With festive cranberry curd and pistachio shortbread crust, these dessert bars make a lovely addition to any holiday cookie exchange or sweet table.
- For the bars
- 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) finely ground pistachios
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) granulated sugar
- 1/4 (1 mL) cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
- 3/4 (175 mL) Mirage Margarine, cut into cubes, refrigerated
- 1 egg yolk
- Icing sugar for dusting
- For the cranberry curd
- 12 oz (375 g) fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1 cup (250 mL) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon zest
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) lemon juice
- 2 eggs
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) Mirage Margarine, cut into cubes, refrigerated
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line 9-inch (23 cm) square pan with enough parchment paper to overhang edges; set aside.
- In food processor, pulse together flour, pistachios, sugar, cinnamon and salt until combined. Add margarine; pulse just until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add egg yolk; pulse just until dough starts to pull away from sides. Press into bottom of prepared pan.
- Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until edges are light golden and top is set. Let cool completely.
- Cranberry Curd: In saucepan set over medium heat, combine cranberries, sugar, orange juice, lemon zest and lemon juice; bring to boil. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until cranberries pop and start to soften. Press mixture through fine-mesh sieve set over bowl. (You should have 3 1/2 cups/875 mL cranberry liquid.)
- In separate bowl, whisk together eggs and egg yolks until pale yellow. Slowly whisk in warm cranberry liquid. Pour into clean saucepan; cook over medium-low heat, stirring with wooden spoon or heatproof spatula, for 10 to 12 minutes or until mixture thickens and coats back of spoon. Stir in margarine. Strain into heatproof bowl.
- Preheat oven to 350˚F (180˚C). Pour cranberry curd into prepared crust; smooth top. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until curd is set but still slightly jiggly in centre. Let cool completely on rack. Refrigerate until for 1 to 2 hours or until chilled.
- Cut into bars. Dust with icing sugar before serving.
Tip: For a fancy dessert, place each bar on serving plate. Garnish with dollop of whipped mascarpone cheese, shaved white chocolate, toasted pistachios, sugared cranberries and lemon zest.