This January when we move again, we won’t be packing up any Christmas decorations. When we moved last year right after the holidays (I’ve got to put a stop to this absolutely terrible tradition!), it was just too much to have to do on top of the stress of moving alone. So we decided to keep the decorations boxed up this year to make things simpler. But if you know me, you know how hard it was to come to this decision.
So since I don’t have my own tree to curl up next to, I’m getting all of my Christmas feels by taking advantage of living in such a great city. Toronto, you look so beautiful at Christmas! Wandering around different neighborhoods and checking out the lights, the holiday window displays, and visiting Christmas markets is making me almost not miss having my home decorated. That, plus doing tons of baking while having a Christmas movie playing on a loop pretty much at all times. I baked this pie today with Home Alone on in the background and a pot of apple cider mulling on the stove and it was awesome.
We are getting to spend lots of time with family over this holiday season, though. I realize that’s the most important thing, especially when everyone lives so all over the place. I’m grateful for that, tree or no tree.
So that said, let’s talk about this pie, which in itself is a beautiful festive touch, don’t you think?
The ruby-red hue of the cranberry curd is a stark contrast to the white-as-snow meringue, and the perfectly fluted edge from the tart pan gives this dessert a perfectly polished look.
But it’s not just pretty! The tanginess of the curd (my cheeks are prickling just thinking about it) gives way to a rich, buttery sweetness from the flaky short bread crust, and a creamy, light-as-a-cloud meringue to balance it all out. Mmmmm.
It may seem labor intensive, but it comes together quite easily. If you want, make the curd a day ahead, then the next day just bake and cool the crust, fill it with the curd and bake for 10 minutes to set. Whip up the meringue in under 10 minutes once the pie has chilled and you’re good to go with a show-stopper dessert. This one’s good for a crowd as the leftovers don’t keep long. Eat it up!
I’m off later this week to celebrate my second favorite holiday, American Thanksgiving, stretchy pants in tow – I have another favorite Christmas dessert coming soon, chocolate this time. See you soon xo Leslie
2. In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour and salt. Add butter and cut in with a pastry blender or two knives, until pieces are no bigger than the size of peas. Add to a 9" tart pan and press into place. Make sure it's even thickness around the edges and in the corners, and press it in really well. Freeze for 30 minutes.
3. Heat the oven to 375. Line the pie crust with a piece of parchment paper, and add pie weights or dried beans to it. Bake until the crust is lightly browned, about 25 minutes. Remove pie weights or beans and let crust cool slightly.
4. For Cranberry Curd:
5. Put cranberries, sugar, orange juice and peel in a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer until cranberries have popped, about 10 minutes. Remove orange peel segments and transfer cranberries to a food processor. Blend for 30 seconds (keep the pot handy). Make sure you have the feed tube out to allow steam to escape. Transfer back to original pot.
6. Whisk the butter into the warm blended cranberries until melted.
7. Put eggs and egg yolks into a small bowl and whisk until combined. Add a half cup of warm cranberry liquid into the eggs and whisk to temper them, then add this egg/cranberry mixture back to the original pot with the rest of the cranberries and whisk together. Over medium heat, cook until just bubbling and thickened, about 10 minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Strain curd into a clean bowl (you should have about 2 1/2 Cups) and cover with plastic wrap (press wrap against curd to keep a skin from forming) and cool to room temp. Either proceed with recipe or refrigerate for up to 3 days.
8. Set oven to 350. Add cooled curd to cooled pie crust and smooth top with an offset spatula. Bake pie for 10 minutes to set the curd. Cool to room temp, then wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour or up to one day before topping with meringue.
9. For the Swiss Meringue: (proceed with this step as close to serving the pie as possible, preferably within 3 hours)
10. Add about 2 inches of water to a pot and bring to a simmer. In the bowl of your electric mixer, combine the sugar and the egg whites with a whisk. Place over simmering water and whisk constantly until mixture is opaque and not grainy when you rub a bit between your fingers. It will register 120 on an instant read thermometer.
11. Place bowl immediately back in your mixer and mix on high speed for about 6 minutes, until mixture is thick, glossy, and barely warm.
12. Spread meringue on chilled tart with an offset spatula, making swirls and peaks, then brûlée the top with your kitchen torch, or place briefly under the broiler until just lightly browned.
13. Use a long sharp knife to make clean cuts, and wipe knife with a wet towel after each cut.
* 1 1/2 Cup Flour
* 1/4 Cup + 2 Tbsp Sugar
* 1/4 tsp Salt
* 1 1/2 Sticks Unsalted Butter
* For Cranberry Curd
* 4 Cups Cranberries - fresh or frozen
* 1 Cup Sugar
* Juice and 5 large strips of peel (orange part only, no white pith) of 1 Large Orange
* 1 Stick Unsalted Butter
* 2 Eggs plus 2 Yolks (save the whites for meringue step)
* For the Swiss Meringue
* 6 Egg Whites
* 1 1/2 Cups Sugar