A Sweet Ending…

I’m a firm believer in happy endings. A sucker for them, really. I’ll watch 2 hours of drivel with crappy actors and far-fetched storylines if I can be guaranteed a schmaltzy kiss and happy ending for my effort. Can’t help it, I have an emotional sweet-tooth. The crappier the circumstances, the more my need and faith in a silver lining at the end. Yes, it’s probably naïve, simplistically optimistic, but there it is. Karin the Curmudgeon just doesn’t work. Oh sure, I’ll give it a good try, furrow my brow, grumble my best grouse and pooh-pooh like a champ, but in the end that snotty little mary sunshine inside me always wins out.

The same goes for my feelings as the year-end nears. No matter how crappy the past 365 were, I’ll always look for a way to see the shiny side. So for my last recipe of this year, I’ve naturally picked one with a sweet touch. A sweet boozy touch, which if nothing else, will help brighten the spirit(s). The first time I made this Port-Glazed Grape Tart with Pecan Crust was on a New Year’s Eve, served with a wonderful aged gouda and a lovely runny camembert on the side. Add a glass of something sparkly and you’ve got the perfect sweet ending to a long winter’s night.

©cookinginmyheels.com

©cookinginmyheels.com

Port-Glazed Grape Tarts with Pecan Crust

Adapted from Gourmet Magazine

Makes one 10” tart

For tart shells

  • 1/4 cup pecans (1 oz), lightly toasted
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 sticks (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For grape filling

  • 1 cups Ruby Port
  • 3/4 cups Concord grape jelly
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste
  • 2 1/2 lb small red seedless grapes, stems discarded (6 1/2 cups)

Make tart shells:

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Pulse pecans with brown sugar in a food processor until finely ground (do not allow to become a paste). Add flour, butter, cinnamon, ginger, and salt and pulse until mixture begins to form large lumps. Press into tart pans evenly over bottom and up sides with floured fingers. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes.

Bake tart shells in lower third of oven until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Transfer shells in pans to racks to cool completely. Carefully remove sides of pans, keeping shells on pan base.

Make filling while shells cool:

Simmer Port and jelly, stirring occasionally, until reduced to about 3/4 cups, about 20-25 minutes, then stir in lemon juice. Immediately toss grapes with 1 cup glaze in a large bowl until well coated, then mound in tart shells.

Just before serving, drizzle tarts with more glaze and serve remainder on the side.

The tart shells and the glaze can be made up to 2 days ahead.

And here’s a few other recipes to help ring in a Happy New Year!

Wild Mushroom Tart (From Putting Your Big Girl Shoes On)

Smoked Trout Pate (From Killer Heels)

If you like what you read here, please help me spread the word. Meantime, I’d love you to join me on Facebook (please click the ‘like’ button). Thanks! 🙂

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