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As a food writer, I take my inspirations wherever I can find them. I read a lot of other people's writing about food for both
fun and research. If I have an appointment, you're much more likely to find me with a copy of Cooks Illustrated (my favorite
hard-copy magazine) than with a novel — I save those for quiet evenings at home.
Last year, I had a doctor's appointment the day before Thanksgiving. The waiting room defied conventional wisdom and had
many new magazines, including recent issues of Gourmet — a treat! As I was quite early, I had time to look through it,
and found the recipe on which I based this column. Fortunately, I also had my notebook with me, and I had time to copy
out the recipe before my appointment.
I have always loved Thanksgiving, but it will forever be associated with pie for me. Every year, my mom would bake at
least a dozen pies, and we would eat them for breakfast, dessert, snacks, dinner — whenever we wanted, until they were
gone. It was a family tradition that defined the day, as many laughs were shared over those slices of pie.
I don't bake a dozen pies the way my mother does. For one thing, my family is a lot smaller, and for another, I can't
afford that many high carb splurges. I stick with one double-crust pie (apple, of course, but from scratch), and then
provide two or three low carb desserts (like pumpkin pie with a pecan praline crust) so no one feels deprived.
I wasn't planning on making this dessert last year — in fact, I didn't know it existed. But since I had all the
ingredients on hand, and it looked so easy and delicious, I went ahead and tried it.
It was a huge success. The tart looks so lovely with the layers of creamy cheesecake and deep red cranberry jam,
and the flavors and textures are nicely balanced, too. The lively taste of the cranberries is mellowed by the cream
cheese and the sweet crunchy crust.
This year, there's no question that it will be on the menu again. I'll have a few slivers of apple pie, but with this
tart and my low carb pumpkin pie, I won't feel like I'm missing a thing.
Cranberry Cheesecake Tart
adapted from Gourmet magazine Serves 8.
Place the ingredients in a medium-sized saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.
- 1 12 ounce bag of cranberries
- 1 C sugar free vanilla syrup (Da Vinci's, Torani, Monin)
- 1/2 C orange juice (fresh squeezed is best)
Reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. Force the mixture through a fine mesh
sieve or strainer, discarding the skin and seeds. Cool, stirring occasionally, and set
aside to use in the tart.
Blend the cream cheese, heavy cream, and Splenda in the bowl of your food processor until creamy, about 1 minute.
Add the remaining ingredients and process just until smooth.
- 1 + 1/2 8-oz packages cream cheese (12 ounces total)
- 2 T heavy cream
- 1/2 C + 2 T granular Splenda
- 2 whole eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 3 T bourbon (optional – increase vanilla to 1 T if omitting)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp salt
- Pre-baked pie crust or tart shell
- Cranberry jam
- 1/4 C water
- Cheesecake filling
Preheat oven to 325 °F.
Copyright © November 2005 Joan Hedman and Low Carb Luxury
Melt the jam with the quarter-cup of water, stirring until smooth. Spread half of the jam over the bottom
of the pie crust. Let stand until the jam is set, about 5 minutes (refrigeration can speed this up a bit.)
Gently pour the cheesecake filling on top of the jam.
Cover the edges of the pie crust with foil so they do not become too brown. Bake at 325 degrees until the
filling is set but still trembles slightly in the center, about 35-40 minutes.
Cool the tart completely. Reheat the jam mixture until it is pourable, and pour over the filling. Spread
the jam to cover the cheesecake evenly.
Chill at least 2 hours before serving. Serve topped with fresh whipped cream dusted with fresh grated
nutmeg for an extra-dazzling presentation.
If you have any other questions or comments,
just send me an email. Thanks!