Oh, how sweet are these? So adorable, and so tasty! This week is Fan's Choice Week, so we polled our followers on Facebook, and the decision came in: Cranberry. At first, I thought I'd do a tart. But these were just too cute to pass up. This is not an original recipe, as I saw these on www.MarthaStewart.com. (I figured since this is a "gimme" week, I didn't have to get too creative.) I followed the recipe exactly, choosing to put orange peel in the crusts. They're great! Try 'em!
MINI CRANBERRY MERINGUE PIES (from www.marthastewart.com)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
4 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons ice water, plus more if needed
Pulse flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor to combine. Add butter; process until mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 seconds. Add yolk; pulse. With machine running, add ice water in a slow, steady stream through feed tube; process until dough just holds together (no longer than 30 seconds). Shape into a disk. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate at least 1 hour (up to 2 days)
Cranberry Filling & Meringue:
3 1/4 cups fresh cranberries (12 ounces)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped blood orange zest, plus 1/4 cup blood orange juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground cloves
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 large egg whites
Pinch of cream of tartar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8 inch thick. Cut out 4 1/8-inch fluted rounds, and fit into cups of a standard 12-cup muffin tin (not nonstick). Pierce bottoms with tines of a fork. Freeze 15 minutes.
Line each shell with parchment paper, and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake 15 minutes. Remove weights and parchment. Return to oven; bake until bottoms are just turning golden, 5 minutes more. Transfer to wire racks; let cool 5 minutes. Remove shells from tin; let cool completely.
Bring 2 cups cranberries, 1 cup sugar, and 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat, and simmer mixture, stirring occasionally, until cranberries have burst, about 5 minutes. Pour through a coarse sieve, then a fine sieve; discard solids. (You should have about 1 3/4 cups; if you have less, add water).
Bring strained cranberry juice, 1/4 cup sugar, the zests, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and remaining 1 1/4 cups cranberries to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat; simmer, stirring occasionally, until cranberries are soft but have not burst, about 3 minutes.
Meanwhile, stir cornstarch, blood orange juice, and 1/4 cup water in a bowl; whisk into cranberry mixture. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook, stirring, until translucent, about 1 minute. Divide among prepared shells. Refrigerate until set, about 1 hour (up to overnight).
Preheat broiler. Put egg whites and remaining 1/4 cup sugar into the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer set over a pan of simmering water; whisk until sugar has dissolved and mixture is hot to the touch. Attach to mixer fitted with the whisk attachment; beat on medium speed until foamy. Raise speed to high. Add cream of tartar; beat until medium, glossy peaks form. Divide the meringue evenly among pies. Set pies under broiler until tops are browned, 30 seconds to 1 minute.
"Food is never just food. It's also a way of getting at something else: who we are, who we have been, & who we want to be." -- Molly Wizenberg