So this year I wanted to try a little something different for this Thanksgiving and stear away from the usual apple and pumpkin pies. So I started searching to see what desserts one can make from cranberries. Now, cranberries in of themselves are not keto, however when when you play with alternative sweeteners and crusts, you will definitely lower the carbs. And you know what? Its the holidays! Its ok to live a little.
You start the filling by simply making cranberry sauce! It can be your own favorite recipe that you make every year. I processed that in a blender and them pushed that through a mesh strainer in order to discard the cranberry skins. So the first step is likely something you already do every Thanksgiving! Easy!
The crust is of course my keto and gluten free friendly almond pastry dough. So very versatile! Here is the direct link to the recipe:
For the filling:
12 oz. of fresh cranberries (1 bag)
zest of 1 orange
juice of 1 orange
1/2 cup yakon syrup (or your favorite sweetener)
1 cinnamon stick
2 eggs (room temperature)
2 egg yolks (room temperature)
4 oz of butter
1tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp brandy
Meringue Topping: (optional)
4 egg whites (room temperature)
1/4 tsp creme of tartar
pinch of salt
1/4 cup of powdered sweetener or Choczero Vanilla Syrup
Start by making your pie dough. Follow the directions in this link:
After the dough has chilled for at least an hour, you can roll it out between two sheets of parchment paper. Then press it into a lightly greeased tart pan. I suggest you now place it in the freezer for 30 minutes, or in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
If you are using a ceramic tart pan, then use the refrigerator method because you will be placing it in the hot oven to cook the crust before adding the filling. You don’t want to crack the ceramic pan. If you are using metal, then this is not a problem.
Bake your crust at 400 F for 20 minutes. I always use pie weights or dry beans on a parchment paper on the crust itself to keep it from rising up. After 15 minutes, remove the weights and parchment and continue to bake for 10 more minutes, or until the base has started to brown.
You do this because the filling and the crust often need different baking times, and the base of the crust usually ends up soggy. I love a nicely cooked crust!
While you are waiting for the dough to come together in the refrigerator, you can make your filling!
Start by making your cranberry sauce. In a medium pot, heat you cranberries with the orange zest, juice, sweetener and cinnamon stick on medium heat. The cranberries will begin to pop as they cook, and it will come together as cranberry sauce. Let it cool and discard the cinnamon stick. Pulse it through a blender and then push it through a mesh strainer to discard the skins. The result should be beautiful, red and silky!
The traditional method for making a curd will be to beat your eggs and them temper them with the warm strained cranberry sauce. I did not do this because I had actually made the sauce in the morning and got to the tart later in the evening. So instead, I allowed the eggs and the sauce to come to room temperature and I simply beat them together with my hand mixer. Then I added the brandy and vanilla extract. And finally I warmed it on low, raising it to medium in a small pot to cook it and turn it into a curd. This takes around 10 minutes.
Then pour it into the baked tart crust and place it into a 350 F oven for 10 minutes, simply to set the curd. It should jiggle just a little bit. Finally let it come to room temperature. You can store it at room temperature for two days or in the refridgerator for a week.
Preheat your over to 200 F.
In a bowl, beat your egg whites, cream of tartar and salt until fluffy. Slowly pour in your sweetener continually beating until you have stiff peaks. You should be able to turn the bowl upside down and nothing fall out!
Please note that you do not want any of the yolk in the mixture. It will ruin the final results.
Place it in a piping bag and pipe out the merignue onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 200 F for an hour and let it sit in the oven and another hour to dry out.
You can place them onto the tart to decorate it.
You will have extra merignue cookies! (YUM!) These will last last a few days at room temperature. You can freeze them if you wrap and place them in an airtight container. They will last a few months this way. Bring them to room temperature and enjoy! However, do not store in the refrigerator as it will increase moisture and deflate them.