This is a terrific cross between a tart and a cake; it has a crisp, delicate crust as well as a cakey filling made with nutty browned butter and vanilla bean. Katherine Thompson, the pastry chef at Manhattan's L'Artusi and Dell'anima, serves it all year-round with different toppings, but for the holidays, she loves to pile on fresh cranberries. More Holiday Desserts Dessert Tips from F&W Editors
In a food processor, pulse the flour with the sugar and salt. Add the butter and pulse until it is the size of small peas. In a small bowl, whisk the cream with the egg yolk. Pour the cream mixture into the food processor and pulse until moist crumbs form. Turn the pastry out onto a work surface and pat into a disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for about 30 minutes, or until chilled.
Preheat the oven to 375°. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the pastry 1/8 inch thick. Fit the pastry into a 10-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom; trim the overhanging pastry. Patch any cracks with the pastry trimmings. Refrigerate the tart shell for about 30 minutes, or until it is chilled.
Line the tart shell with foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for about 25 minutes, until the rim is lightly golden. Remove the foil and weights and bake for about 10 minutes longer, until lightly golden all over. Set the tart pan on a baking sheet.
In a small skillet, melt the butter with the vanilla bean and seeds. Cook over moderately high heat until the butter starts to turn golden and smells nutty, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs with 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon of the sugar and the lemon zest. Strain the brown butter into the egg mixture and whisk until incorporated. Whisk in the flour and salt. Pour the filling into the tart shell and bake for about 25 minutes, until golden and set. Transfer to a rack to cool, about 2 hours.
In a saucepan, combine the remaining 1 cup of sugar with the cranberries and water. Bring to a simmer over moderately high heat and cook until the cranberries have just split and the sugar is dissolved, about 4 minutes. Scrape the cranberries into a bowl and refrigerate until cool, about 1 hour.
Using a slotted spoon, arrange the cranberries on the tart and discard the liquid. Cut the tart into wedges and serve.
The baked tart can be kept at room temperature overnight. The cranberries can be refrigerated for up to 3 days; bring to room temperature before using.