Through the course of becoming obsessed with food blogs over the years, I have accumulated thousands of recipes to try from blogs, news articles, websites and of course, cookbooks. I never seem to make much of a dent no matter how little I repeat recipes. Admittedly, there are a few favorites that I will repeat, and nothing says Christmas to me more than the cranberry pecan frangipane tart from Smitten Kitchen.
I think I've made it at least four times now because I love it so much. It definitely helps me appreciate it even more when I only make it around Christmastime. This year, I decided to make one for a family gathering in Buffalo. It's easy to prepare with minimal ingredients and equipment, which is especially important when you have to cook in someone else's kitchen. You never know what ingredients or equipment will be on hand, but you can prepare components of this recipe in advance. I prebaked the crust and prepared all the dry ingredients at home in Chicago. I zested the orange directly into the bag of sugar, which gave it plenty of time to "marinate" the sugar. The crust is like a rich, buttery sugar cookie. The filling is reminiscent of pecan pie, but not as sticky. I love the combination of orange and cranberry. I like to use the full cup of fresh cranberries for that pop of tartness to contrast the sweet pecan filling.