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In search of a lost recipe from Gourmet Magazine

Back in mid 80's, i made achocolate-cranberry torte/tart/pie? for Thanksgiving and the memory of this dessert lingers to this day. I recall that the recipe came from Gourmet Magazine and the year is either 1985, 1986, or 1987, probably October/November/December issue. If anyone has this recipe or can relate to what I'm talking about, please let me know or send a link. Thanks for your help!

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  1. There is a recipe on epicurious that kind of fits.It is a chocolate tart with candied cranberries. Go to epicurious.com and search it.

    1. This is a tart I made around 2007 from Bon Appetit magazine. It sounds exactly like what you want. It was very good, but serve small pieces, it's very rich. Good Luck!


      3 Replies
      1. re: Diane in Bexley

        I've seen this recipe and although it's not the one I am looking for, I may give it a shot. Thanks!

        1. re: paulmunk

          (edited: meant to reply to OP)

          I think I have those issues, I'll check this week. I hate that Epicurious doesn't have all the recipes indexed on the site. I found this out the hard way after I threw out a lot of back issues.

          1. re: Rubee

            I tried Epicurious and couldn't find it. I thought for a moment that my memory is failing me, until I relized that Epicurious database of recipes from Gourmet is not all encompassing.

      2. Have you called the magazine? I had the same thing happen to me with a creme brulee recipe and they were able to find it/email it to me.
        Seems like you've narrowed the timeline down so a little time over the phone may be useful.

        1 Reply
        1. Its a very old recipe, you will have to dig it hard with in your memory in order to find the recipe....

          1. I found a reference to a "Cranberry Tart with Rum Cream and Chocolate" that was apparently in the November 1986 issue of Gourmet. A little more searching turned up a recipe at the bottom of this page - http://coterieofacton.com/recipes/Oct... - for said tart. Could this be the one?

            14 Replies
            1. re: Coogles

              I think this is it, although I don't recall the rum creme bit (there was a custard like filling for sure, though). If it were in November 1986 issue, then I am virtually certain that this is the one I am looking for--Thank You very much!!!

              I am curious where you found it. The link you posted had a bunch of recipes on it--what is the site? I've searched for past recipes out of Gourmet on Epicurious before and as Ruby mentioned in a post before, their collection is not comprehensive. A site that would have all the recipes from past issues indexed would be a terrific find!

              Thanks again--I really appreciate it.

              1. re: paulmunk

                I did a search for "gourmet magazine 80's cranberry chocolate" which led me to this page http://devonisafoodie.blogspot.com/ that gave the issue of the magazine and title of the recipe. Googling "Cranberry Tart with Rum Cream and Chocolate" in quotes led to this page http://coterieofacton.com/recipes/Oct..., which is a menu for a dinner this group will be having on the 27th where the tart will be served and indicates that the recipes will be posted on their site. I then looked at the home page for their site and found the link to the recipes, the page with the actual recipe is found does not show up in the search. They look like a social group that has quarterly gourmet dinners. I can't find any recipes from previous dinners so you may want to print these out before they're taken down.

                  1. re: Coogles

                    I can't seem to access that page - it may be because I have an older computer. Can you post this recipe?

                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                        I have the link from above, but it just won't load for me. Can you cut and paste the recipe for me?

                        1. re: DonnaMarieNJ

                          Unfortunately, no. It's a pdf scan, so it's not possible to C&P . I could try to paraphrase the recipe but it's really long and I'm not up to it tonight. I've saved it off and can try to do it later in the week if no one beats me to it. Are you under a particular deadline for it?


                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                            Not at all - no hurry. It just sounded good. The page just won't load for me - it stops halfway and wants me to download something (I'm not comfortable with that). As I mentioned, my computer is old and needs to be updated, but I'd rather a pro do it for me. I can't even save the recipe as I can't see it. Any help would be appreciated. THANK YOU!

                            1. re: DonnaMarieNJ

                              TDQ - I did it! I tried it at work and it opened immediately. Thank you anyway! Must get a new computer at home :(

                              1. re: DonnaMarieNJ

                                Oh, that's fantastic! Sounds like a good recipe, doesn't it?


                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                  What am I doing wrong? The link opens up for me and I see several scanned recipes but not the cranberry tart one. The very last thing in the document is a note of a correction to that recipe.

                                  1. re: tcamp

                                    I suspect you aren't doing anything wrong. It's a weird page with some text and some scanned images. It seems like maybe you are able to see the text but not the images? Funnily enough, I was able to see the cranberry tart from a different computer, but I can't see it from the one I'm using right now. Do you have access to a different computer?


                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                      Ok, I needed to allow some microsoft add-on to see that particular recipe. Wierd. Thanks for the help!

                  2. re: paulmunk

                    Epicurious's indexing is not comprehensive either. Google is better, IMHO.

                1. Have you seen the blog 'The Way We Ate"? 2 fellows own all 815 issues of Gourmet and they cook a few dishes from each issue every week. The months match the current month, but they select random years. There isn't any text or recipes, just photos. It's a beautiful site and if you ask really nicely they might dig up the recipe for you. http://thewayweate.net

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: pavlova

                    Great blog recco! That is fascinating.

                    1. re: Splendid Spatula

                      Thanks so much for the blog site - can't wait to explore it!

                  2. I was just looking for an old cranberry tart recipe that was on the cover of Gourmet around that time. I remember that I made a rich chocolate sauce and spread it over the partially cooked crust before adding the cranberry mixture. It was delicious and beautiful. Can't find it. Epicurious has so many problems. It's a shame that it is not a place where you can look for old favorites.

                    1. Good news, bad news. The good news: it's a sensational holiday dessert, from the November, 1986 issue of GOURMET. I've made it & hoped to do so again this year.

                      The bad news: those old Thanksgiving issues of GOURMET were huge, but badly bound--over the years, apparently I've lost the second half of 11/86...and the second half of the recipe.

                      All is not lost, though; I think the recipe can be re-constructed. The tart is composed, so it's a matter of researching, combining your favorite recipes for the elements.

                      Start with a 1 recipe of CREAM CHEESE PASTRY DOUGH (a variation of pate brisee, Martha Stewart & Epicurious have versions); this is rolled and formed into your tart pan of choice, baked and cooled.

                      Cover the bottom of the baked dough with about 1/3 cup of MELTED CHOCOLATE (the recipe opts for semi-sweet chips; I'd probably use a good quality bittersweet chocolate); let cool.

                      Top this with 1 cup RUM PASTRY CREAM (an easily found recipe, I just use Julia Child's) and chill the tart.

                      Finally, the CRANBERRIES: dissolve 2 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin in your choice of water, cranberry juice or liquor; reserve. Meanwhile, in a saucepan combine 2 1/2 cups fresh cranberries, 2/3 cup sugar, and (if I recall--have to wing it for this bit) about 1 cup of water or cider or cranberry juice; bring this to a boil and simmer, stirring once or twice, until the cranberries pop. Do NOT stir & puree the berries down to sauce consistency--you want recognizable berries. Cook a few minutes longer, if you want the berries very soft; remove from heat & serve in the reserved gelatin. Let cool. Spoon the berries & liquid over the rum cream, spreading to cover the tart. Chill until the gelatin is completely set.

                      I think that's it.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: HulyeVagyok

                        Thanks HulyeVagyok
                        You have me though the dough, chocolate (definitely) and the pastry cream. And, I agree, the cranberries appeared whole on the tart. And the juice and the cider sound right. The gelatin I don't remember, but that doesn't mean anything. Perhaps you're right. I'll try it and let you know.

                        1. re: HulyeVagyok

                          I was SO excited! Finally, a chance to make a difference....to BE SOMEONE! I ran down the stairs to the basement and to my magazine bookcase......only to discover that my Gourmet collection begins in 1987, not 1986. Sigh. :<(

                          1. re: sandylc

                            LOL. :) But it is good to know that ~someone managed to save theirs!

                        2. Cranberry Tart with Rum Cream and Chocolate
                          Gourmet - November 1986

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: NoahF

                            WOW! NoahF - Thanks. One long lost recipe found. Thanks. Happy Thanksgiving to you and everyone.

                          2. Cranberry Tart with Rum Cream and Chocolate

                            For the shell

                            1 recipe Cream cheese pastry dough

                            Raw rice for weighing down the shell

                            Egg wash, beat 1 egg w 1 t water


                            ½ c semisweet chocolate chips

                            1 c rum pastry cream

                            2 ½ t unflavored gelatin

                            1/3 c sugar

                            2 ½ c cranberries, cleaned

                            Make the shell. Rollout the dough 1/8 “ thick on floured surface. Place on 9 ½ “ tart pan with 1 inch overhang. Fold overhang inward and press against the inside. Crimp the edge decoratively. Prick the bottom. Chill the shell. Line w foil. Fill w rice. Bake at 425 for 12 m. Remove rice and foil and bake 5-7 m. Cool shell.

                            Roll out remaining dough ¼’. Cut leaves, score them, and make a 4” diameter circle on a cookie sheet. Brush w egg wash. Bake at 425 for 8-10. Melt the chips and spread on bottom of crust. Chill for 15 min.

                            Spread the pastry cream evenly over the chocolate cream and chill tart covered loosely with plastic wrap.

                            In a metal bowl sprinkle the gelatin over 3T cold water. Soften for 5 m. In saucepan add sugar to ¼ c water. Boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Add cranberries. Simmer on low for 1 m. Pour mixture over gelatin mixture and set in a larger bowl of ice cold water. Stir occasionally, until cool to the touch and thickened slightly and spoon it over the pastry cream.

                            Chill tart for 2 hours or until it is set. Place leaf wreath on top.

                            Cream cheese pastry

                            7/8 stick unsalted buter

                            4 oz cold cream cheese

                            1 c flour

                            ½ t salt

                            In food processor blend butter, cream cheese, flour, salt, pulsing until it forms a ball. Gather into a ball and flatten slightly. Flour ball and chill, wrapped in plastic, for hour.

                            Rum Pastry Cream

                            2 egg yolks

                            ¼ c sugar

                            1 ½ T flour

                            1 ½ T cornstarch

                            ½ c milk

                            1 T melted butter

                            1 ½ T Dark rum

                            In a heatproof bowl whisk together the yolks, sugar, flour, cornstarch and milk, scalded in a stream, whisking constantly, In a saucepan bring the custard to a ________over moderate heat whisking constantly, remove the pan from the heat and add the butter and the rum whisking until the butter disappears. Force the pastry cream through a __sieve?________ into a bowl. Lay a round of buttered wax paper on top? Chill until you need it or until it’s cold. Can be chilled for 2 days.

                            May have gotten some measurements wrong in trying to read original recipe.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: avocadogirl

                              This isn't a reply, although I must say I copied down the tart recipe--sounds wonderful. I'm looking for someone who still has the Gourmet recipe for cranberry-filled lemon baskets from November 1972. When I moved last year, I got over-eager and threw out a carton of old Gourmets, and now I'm suffering for it. Please answer SOON!!! Thanks.