Holiday Treat: Eggnog Tart with Cranberries and Pistachios

Image by Julia Dodge.

The holiday season is not about gifts, it’s not about shuddering in disgust as someone sticks a handful of bread up a turkey’s rectum, trying to backpedal after ruining Santa for your niece, or even your mom secretly re-decorating the Christmas tree when no one’s looking. No, the holiday season’s one and only purpose is to get together with estranged relatives and assert your dominance based on who has their life the most together.

This year you may be coming to the table with student loans and a different girlfriend than last year while wearing sweatpants that already have gravy on them, but nothing says ‘I can handle my life’ like desserts you made from scratch. Desserts are always better when they’re homemade. Do you think Martha Stewart comes in second place at her family’s dinner? Hell no. Martha comes out the victor in that Hunger Games.

This holiday twist on a cranberry pistachio tart is amazing. The tartness of the cranberry, sweet of the eggnog and crunch of the pistachio makes the perfect threesome. It requires minimal baking but a lot of cooling time so I suggest making it the night before and putting it in the fridge overnight. These can also be fun mini-tarts if you make them in a muffin tray.

Impress your relatives with long adult words like ‘pistachio,’ and if all else fails, just eat it by yourself under the mistletoe, because this tart is the only holiday kiss worth having.

1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs

6 tbsp melted butter

½ tsp nutmeg

1 package of Jell-O instant vanilla pudding (you can use another brand, just make sure you follow the directions on the package, replacing the water with eggnog)

3 cups of eggnog

1 ½ cup room temperature whipped dessert topping

1 cup frozen cranberries

⅔ cup pistachios

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, butter and nutmeg. Press the mix into a 9 inch round pie dish to create a crust.
  3. Cook pie crust for 5 minutes then put in the fridge to cool.
  4. Mix the instant pudding powder with the eggnog in a medium saucepan. Heat on medium until boiling, stirring the whole time (this may seem like a pain but it will burn to the bottom unless you keep the liquid moving).
  5. Once the pudding has just begun boiling, transfer it to a large bowl and place in the fridge or freezer (and stir every once in awhile).

This is where the waiting comes in—the pudding must be entirely cool before the next step. If it’s still warm, it will melt the whipped topping and make the whole thing watery.

  1.  Gently fold the whipped topping into the pudding (I recommend doing this half a cup at a time).
  2.  Mix in the cranberries and pistachios.
  3.  Pour the pudding mix into the pie crust and place back in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
  4.  Add extra whipped topping and nutmeg on top for decoration and show these punks how real heroes win Christmas.