Cranberry Shortbread Tart

This festive dessert is sweet and tart at the same time; it is adapted from Fine Cooking magazine but I think that next time I make it, I will make it in a 9″ square pan lined with oiled parchment and cut it into bars for a bite size dessert you can pick up.

For the cranberry filling:
12 oz. fresh cranberries
1 cup sugar
2 T fresh lemon juice
3 T apricot jam
Combine cranberries, sugar, lemon juice and 1/2 cup water in a saucepan. Bring to boil over high heat; reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. The cranberries will pop and spit so watch out. The mixture should be syrupy. Add the apricot jam and let this cool completely (I made this the day before making the tart).
For the shortbread:
1 cup sliced blanched almonds
9 oz. (2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 c plus 2 T fine yellow cornmeal (1 3/4 oz.)
1/2 t kosher salt
1 cup sugar
zest from one lemon
1 t vanilla
1 egg yolk
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
In a food processor, pulse the almonds with 2 T of the flour until chopped fine (but not reduced to powder). In a stand mixer using the paddle attachment combine the butter, sugar, zest and vanilla and beat until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg yolk and mix to combine. Add the flour, cornmeal, salt and almond mixture and beat on low just until combined to form a soft dough. Divide the dough in half and lightly oil a 9″ tart pan with removable bottom (or square pan). Press half of the dough into the pan evenly and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.  Preheat oven to 325º and prick the bottom of the tart dough with a fork. Bake for about 20-25 minutes until lightly golden. After the crust is baked, spoon the cranberry filling over the top and spread evenly; break up the remaining dough (which has also been in the fridge) into pebble like pieces and distribute over the cranberry filling. Bake for about 30-35 minutes until golden.
Note: this tart can be made ahead and frozen for the holidays; thaw at room temperature- you can re-warm the tart at 300º for 10 minutes or so if you want to.

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