Cinnamon and cloves are traditional in holiday cooking, and both have an affinity with orange. The tartness of the fruit is offset by the sweet, sultry spiciness of the crust. You can purchase a kitchen blow torch and small ceramic tartlet dishes at kitchen supply shops; serve the tartlets straight from those dishes.
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup (4 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind
Dash of ground cloves
1 cup fresh orange juice (about 2 oranges)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups fresh cranberries
20 orange sections (about 3 oranges)
5 teaspoons granulated sugar, divided
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350º.
To prepare crusts, combine first 6 ingredients, tossing well. Spoon about 3 tablespoons crumb mixture into each of 10 (3 x 1-inch) ceramic tartlet dishes coated with cooking spray. Press crumbs into bottom and up sides of dishes. Place dishes on a baking sheet. Bake at 350º for 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely on a wire rack.
To prepare filling, beat cream cheese with a mixer at high speed until smooth. Add sour cream, 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, rind, and dash of cloves; beat until well blended. Chill.
To prepare topping, combine orange juice and 1/2 cup granulated sugar in a large saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add cranberries; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer until thick and reduced to 1 cup (about 15 minutes). Cool completely.
Spread about 1 1/2 tablespoons filling into bottom of each crust; top each tartlet with about 1 1/2 tablespoons topping. Just before serving, top each tartlet with 2 orange sections. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar over each serving. Holding a kitchen blow torch about 2 inches from the top of each tartlet, heat the sugar, moving the torch back and forth, until sugar is completely melted and caramelized (about 30 seconds). Serve within 30 minutes (do not refrigerate or caramel will melt).