Happy New Year Friends..almost! What a year it has been…for more sappy reflections from yours truly, you can check out my Facebook later. But, for now, let’s talk about celebrating in style! How will we do that? Well, clearly, we need to send the famous flavors of Fall and Winter off with a bang.
When I think of the best months of the year…October through December, I think of a few classics. Pumpkin, apples, caramel, pears, cranberries, maple, cinnamon, gingerbread, peppermint…the list probably goes on. Since tomorrow marks a whole new year, I figured that we only have one more chance to savor these flavors before we have to wait another 10 months. Now, I have to admit, I haven’t brainstormed any concoction yet that is able to hold all of these together in one bite. (I’m not sure that would work out so well.) Instead, for the last dessert of the year, I put a few of my favorites together, in tart form of course!
I don’t know about you, but I think it’s safe to say most of us these days are perpetually full. Today, we know that there’s just one more day until the temptations will stop, but that knowledge isn’t necessarily supported by the feelings in our stomachs. Well, here is your solution; a Cranberry Pear Ginger Tart. All of the flavors of Winter and Fall, in a dessert that’s classy and light. And…easy as tart to make! Get it, get it? (Maybe next year I’ll add being a comedian to my list of careers.) Moving on!
We’ll start with the crust. You’ve seen crusts like these before, normally made from the crumbs of Oreos or graham crackers. Well this bad boy is made with gingersnaps. Now, being a self-admitted cookie snob, there are VERY few store bought cookies I crave. Really, just two. Oreos, of course, and then gingersnaps! No matter how much you may try to replicate their snappiness at home, the crispiness is just never the same. So, once you’ve eaten an obligatory handful of snaps, throw the rest in your food processor to pulse into crumbs. Once crummy, wet the cookies with your melted butter and stir to combine. Then, you’ll press that mixture into your 9 inch tart pan, using your fingers to push the crust all the way up to the top of the sides. You’ll bake this for 9-10 minutes in an oven set to 350 degrees, to crisp up.
Now, let’s get to the filling. This is where the tart shows it’s simple, but classy side. Slice your pear quarters into pieces with a width of about 1/4 inch. Use these pieces to fill the crust. You can just put them all in, or be fancy and fan them around the diameter of the circle. Then, sprinkle on your cranberries in whichever fashion you wish.
You might be thinking, “Erin, really? Pears lying on crushed up gingersnaps?” Well, yes. But, here is where is gets good. In a small saucepan, melt the butter, brown sugar, honey, cinnamon, ginger, and salt, together. Once these are well combined, drizzle the mixture over the fruit in the tart. If needed, use a silicone brush to spread out the melty sweetness, all over that thing.
Now, pop that tart in an oven set to 375 degrees, for about 23-25 minutes. You’ll know it’s done once you can poke a piece of pear and pierce it easily. Let it cool on a wire rack before you try to remove the side and bottom pieces of the tart pan.
There you have it folks, the ultimate New Years treat! Simple, classy, and tasty as heck.
Next week, we’ll talk about a food that will make you stop regretting the New Years resolution to “eat healthy” that we are all inevitably setting tomorrow. Until then, stay tuned and stay hungry!
- 2.5 cups gingersnap crumbs
- 5 tsp butter, melted
- 3 pears, peeled, cored, and quartered
- 1/2 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen
- 2 TBS butter
- 2 TBS brown sugar
- 1 TBS honey
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Pulse gingersnaps in a food processor until they resemble a fine crumb.
- Pour melted butter over cookies and mix until the entire mixture is wet.
- Dump the crust mix into a 9 inch tart pan, and use fingers to press crumbs into the bottom and sides of the pan.
- Bake the tart for 9-10 minutes.
- Set oven to 375 degrees.
- Slice pears into 1/4 inch pieces. Layer in the tart pan.
- Sprinkle cranberries over the pears.
- In a small sauce pan, melt the butter, brown sugar, honey, cinnamon, ginger and melt.
- Drizzle the sauce over the tart.
- Bake for 21-23 minutes, or until the fruit can easily be pierced.
- Allow the tart to cool on a metal rack for at least 10 minutes before removing it from it's tin.