This cranberry meringue tart is the brainchild of Dorie Greenspan, my hero! It’s a pre-baked crust, with a thin layer of cherry preserves, filled with a cranberry studded meringue, and baked until the surface is crunchy. The sweetness of the meringue contrasts nicely with the tartness of the cranberries. It’s a light dessert that’s perfect after two helpings of mashed potatoes, stuffing, and green bean casserole. You may as well add a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream – just make sure you’re wearing your Thanksgiving pants!
For the crust:
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 9 tablespoons butter, cold and cut up into small pieces
- 1 large egg yolk
For the filling:
- 2 tablespoons cherry or raspberry jam
- 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
- pinch of kosher salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 cups cranberries
1. Put flour, confectioners’ sugar and salt into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to mix up. Add the butter and pulse until it’s incorporated. Break the yolk and add it in three additions. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and use the palm of your hand to finish blending the ingredients, and shape into a disk.
2. Place dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper and roll to 1/8″ thick. Still sandwiched between the papers, slide onto a baking sheet and freeze for an hour. Pull out of the freezer and let it rest for 10 minutes. Remove paper and ease the dough into a 9″ buttered pie plate. Trim the excess dough even with the edge of the pan. Prick the crust all over with a fork and freeze for 30 minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 400º. Butter the shiny side of a piece of foil and fit the foil into the crust. Fill with dried beans and bake for 25 minutes, then remove the beans and foil. Bake for another 8 to 10 minutes. Set pie pan on a rack to cool.
4. Preheat oven to 300º. Spread the jam into the bottom of the crust. In a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the eggs whites and salt until they turn opaque. With the mixer going, add the sugar in a slow steady stream, beating until the whites are shiney and form peaks. Pour the cranberries into the bowl and fold in gently with a spatula.
5. Spoon meringue into the pie plate, spreading it to the edges. Bake for one hour. Let cool on a wire rack. Store at room temperature. This pie is best the same day that it’s made and it’s still pretty tasty the following day.