Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I Love Lucille Ball Tart

Hello one and all, and welcome to the pie party.  This month's You Want Pies With That challenge was to bake a Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous Pie as dictated by the ever amazing Natashya & Jacque.  The rules consist of "making a special pie based on someone famous.  Or you can pretend you're making it for them."  And it can be anyone famous, past or present. Anyone.  
A-N-Y-O-N-E.  The guidelines were so freeing, I found them daunting. Sometimes I just need rules y'all.  Though I must say, in everyday life, not a big fan of rules in general.  I'm a big fan of rule breakers.  Of singular sensations. Of women who break the mold.  Like comedians who weren't afraid to make a statement or be themselves.  Like- oh my goodness I'm going to make a pie for Lucille Ball!  Except I can't find an American pie plate in the UK. I'm going to make a tart for Lucille Ball!

See how my thought process works?

Thus a post is born in honor of one of the most famous women in American popular culture.  A woman who impacted thousands of people from all walks of life across generations and locations. Whenever I watch I Love Lucy or the Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour, I laugh uncontrollably.  Could I possibly make a tart that could give that much joy to others?  Oh Lucy, I sure hope I did you proud!

First, let's start with an ingredient that also is a singular and distinctly recognizable American fruit: the cranberry.  Tart with tons of personality, these little suckers always evoke an emotional reaction.  And they're little "balls." Like her last name.  Get it?  Okay, I know...

It's All-American, spicy, flavorful and robust; all things that remind me of the comic genius herself.  Plus the red coloring is an homage to her red hair.  Yeah, it's true, her hair was more orange, but I have peach jam as an ingredient for that.  But hey, the first show was in black and white, so if you don't say anything about it not being the right red, I won't either.  Either way, it's a stunning hue for the table.

I Love Lucille Ball Tart

1 baked GF shortbread tart crust as seen here
2 cups whole cranberries, fresh or thawed frozen
1/4 cup pressed fruit juice of choice (I used a mix of raspberry, apple, grape)
8 tbs of no sugar added peach jam (the better part of a 10 oz jar)
2 tbs sugar
1/2 tsp spice mix

How pretty is that?!  Makes me all proud *sniff *tear
All those little Lucille Balls...

Set aside prepared tart crust to cool.
In a medium saucepan, heat the juice and cranberries together until a gentle rolling boil.
Keeping mixing the juice and berries so that the berries don't settle and burn.
When the berries start to break down and look more like a gelatinous goo, add the jam, sugar and spice.
Simmer or low boil while continuously mixing for several minutes until properly incorporated.
Remove cranberry filling from heat and pour unto cooling tart crust.
Spread evenly and bake at 250-300 degrees F for 5-10 minutes.
Watch carefully to make sure the crust isn't burning!  If it starts to burn, shut the oven off and let the tart sit in there.

**A technical note about the tart.  It's a tart tart.  If you do not like a little sour with your sweet, you might want to add 1-2 more tbs of sugar or serve with vanilla bean ice cream.  Also, if you're weird with textures, be aware that I love whole cranberries: skins, seeds, and pulp!  If you only like jellied cranberries, this might not be your bag kid.


  1. Your tart looks so delicious! I love the colors.

  2. Love the cranberries! Perfect for Lucy's personality. This looks yummy!

  3. What a gorgeous color! Your tart is very "Lucy".

  4. Cranberries are perfect for Lucy, and I always love the tart with the sweet. Great choice. Libby

  5. Oh my gosh, that is perfect! What a fun pie and a fun post.

    I love LB too. :)

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