After the sumptuous, not to mention calorific-infused meal, everyone will be lounging back, groaning in a comatose state, waiting for the football games to kick off. The second round no doubt is coming up, after some much needed digestion where the eagerly awaited deserts come into play. Apple and pumpkin pies can make the customary appearance, but these are a nice addition to the usual contenders.






This tart is pretty spectacular, not only in looks but in taste. The tart-sweet flavor of the cranberries is delicious with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.








1 large egg yolk

1/3 cup of sugar

1 stick of unsalted butter – softened

¼ TSP vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

1 ¼ cups of APF (all-purpose flour)



¼ cup water

2 cups of cranberries (fresh or frozen)

1 ½ cups of granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1/3 cup brown sugar

¼ cup of ½ and ½ plus 2 additional TBSP

1/8 TSP pure almond extract


In a mixer with a paddle, beat the butter with the sugar at medium speed, until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla, pinch of salt and the egg yolk and blend till smooth.  Add the flour in three batches until a dough forms into a ball.  Remove and cover with plastic wrap, refrigerating up to at least 2 hours or overnight.

Place the dough between some parchment paper with some four and roll out to about a 12” round.  Peel off the top paper and carefully invert into a 9” fluted pan with a removable bottom.  Previously greased and dusted with flour.  Mold around the edges and prick the bottom lightly with a fork.  Refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

Line the tart shell with foil and weigh down with some dried beans.  Bake for about 30 minutes.  Remove the foil and beans and bake for an additional 5 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove and place the pan on a baking sheet.  Increase the oven temp to 375F.

While the tart shell is baking, in a small sauce pan add the cranberries with the water, sugar and cook them till the pop for about 3-5 minutes.  Allow them to cool.  Drain them through a colander reserving the syrup.

In a kitchen mixing bowl, beat the eggs and the brown sugar with an electric mixer till fluffy.  Add about 1 TBSP of the reserved syrup and almond extract.  Add the ½ and ½.

Spread the cooled cranberries on the bottom of the baked tart shell and add the custard on top. Bake on the lower third rack of the oven and bake for about 15-18 minutes till an inserted skewer comes out clean. When cool enough to handle, remove the sides of the rimmed pan and set tart on a rack to cool

Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.





Crumbles are the quintessential, no-fuss favorite that rookies or pros have in their desert recipe arsenals. The fruit variation showcased can be anything and crumbles are so exponentially easy to prepare, making it a fool proof, prototypical dish every time. Keep an eye on the topping; if it’s starting to brown too quickly before the fruit is baked, cover the skillet with foil. Additionally, there’s no reason you have to use a cast-iron skillet – but the heat conductivity is phenomenal, and it makes for an engaging, rustic presentation.


5 Bartlett pears – cored, peeled and sliced

2 large Granny Smith apples – cored, peeled and sliced

¾ cup of dried raisins

Pinch of salt

2 TBSP cornstarch

¼ cup of brown sugar

1 TSP ground cinnamon

¼ TSP ground cardamom

2 TBSP of honey

1 TPS of molasses

2 TBSP Kentucky bourbon


½ cup APF (all-purpose flour) – sieved

½ cup of rolled oats

1 cup of light brown sugar

1 cup of chopped pecans or walnuts

1 stick unsalted butter – cold, cut into cubes

¼ TSP cinnamon

¼ TSP ground ginger

Pinch of salt

In a 12” cast iron skillet, add 1 TBSP butter and then add the apples and pears with a pinch of salt and cook for about 5 minutes still they start to soften slightly. Add the currants, cardamom, cinnamon, sugar, honey, molasses and bourbon. Mixing everything together well and remove from the fire.

In a food processor combine all the topping ingredients, save the butter. Mix well. Add the chilled butter cubes and blend until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Pour the toping over the top of the fruit in the skillet, covering everything evenly. Cover with foil and bake for about 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake and additional 20/30 minutes till the top is nice and golden, watching it carefully so it doesn’t burn.   Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

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