recipe: cranberry almond tart

cranberry almond tart

Recipe by Chef Annette TomeiCuisine: dessert, holiday dessert



Most of my dessert recipes were inspired by the glossy food magazines of the 1990s or very early 2000s. Over the years, I adapted them to suit my tastes and needs. Honestly, I can’t remember where I first learned this one, but it’s been a holiday favorite and a staple on my fall menus for many years. This one also appears on this website in my “ancient history of food blogging” posts. I thought it would be good to have it in a shareable format.

Pairing suggestion:
Madeira, tawny port, orange muscat dessert wine, sparkling apple cider, rooibos tea


  • 9-inch tart crust
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt

  • 4 ounces (1 stick) butter, cold, cut in cubes

  • 1 egg mixed with 1/2 Tablespoon water

  • Iced water, as needed

  • Egg wash (one egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon water)

  • cranberry topping
  • 1-12-ounce bag of fresh cranberries, picked over and cleaned

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/2 cup red jam or jelly (any berry)

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt

  • 1 Tablespoon of liquid (orange juice, port wine, or water)

  • 1 Tablespoon powdered gelatin, bloom in 1/4 cup cold water (or 4 sheets of gelatin, softened in cold water)

  • almond filling
  • 2 ounces butter

  • 8 ounces almond paste (1 package)

  • 1/2 cup finely ground almonds

  • 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 3 egg whites, lightly beaten

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla


  • 9-inch tart crust
  • Combine all the dry ingredients in the bowl of a food processor.
  • Add the cold butter cubes and pulse until it is sandy in texture (do not run at full speed).
  • Add the egg and water mixture; pulse until moist clumps form. Scrape sides and pulse a couple more times.
  • If the mixture is still too dry to hold together, add a couple of small drops of iced water, pulsing between additions, until most of the flour is absorbed.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
  • Form a disk; wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  • The dough can be made in advance (it can even be frozen for up to 30 days).
  • If frozen, thaw in the refrigerator (wrapped) overnight. Let sit at room temperature for approximately 15 minutes before proceeding.
  • Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface to a diameter that is approximately 2 inches larger than your tart (or pie) pan; approximately 1/4 inch thick.
  • Press into pan, careful not to tear; trim excess dough. Flute edges if desired.
  • Refrigerate the tart shell for at least 15 minutes before baking.
  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Prick the bottom of tart shel with a fork, line it with parchment paper, fill with dry beans or pie weights.
  • Blind bake for 10-15 minutes.
  • Remove the weights and parchment, egg wash the bottom of the shell and return to the oven for 10 more minutes, or until light golden brown.
  • Reserve the remaining egg wash.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  • cranberry topping
  • Combine all ingredients except the gelatin in a heavy-bottom sauce pan
  • Cook over medium-low heat for 20-30 minutes until thick and syrupy.
  • Remove from heat and stir in softened/bloomed gelatin until dissolved, then cool.
  • It should be a jam-like consistency when finished. Remove cinnamon stick before using.
  • This can be made up to 2 days in advance. You may need to warm it slightly and stir well to loosen before use.
  • almond filling
  • Heat oven to 350.
  • Cream together the butter, almond paste, ground almonds, flour, sugar, and salt until fluffy.
  • Add the vanilla to the lightly beaten egg whites.
  • Add the egg mixture to the almond mixture, stirring until well combined.
  • Spread the filling in the par-baked tart shell.
  • Bake in the center of the oven for approximately 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.
  • Remove from oven, egg wash the top and return to the oven for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Remove from oven, cool for at least 15 minutes.
  • to assemble
  • Less than 1 hour before serving, spread cranberry topping evenly over the top – not too thick, you may have more than you need.
  • If you are using a tart pan with removable sides/bottom, do so just before serving. Transfer to a platter or cake stand.


  • This tart can be made in a 9-inch pie plate, but it’s so beautiful when prepared in a classic fluted tart pan with removable sides and bottom.
  • The tart dough can be made in advance and frozen. The par-baked tart shell can be made a day in advance and stored wrapped in the refrigerator. The cranberry topping can be made 2-3 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator.
  • Don’t top with cranberries until just before serving (max 1 hour prior) so the topping does not bleed and soak into the almond filling.
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