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Decadent as it may sound, we’re having dessert for this month’s lunch installment! Set aside those cold sandwiches, wrinkled salads and overnight soups for this Cranberry Lime tart. It’s as finger-licking delicious and yes, tart as they come.

A category as wide and tempting as ‘Fall Desserts’ is pure nightmare for an indecisive Libran like me. So many ingredients, so little time. Karen over at Geofooding, ever the decisive blogger that she is, staked her claim on pumpkin ice-cream while I was still tossing up between persimmons, pears and butternut squash. None of the recipes I came across really jumped out at me, until I read this recipe for a Cranberry Lime Galette from Dorie Greenspan. Not a big fan of galettes in general, I decided to make a tart out of it, with my mother-in-law’s trusted pâte brisée recipe.

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Like a perfect pair of shoes, having a trusted pie/tart dough recipe will get you through any icky situation. Sure, you’ll look around, try on countless new pairs (recipes) whenever they catch your eye, but for those times when you need a pair that will get you from office chic to evening glam in full comfort (or, in culinary terms, whip out a tart out to impress), there’s only one that you turn to for results. Don’t feel compelled to use the dough recipe I share here (which was previously used in the apple tart), especially if you’ve got a recipe that you know and trust. I’ve found that the most important thing when transforming flour, dough and butter into flaky crust is confidence, and you need to be comfortable with any recipe you use. Just like, you know, that pair of shoes.

In typical Dorie fashion, she surprised me with the combination of flavors in this filling: cranberries, lime, ginger, apples and raspberry jam, which made for a long finish on the palate. I was struck by the pungent tartness of the cranberries, each ball of nutritious juice and vitamins gently shriveled into deflated balloons alongside apple chunks caramelized in their own juice. I found the final filling too sweet though, and suspect it came from the three tablespoons of raspberry jam originally called for. I used a store-bought jam, which probably has a higher content than home-made versions, so I’ll cut it down in future tarts. All the same, I’ve moderated the amount of jam in the recipe below, so be sure to taste for balance before filling the shell.

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If, like me, you happen to launch into a recipe without reading it completely, let me highlight that in this case, you’ll want to ‘protect’ the bottom of the tart by spreading a layer of ground nuts and bread crumbs before adding the fruits. I misread the original recipe and ended up mixing all the ingredients together, which, as you can guess, resulted in a crust that was soggier than it otherwise would be. Moral of the story? Read carefully!

Cranberry Lime Tart (adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home To Yours)
Makes one 9-inch or one 13-by-4-inch tart

1 batch of pâte brisée dough, chilled
3 tablespoons ground nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecans or skinned hazelnuts – I used a mix of walnuts and pistachios)
3 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
2 cups fresh cranberries, rinsed (if using frozen cranberries, thaw and pat dry before using)
1 medium red or green apple, peeled, cored and cut into ½-inch chunks
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped or grated
Grated zest of 1 lime
Juice of ½ a lime
1 to 2 tablespoons store-bought raspberry jam (feel free to add another tablespoon if using home-made jam)
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 400F/ 200C and line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat. Grease the tart pan.

Roll out the dough on a well-floured surface until 1/8-inch thick and a couple of inches larger than the size of your tart pan.

Transfer the dough to the pan, gently pressing it into the corners with your fingers. Remove any excess dough by passing the rolling pin over the pan’s edges. Refrigerate while you prepare the filling.

Mix the nuts and bread crumbs in a small bowl and set aside. In another bowl, toss together the remaining ingredients until each cranberry and apple chunk is well-coated in a thick, syrupy sauce.

Remove the crust from the refrigerator and sprinkle the base with the nut and crumb mixture. Top with the filling and place the pan on the baking sheet.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, rotating the pan half-way through for even baking. The tart is ready when the cranberries have popped and the filling is all bubbly.

Leave the tart to cool on a rack and serve just warm or at room temperature, dusted with confectioners’ sugar.

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For more lunch decadence, check out what the rest of the Let’s Lunch folks whipped up today:

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