Tag Archives: Thanksgiving desserts

A Sweet Idea for Thanksgiving

It’s pie time. Or tarts, if you’re like me and prefer them. In fact, I’m so enamored of tarts I wrote a whole book about them: Sweet Tarts for my Sweethearts. In it I share both stories and recipes from my  catering career in New York and beyond.

Yes, Thanksgiving is pie (or tart) time, and my Cranberry-Walnut Tart recipe is, I think, The Answer for you if your question is What should I make (or bring) for dessert this Thanksgiving?

Here is my Thanksgiving story and recipe from my book Sweet Tarts. The filling, of course, can be used to make a pie, if you prefer pies.

A sweet and happy Thanksgiving to all!

My cranberry-walnut tart — easy, festive, and seasonal

One Thanksgiving, as a guest at the home of my friend Delma Barron’s daughter in Taos, New Mexico, I was embraced by their annual tradition. Every year for many years Delma’s daughter Linda invited about two dozen friends and friends-of-friends to join in her and her husband’s favorite holiday celebration.

They converted their large, sun-bathed living room into an immense dining room with long, festively decorated harvest tables. Each of the guests brought a dish to the feast. The dishes were then displayed on the kitchen’s enormous island as a buffet, and before anyone took a plate, the entire group circled the island with clasped hands and shared aloud in turn their reasons for being thankful.

Except for Delma, everyone at this gathering had been a stranger to me when I arrived. Being an introvert, I find such groups difficult to enter. But just the act of holding hands and listening to everyone’s heartfelt thankfulness broke through the ice and isolation for me.

 The message my heart heard was: We all belong to the same family, the Family of Man(kind); we all have the same hungers; we’re all thankful to be alive and to be here.

 Cranberry-Walnut Tart

[From Sweet Tarts for My Sweethearts: Stories and Recipes from a Culinary Career, Nighthawk Press, 2020:]

1 prebaked 9” tart [or pie] shell

2 large eggs

½ cup (packed) dark brown sugar

1/3 cup honey

1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled

a pinch of salt

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup whole fresh cranberries, picked over, washed and dried

1 cup walnuts

1)  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine in a food processor the eggs, brown sugar, honey, melted butter, salt, and vanilla. Process until smooth. Add cranberries and walnuts and pulse just until roughly chopped.

2)  Pour filling into prebaked tart [or pie] shell and bake at 350 until set and golden, about 40-45 minutes.

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For those in SMA who wish to purchase Sweet Tarts, it is available at the Tesoros gift shop at the Biblioteca on Insurgentes. And it is always available to all from Amazon.com (https://amzn.to/3l3zOmz) and Nighthawk Press (www.nighthawkpress.com).