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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Cranberry Crackle


4pm Saturday: "Mike, help...get the bandaids and Neosporin! I have hurt myself".

DUN DUN <~~~~ Law and Order type music

Flashback to earlier in the day

11:00am: Meagan is in her kitchen getting ready to make the cranberry crackle tart. She has all her ingredients gathered around her including a canister of all purpose flour (having learned from the last recipe that white whole wheat flour is not the same).

exhibit A: all purpose flour 

11:10am: Meagan starts making the crust. She pulls out her fancy new food processor (thank you William Sonoma for having discounts on top of discounts) and blends up the dough. She says out loud, even though there is no one else in the room, that "adding 1 lightly mixed egg yolk to a food processor a small amount at a time seems like the most ridiculous thing I have ever been asked to do and I have been asked to do a lot of ridiculous things". 

DUN DUN

11:30am: Meagan finishes the dough by hand as the recipe suggests. She then rolls it out and fits it to the pie pan before sliding it into the oven to bake.

exhibit B: dough in pie pan waiting to be trimmed and baked.


Noon (because it always confuses the writer if noon is 12am or 12pm): crust is finished baking and is sitting on a rack to cool. Meagan is a little worried because the crust is already really "golden" and it still has to bake for another hour but she decides to put it aside to cool and start on dinner. She says out loud, again to herself because no one is around, that it "seems like the perfect day to make a beef stew". She starts chopping the vegetables but her mind is still on the pie. Is the crust overcooked? How can you add 1 egg yolk a little bit at time when there is only a little bit to start with? Will she be able to stop herself from eating the entire thing in one sitting? Should she have just made brownies instead?

DUN DUN

2:00pm: The stew is on the stove stewing away (and moody stews often do) and the crust is cool so Meagan starts on the filing. She spoons some chunky cherry jam into the bottom of the crust.

exhibit C: jam
She pulls out Betty her trusty hand mixer and starts to whip up a meringue. She feels pretty proud of herself because for once the recipe is coming together as it should. If only she knew how the day would end in disaster.  But unaware of what is to come she happily folds the cranberries into the meringue and then tries to resist the temptation to lick the meringue bowl. 

exhibit D: cranberry meringue goodness
The meringue cranberry goodness goes on top of the jam and the entire thing goes in the oven to bake for an hour. 

DUN DUN

3:30pm: Meagan pulls the pan out of the oven and the Cranberry Crackle looks amazeballs (even though she is too old to keep using the term amazeballs). She looks around and since no one else is in the kitchen she decides to forgo letting it cool and instead risks a burnt mouth by quickly cutting and gobbling up a piece. So tart, so sweet, so amazing. 

exhibit E: the yumminess

DUN DUN

3:55pm: A feeling of utter happiness falls over Meagan's body. There is stew (still stewing) on the stove, there are cranberries and sugar floating in her tummy, there is the rest of the cranberry crackle still waiting to be eaten. Life is good. With her head filled with dreamy cranberry dreams Meagan reaches for the plastic wrap to cover the the pan with.

DUN DUN 

4:00pm: "Mike, help...get the bandaids and Neosporin! I have hurt myself". Mike rushes into the kitchen. He has prepared himself for a gory sight and he is ready to dial 911 to get immediate help. He finds Meagan, with her finger wrapped in a towel. She is panicked. Mike convinces her to remove the towel so he can take a look and there he sees....a little cut on her finger that she got while tearing off a piece of plastic wrap.

DUN DUN 

4:03pm: Mike sits the bandaids down on the counter and heads back to do whatever it was that he was doing, leaving behind Meagan to tend to her own baking wounds and mutter out loud (to herself since one again no one is in the kitchen with her) that "it really does hurt, it is much bigger than it looks, I did it on the sharp metal teeth...it is not just a paper cut.....". 

exhibit F: the ugly side of baking



Cranberry Crackle Tart pp 135-137 

28 comments:

  1. Your post is a kick! Too funny. Your tart looks good. Hopefully I too will have success with this one, for I am actually going to make it on TG day... yikes.

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    1. How did yours turn out? I was surprised because despite the wow factor of this dessert it was fairly easy.

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  2. Wasn't this one good? Glad you weren't badly injured - I was worried at the beginning of the post!

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    1. Yes I may have over reacted a little. I find that I tend to do that.

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  3. Ah, the culinary cautionary tale. I have a couple of those posts, but none as entertaining as (DUN DUN) this one. Happy Thanksgiving, Meagan!

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    1. I figure if I can not be the star baker of the group at least I can be lively!

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  4. This is too funny. It really does hurt when you cut yourself on that thing. I can hold a computer in my hand but the only way to cut the cling wrap is a cheap razor? My grandmother dreamed of a better future than this;) Your tart looks wonderful and I'm sure it was a good compliment to the stew.

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  5. Ha! I can vouch for you. Those plastic wrap cutters HURT!! Glad you had something delicious on hand to drown your sorrows in! Your tart looks great.

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    1. It was lucky that I had sugary goodness to make it all better.

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  6. Ouch! I've cut myself like that in the past and it really does hurt.

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    1. My first thought was that they should put a warning on the box...but I am pretty sure they do.

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  7. Love your post! Glad you weren't hurt too badly and the tart looks great, of course.

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    1. It just goes to show that I am willing to suffer for my baking.

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  8. Oh, the sacrifices we make for our art!! I hope you are feeling much better by now. Your tart looks perfect, so there is that!! :-) I also worried if my crust was going to get too dark in that second baking but it didn't seem to darken much at all during that stage. We learn, we learn.

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    1. The dark crust worry seems to be a common one. I guess we need to have faith in the recipe book.

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  9. Hilarious play by play! And by the way, more pro chefs have been to the ER for stitches from plastic wrap and foil than you can imagine!

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    1. I am glad to know I have something in common with the pros!

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  10. Don't you just hate those nasty plastic wrap cutter cuts..so sore! But on a bright note your tart is a beauty and I loved the sweet tart favors of this tart..I put mine in the freezer so I would stop nibbling on it..next time I'll bake one for a dinner party ;-)

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    1. I am impressed with your self control!

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  11. yeah, those plastic wrap boxed have some sharp teeth! your tart does look amazeballs, and no way are you (or we) too old to say that!

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    1. I refuse to remove "amazeballs" and "totes ma goates" from my vocabulary despite the shame it brings to my husband and child.

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  12. You SO had me! I was waiting for the slip of the food processor blade, or the knife... then much blood and stitches. I didn't want to read it, but couldn't stop myself, because I've BEEN there! And you know what? I don't like that 12 a.m./p.m. thing either. Seems like it SHOULD be a.m., because the minute before was 11:59 a.m., and the numbers are still progressing until 1:00. But logic doesn't seem to apply where time notation is concerned. :-)

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    1. I feel as if all of Europe is in agreement since they use the 24 hour systems...removes the dilemma of 12pm vs 12am .

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  13. Ha ha! Very cute post, and such a wonderful dessert, right? This is exactly why I switched to the Costco Stretchtite with the little thingy that cuts the wrap. God's gift to those of us prone to cut ourselves in the kitchen. Now, if I could just figure out how to not grate my knuckles when using a box grater. Beautiful photos btw.

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  14. Very entertaining post! I bet it would be fun to cook with you in your kitchen!

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  15. I love how you wrote this like a timeline. Sorry about the cut finger. Hate those darn sharp edges on the paper cutters. I have cut myself more times on those than I can count. Great looking tart!

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  16. I sympathize! I've tangled with many serrated box edges and they can be vicious! I'm glad you had success with your cranberry crackle tart, though. Ours turned out beautifully, too. In fact, we're still working our way through the leftovers.

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