I had a little trouble with the crust shrinking on the sides and I feel a little like the crust still didn’t bake completely. I’m not sure if that’s a symptom of my rectangular tart pan though because it seems that every tart I make with it, the shell is undercooked even if I’ve used a professional recipe and cooked it longer than the recommended time.

Now that I’ve premiered the tart to my co-workers, I can say that it’s definitely a success, and compared to my last 2 Mondays, it’s almost like health food. 🙂 Perhaps I’ll feel more confident to tweak and come up with my own recipes with baked goods more often now. (and maybe I’ll even keep track of how much spice I’m adding so I can be more precise than ‘um I gave it like 4 shakes’ I’m a terible ‘that just loks like the right amount of seasoning’ type.)

Recipe is after the “more”.

Cranberry Apricot Date Tart

for the Crust (or subsitute any tart crust you know)
8 oz Cream Cheese
3/4 c butter
2 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 c brown sugar
1 teaspoon orange juice
1/4 teaspoon apple pie spice

Cream cream cheese and butter in bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment. Mix in brown sugar, apple pie spice, flour and orange juice. Beat on medium-low until combined. Turn out, knead a couple times to make sure everything is combined and roll out to about a 1/4 inch thick and press into tart pan. Poke with fork and chill in freezer for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 325º. Remove tart from freezer and bake for 20 minutes before filling.

Cranberry, Apricot Date filling

2 cups chopped dates
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup dried apricots, diced
1 1/2 cup orange juice
zest of one orange
1/2- 1 Tablespoon ground clove
1/2-1 Tablespoon ground nutmeg
1/2-1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
Apple Pie Spice to taste

Combine everything in a saucepan over medium-low heat until the orange juice reduces and thickens. (I’ll admit I’m sort of guessing on the spice measurements, I’m sort of a huge just shake it until it just looks (and tastes) right when it comes to spices. Just sort of give it 4 shakes of each.) Remove from heat and let cool.

Crumb Topping

1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
4 Tablespoons butter

Combine brown sugar and flour in bowl and cut in butter until crumb forms.

Pour fruit filling into tart shell, sprinkle with crumb topping and bake at 350º for 25 minutes. Let cool. Remove tart from pan (I use the removable bottom tart pans) and serve.

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