Cranberries are good at more than just Thanksgiving dinner, as this crostada recipe shows. It was freely adapted from an Ina Garten to include nuts and fresh berries as optional alternatives. The photos below offer you a step-by-step guide on how to make this easy yet refreshing dessert.
Pear and Cranberry Crostada
For the pastry:
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts or almonds (optional)
2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 pound (2 sticks) very cold unsalted butter, diced
Scant 1/4 cup ice cold water flavored with 1 tablespoon nocino (walnut liqueur) or 1 teaspoon almond extract (flavor optional)
For the filling:
3 pounds Bosc pears
1/2 teaspoon grated orange or lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh cranberries or 2 tablespoons dried cranberries
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 pinch ground allspice
1/4 pound cold unsalted butter (1 stick), diced
Chopped walnuts or slivered almonds (optional)
For the pastry, place the nuts, if using, in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse a few times to grind as finely as possible. (If you let the blade run, the nuts could release oil and dampen the bowl.) In a dry food processor bowl, add nuts, if using, flour, sugar, and salt. Pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter and toss quickly with your fingers to coat each cube of butter with the flour. Pulse 12 to 15 times, or until the butter is the size of peas. With the motor running, add the 1/4 cup ice water all at once through the feed tube. Keep hitting the pulse button to combine, but stop the machine just before the dough comes together. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured board and form into 2 disks. Wrap the disks with plastic and refrigerate for at least one hour.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Roll each pastry disk into an 11-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Transfer them to 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
For the filling, peel, core and quarter the pears. Cut each quarter into big chunks. Toss the chunks with the zest. Divide the pear chunks between the pastries, covering the dough and leaving a 1 1/2-inch border. Sprinkle half of the cranberries over the top of each tart.
Combine the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and allspice in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture is crumbly. Pour into a bowl and rub it with your fingers until it starts holding together.
Makes 2 crostadas.
Adapted from Ina Gartin/Food Network