I made swirls for you. The holidays call for showmanship, and a lemon tart bejeweled with bright red cranberry delivers. Not to be outdone by its looks, the tart’s creamy lemon filling, cookie crust, and tangy cranberry dollops taste beyond incredible, like key lime pie that’s come back home for Christmas.
With the holiday so close, it seems like everyone has switched into elf mode, baking cookies and braising brisket for the Christmas Eve party, buying presents and wrapping them in brown paper, concocting a few homemade gifts too, because you can never have too many packages in the pile. With this tart, I’ve entered the workshop too. You should have seen me by the counter when I made this–you would have giggled at my careful deliberations on the swirls and my serious judgment of the cranberry color’s vibrancy. It was a case of holiday-onset perfectionism.
I got inspired to bake this tart from a flavor of mike’s hard that comes in the drink company’s “mike’s hard party kit,” which has four flavors—hard lemonade, hard black cherry lemonade, hard limeade, and today’s muse, the hard cranberry lemonade. The colors of the bottles are, like the tart, so bright and festive and warm (though the drink—like the tart—is cool and refreshing). Those colors, and the drink’s sweet-tangy flavor, emerge in my cranberry-lemonade tart, in the sweetness and tanginess, and in the swirls. Both just feel like the holidays—like gifts. Which means the two also pair beautifully. If you’re heading to a friend’s place with the tart in hand, bring a party pack too (and, vice versa).
Any food we bake for our loved ones is a gift, really. Right? Right. It’s just that this beautiful tart really looks like one. And when you’re a cook, that’s just how the holiday spirit manifests…in swirls.
I should add that this dessert has an impossibly high ratio of glamour to ease. The crust needs no rolling, and the custard-like filling requires no tempering of eggs. That part is my gift to you.
This post was sponsored by mike’s hard. You can find products near you by going here. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who help make BGSK’s content great!