Try cranberry for dessert, too |

Try cranberry for dessert, too

Everyone will have their eye on the dessert table if this easy-to-make Cranberry Sauce Tart is waiting for them. (Larry Crowe / The Associated Press)

This simple cranberry tart is a breeze to assemble and can be made a day ahead. The crust is baked from crushed gingersnap cookies, but you could substitute a purchased no-bake graham cracker pie crust.

Cranberry Sauce Tart

Preparation time, start to finish: 1 1/2 hours (20 minutes active).

1/2 cup cranberry juice

1/4-ounce packet unflavored gelatin

35 gingersnap cookies

1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter, melted

14-ounce can whole-berry cranberry sauce

8-ounce package creme fraiche

1 cup Greek-style (also called strained) yogurt or whipped cream or whipped dessert topping

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 F. Use cooking spray to lightly coat a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom.

In a small saucepan, combine the cranberry juice and gelatin. Mix and set aside.

Meanwhile, place the gingersnap cookies in a food processor and pulse until reduced to fine crumbs. With the processor running, pour in the butter and continue processing until the mixture resembles wet sand.

Transfer the cookie crumbs to the prepared tart pan. Use a flat-bottomed cup or your fingers to press the crumbs flat over the tart pan and up the sides. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until set and lightly browned. Let the tart shell cool on a rack.

While the tart shell cools, add a 14-ounce can of whole-berry cranberry sauce to the saucepan with the juice and gelatin. Mix well and heat over medium until nearly simmering. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

In a medium bowl, combine the creme fraiche, yogurt, powdered sugar, vanilla and cinnamon. Use an electric mixer with the whisk attachment to beat until thickened, about 1 minute. Refrigerate until ready to use.

When the tart shell and cranberry mixture have cooled, transfer the creme fraiche mixture into the shell. Use the back of a spoon to spread the filling, creating a large, shallow well in the center of the tart.

Gently pour the cranberry mixture into the well. If necessary, use a spoon to spread it evenly over the well, leaving about a 1-inch band of cream filling exposed around it. Chill until ready to serve, or at least 1 hour.

— AP food writer J.M. Hirsch can be e-mailed at

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