Turkey Coma

Everything took longer than expected yesterday, and so it was pretty much a no sewing day. I'll make up for it today by giving myself an NBS day (Nothing But Sewing.) When I say it was "pretty much" no sewing, it's because I had time in the morning to take the first stitches on the newest Heartland Barns block.

I put off starting this quilt for many years because I dreaded satin stitching all the leaves. Now I find it's my favorite part of this. They only take a few stitches to cover, and the result is so pretty. So I'll pick it up there today and start making my way from top to bottom.

There was one more dessert to make for our Thanksgiving feast yesterday. It took a long time, but it turned out great. This is a Cranberry-Pecan Tart. This is how it looked straight from the oven. Isn't it pretty?

It wasn't hard to make, but it included a technique that was a little scary. Also, the crust included lots of do this and wait, followed by do that and wait, followed by freeze it and wait...and that's why it took so long. Just getting the crust ready for filling took about three hours. 

When I was finally able to make the filling, there was a scary section the included boiling (without stirring) 4 parts sugar to 1 part water until it turned slightly amber in color, and then boiling until it turned dark amber in color. Some temperatures were given, but my candy thermometer couldn't measure such a shallow liquid accurately. I went strictly by color, and it worked out. Also, I was afraid of over-cooking it and ending up with hard candy in the bottom of my pan. That turned out to be nothing to fear. 

The final note I'll give you is that mine took much longer to bake at the end than the 25-30 minutes listed. It's probably just a difference in ovens. Also, it won't "bubble" like a casserole does. Mine just gave off a spurt here and there. The "slight jiggle" at the end told me it was done.

The recipe is from Cook's Illustrated, and I can recommend it. I promised to share it if it was good, and my family gave it two thumb's up. It's a little like a pecan pie, but the tartness of the cranberries is a nice balance to the sweetness of the filling. Here's the recipe:

Cranberry-Pecan Tart
recipe from Cook's Illustrated


Tart Dough
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon heavy cream
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups (6 1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
⅔ cup (2 2/3 ounces) confectioners' sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces and chilled

¼ cup water
1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar
⅔ cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
½ teaspoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
⅛ teaspoon salt
6 ounces (1 1/2 cups) fresh or thawed frozen cranberries
1 ¼ cups pecans, toasted and chopped coarse


Serve with whipped cream, if desired.

FOR THE TART DOUGH: Whisk egg yolk, cream, and vanilla together in bowl. Process flour, sugar, and salt in food processor until combined, about 5 seconds. Scatter butter over flour mixture; pulse until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal, about 15 pulses. With processor running, slowly add egg yolk mixture and process until dough just comes together, about 12 seconds.

Turn dough onto sheet of plastic wrap. Form dough into 6-inch disk, wrap tightly in plastic, and refrigerate for 1 hour. Let chilled dough sit on counter to soften slightly, about 10 minutes, before rolling.

Roll dough into 11-inch circle on lightly floured counter. (If dough becomes too soft and sticky to work with, slip it onto baking sheet and refrigerate until workable.) Place dough round on baking sheet, cover with plastic, and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

Remove dough from refrigerator but keep dough on sheet. Loosely roll dough around rolling pin and gently unroll it onto 9‑inch tart pan with removable bottom, letting excess dough hang over edge. Ease dough into pan by gently lifting edge of dough with your hand while pressing into corners with your other hand.

Press dough into fluted sides of pan, forming distinct seam around pan’s circumference. (Finished edge should be 1/4 inch thick. If some sections of edge are too thin, reinforce them by folding excess dough back on itself.) Run rolling pin over top of tart pan to remove any excess dough. Wrap dough-lined pan loosely in plastic, place on large plate, and freeze until dough is firm, about 30 minutes, before using.

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Set dough-lined pan on rimmed baking sheet. Spray 1 side of double layer of aluminum foil with vegetable oil spray. Press foil, sprayed side down, into pan, covering edges to prevent burning; fill with pie weights. Bake until tart shell is golden brown and set, about 30 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking. Transfer sheet to wire rack and carefully remove foil and weights. Let tart shell cool on sheet while preparing filling.

FOR THE FILLING: Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Pour water into medium saucepan. Pour sugar into center of saucepan, taking care not to let it touch pan sides. Gently stir with rubber spatula to moisten sugar thoroughly. Bring to boil over medium-high heat and cook, without stirring, until sugar is completely dissolved and liquid has faint golden color and registers 300 degrees, 6 to 10 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar mixture turns dark amber and registers 350 degrees, 1 to 3 minutes. Off heat, slowly whisk in cream until combined (mixture will bubble and steam vigorously). Stir in butter, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt until combined. Add cranberries and pecans and stir gently to coat in caramel. Pour mixture into tart shell. Bake tart on sheet until filling is bubbling and nearly set (it should jiggle slightly when shaken), 25 to 30 minutes.

Transfer tart with sheet to wire rack and let cool completely in pan, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove outer metal ring of tart pan, slide thin metal spatula between tart and pan bottom, and carefully slide tart onto serving platter. Serve.

* * * * *

Okay, and so when that was finished, I had just enough time to shower, dress, and get everything packed up to take to Erik and Mae's house. They cooked a delicious dinner. Here's my plate with tiny little portions (Ha!). 

Starting at the top and going clockwise was the stuffing Mae made in a cast iron skillet. (I need to ask her how she did that.) Then sweet potatoes, then turkey (Erik deep fried the turkey, which is becoming our family tradition), then cranberries, then a relish Mae made from deep-fried fresh sage leaves...so good with the turkey...then mashed potatoes and gravy. In the center were some deep fried brussels sprouts, and even the sprout-haters among us thought they were delicious. (I happen to love brussels sprouts, and I could eat them every day for the rest of my life.)

Erik and Mae's kitty, Clementine, could not believe the gluttony she observed. Also, why was nobody sharing with her?

So it was a lovely Thanksgiving feast. Desserts were the last stop, and then home and to bed. Our bellies were full and we were thankful for our little family. It's always a treat when we can all get together.

Today I'll get back to top-stitching the kitties. I'm hoping to have that pieced finished and sandwiched for quilting by the end of the day. When that's finished, I want to quilt this small quilt:

It's a piece I finished back in March from by Gail Pan for the Love & Hugs from Australia Stitch-Along Facebook group. Several designers got together and created a sort of BOM stitch-along in 2020. If memory serves it was something to do during that pre-vaccine pandemic year. I didn't make all the blocks, but I saved a few to make up as little wall-hangings. This is one that is nearly finished. I've been trying to quilt one large and one small quilt each month, hoping to make a dent in the quilts-to-be-quilted pile. It seems as fast as I finish one, I add another one to the pile. Today will be one of those days.


Barbara said...

Desserts are like mistresses. They are bad for you. So if you are having one, you might as well have two. ~ Alain Ducasse

Julierose said...

Isn't it wonderful to sit down all together and have a delightful meal? Those fried brussel sprout look good--I've never done that before--I am a huge brussel sprout (any of the cruciferous veggies..) fan. ;)))
I was able to lay out my DIL's JOY banner and pin it for quilting--hoping to get that quilted tomorrow...hugs, Julierose

CA Bobbie said...

Ah, I also love brussel sprouts, we had roasted w/ bacon pieces. Never one to miss any op for them. I shared with my love that when I was little I'd sneak a couple of the frozen
ones before Mom got them cooking. Nice little frozen treats. A great looking dessert, seems all thought it worth the effort.

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Clementine does look quite annoyed about being left out of the feast. Poor thing.
I would love a piece of that Cranberry Pecan Tart but I know I won't be making it. I can just imagine my waistline after it was consumed.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Oh, to fussy baking for me - but it looks fabulous! Celmentine is a very pretty kitty and should have gotten a little tasty from the table - mine got a 'pet friendly' dish proceeded with a lot of preening.

piecefulwendy said...

The tart is gorgeous and looks delicious, as does your entire meal. Clementine looks completely at ease posing for selfies. Your stitching is lovely, as usual. Glad you enjoyed your day!

Susan said...

The pie sounds and looks delicious. I don't think I could do the 3 hour crust. Maybe I could just make the filling and eat it :-).
Clementine posed really nice for her picture. Glad you had a lovely time.