Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Last Minute: Thanksgiving Dessert

Scrambling for a last minute Thanksgiving dessert idea that's not the same 'ol pumpkin or apple pie? This is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Salty meets sweet in this grand finale, which turns classic candy into a delectable tart with a custardy no bake filling. And don't stress, if you're crunched for time or the thought of making your own butter crust is daunting, a store bought pie crust will work as well.
~Salted Caramel Tart~
For Butter Crust: Yields (2) 9 -inch crusts
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter (no substitutions), cut up, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar             
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten     
1 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
2 1/4 cup(s) all-purpose flour

For Salted Caramel Tart: Serves 12

1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin                                                                                                               
4 tablespoon cold water
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons butter (no substitutions), cut up, room temperature      
1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature
1 3/4 cups heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Currants, for garnish (optional)     
Candied orange peel, for garnish (optional)     
For Butter Crust: Prep time: 15 min. Total time: 35 min.
1. In large bowl, with mixer on medium speed, beat butter, sugar, and salt until pale yellow and well blended, occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula.

2. With mixer on medium-low speed, beat in egg, then vanilla, until well incorporated, scraping side of bowl.

3. With mixer on low speed, gradually beat in flour. Beat just until incorporated and dough forms large clumps. Divide dough in half and form each half into a 1-inch-thick disk. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour or until firm. (Dough can be refrigerated up to 1 day or frozen up to 3 months so you can even make this now for the Christmas holiday.)

4. With hands and fingers, press dough into even layer against bottom and up side of 9-inch pie plate or tart pan with removable bottom. Freeze 10 minutes or until firm. (Dough in pan can be covered tightly with plastic wrap and frozen up to 1 month.)
5. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

6. Bake crust 20 minutes or until golden brown. If crust puffs up, very gently push down bubbles with spoon without cracking crust. Cool crust completely on wire rack.

For Salted Caramel Tart: Prep time: 15 min.

1. In small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over 2 tablespoons water. Let stand at least 5 minutes to soften.

2. In 4-quart saucepan, combine corn syrup, 1 cup sugar, and remaining 2 tablespoons water. Heat to boiling on medium-high, stirring to dissolve sugar. Cook without stirring until mixture is amber, swirling pan occasionally; remove from heat.

3. Carefully whisk in butter, a few pieces at a time, until incorporated. (Mixture will bubble up.) Whisk in sour cream, then 1/4 cup heavy cream, until well blended. Add salt, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and softened gelatin. Whisk until gelatin dissolves and mixture is very smooth. Transfer to bowl and cool to room temperature.

4. Whisk remaining 1 1/2 cups heavy cream with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar until soft peaks form. Whisk in remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Gently fold half of whipped cream (1 1/2 cups) into cooled caramel mixture. Spread caramel in even layer in cooled crust. Refrigerate at least 6 hours or up to 1 day to set. Cover and refrigerate remaining whipped cream.

5. To serve, top tart with remaining whipped cream and garnish with currants and orange peel.


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