Cranberry Almond Frangipane Tart

If you're on the East Coast, you're probably snowed in due to the lovely blizzard we're having - which can be a good or bad thing depending on how you look at it.  Schools are already out for the holiday recess so no "snow day" necessary, and if your office is nice (and wise) enough, you'll get a day off as I imagine the roads are pretty treacherous out there.

However, seeing as many of us celebrated Christmas this past weekend with a feast of some kind and lots of decadent sweets and treats, being stuck at home watching endless hours of television is probably not the best thing! Especially if you have leftover desserts like honey-gingerbread cookies, speculoos madeleines and cranberry almond frangipane tart within reach!  

I decided to bake a cranberry almond frangipane tart as the main attraction for Christmas dessert because of the cranberry's festive red color.  And also because I found frangipane intriguing simply for its "French-ness"  but also for the ground almonds.  From what I've read, frangipane is a type of pastry creme or custard typically made of almonds.  It is usually baked in a short crust shell and can be topped with a variety of fruits or even a chocolate ganache.

a delicious slice of tart pictured with speculoos madeleine and honey-gingerbread cookie

Granted, making this tart takes a lot of work and patience - from making the short crust dough, chilling/rolling out/pressing it into the pan; to mixing up the creme and chilling it for 3 hours - it was well worth it (especially for the holidays)! The tartness of the fresh cranberries contrasts so well with the sweetness of the frangipane.  The orange zest really brings out the flavor of the almonds - and I don't usually like orange-flavored desserts.  My family (my parents are crazy about fresh fruits and nuts) really enjoyed this dessert  and loved the crispy crust!  It was something new and different - I can definitely see myself making many variations of this tart.   

On a side note, I loved that I was able to scratch three of my baking goals off of the list before New Year's - two just with this tart! 
What did you bake (or indulge in) for Christmas? 

Source: adapted from Smitten Kitchen (I used almonds instead of pecans)