This colorful tart can brighten the dessert table from Thanksgiving until the last holiday gift is opened. Tart may be frozen, tightly covered, then thawed in the refrigerator prior to serving.
Note: Let the mascarpone filling set completely before adding the cranberry topping.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch pie pan or a 9- to 9 1/2-inch tart pan with a removable bottom.
2. In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat butter, confectioners' sugar, orange zest, and vanilla on medium speed until blended and smooth, about 1 minute. Sift together flour, cornstarch, and salt and add to bowl. Mix on low speed just until dough forms crumbs and flour is blended, about 15 seconds.
3. Transfer crumbs to prepared pan. With clean dry hands, press dough smoothly and evenly onto bottom and sides of pan. Using a fork, prick top of dough lightly. Bake crust at 350 degrees F for 20 to 23 minutes, until edge of crust is lightly browned. Let crust cool for 20 minutes before filling.
4. While crust bakes, prepare topping. In medium saucepan combine cranberries, orange juice, sugar, and orange zest. Over medium-high heat bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and simmer gently for about 5 minutes, until mixture is syrupy and cranberries break down, resembling a jam. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to cool and thicken slightly. Topping can be prepared a day ahead, covered, and refrigerated.
5. Make filling. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat mascarpone, cream, confectioners' sugar, orange zest, and vanilla on medium-high speed until thickened and firm peaks form, about 3 minutes.
6. Assemble tart. Spread mascarpone filling in cooled crust. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
7. Just before serving, spoon cranberry topping over tart. Alternatively, top individual servings with a spoonful of topping and garnish with orange zest if desired. To serve, carefully slide a small knife around edges of crust to loosen it. If you used a tart pan with removable sides, remove sides of pan and transfer tart to serving plate. If you used a pie pan, slice directly from pan. Serve chilled.
Source: Hannaford fresh Magazine, November - December 2008