Chocolate Cranberry Tart

Chocolate Cranberry Tart

All Christmassed out?  Up to your ears in leftovers?  Turn them to stunningly good account.

Cold turkey is of course old hat nowadays – to mix my metaphors thoroughly – and recipes for big bird leftovers ooze from every TV chef’s repertoire like icing from a bag.  But what on earth do you do with all those cranberries?  Are you one of those who makes three times as much as required – just in case – and ends up with half a kilo of delicious cranberry and orange relish that you can’t even sell with a roast chicken?  Or maybe you buy yours readymade, two jars – just in case – and end up using half a jar?

And then on New Year’s Eve your daughter drops a bombshell of nuclear proportions.  She’s off for a sleepover, everybody is taking a dish and she – which means you, in code – has been detailed to provide a pudding.  You have two hours and the shops are closed.  Got a couple of eggs?  Then this, my dear gastronomes, is for you.

The thing about meringue is that it’s really too sweet, it needs toning down with some sharp fruit and maybe lots of cream, which is why the magnificent pavlova works so well.  But pies can be equally good, as long as the filling is tart enough, and the tarty old lemon has held centre stage for far too long…


400g Cranberry and Orange Relish or Cranberry Sauce or whatever you have – the zestier the better.

For the Chocolate Pastry

200g Flour
50g Cocoa Powder
50g Caster Sugar
150g Cold Butter, in small pieces
Yolk of 1 Large Egg – you may need just a little of the second yolk.

For the Meringue

Whites of two Large Eggs
150g Caster Sugar

Of course if you wish you can increase the amount of eggs and sugar and really pile the meringue on high!  This is the economy version and this is yummy enough.


Simplicity itself, I promise you.

Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C.  Grease and line a 23 cm fluted tart tin.

Now chuck all the pastry ingredients, except the eggs, into a processor and whizz carefully until it resembles breadcrumbs.  Add the egg yolk and whizz until the pastry comes miraculously together.  If it looks a little sticky add a handful of flour.  Take the pastry out, wrap in some clingfilm and throw it in the fridge for a few minutes.  Dust your board with flour, take your pastry, roll it out and line your tin.  It will break easily, but don’t worry, squash it all in with your fingers, there will be some excess, but you don’t want it too thin, it’s delicious enough to eat on its own.  Now prick the base all over with a fork and put it in the oven for twenty minutes to pre-cook.

Make yourself a coffee and point out to your daughter that despite your brilliance a little more notice would be appreciated next time.

Take the tart out of the oven, and whilst it cools slightly whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks, then spoon by spoon gradually add the sugar.  I do all this with a slow whisk, which is absolutely against the rules, and if I were making a pav, I would abide by them.  But meringue for a tart is more forgiving, it needs to be soft and squidgy and you can cheat a bit.

Turn the oven down to 150 degrees C.

Fill the tart case with your lovely cranberry leftovers and spoon the meringue on top, taking it right to the very edges.  Give it a few decorative swirls and put the tart back in the oven for 40 minutes.

And that is it.  A delectable dinner party dish, out of leftovers, store cupboard ingredients and a couple of eggs.  Too good for the children really!

Bon Appetit!

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Chocolate Cranberry Tart from French Vie

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