This beautiful and festive Cranberry Frangipane Tart will bring holiday joy to your celebrations! Sweet, tangy and absolutely irresistible. Bake an extra batch to gift to your loved ones!
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A classic French tart made with cranberries
‘Tis the season for baking all the delicious things!
Truth be told, I don’t bake as often as I’d like. Other than a weekend project here or there, my baking happens almost exclusively during the holiday season.
There’s something about that time of the year that inspires me to turn my oven on to create delicious desserts! And now that I have two daughters, I am excited to spend time with them in the kitchen.
I even started a bake list for this year! Cookies for Santa, cookies for the cookie exchange party, edible gifts, a beautiful dessert for my husband’s company potluck and a killer pie for our local farmer’s market competition.
Want to get a hold of me this season? Look in the kitchen! I’ll most likely be there, baking the day away, with my two helpers.
Bake to Share – These tarts make great edible gifts!
The thing about baking is that it is meant to be shared.
Nobody bakes a cake to eat it all by themselves. The ultimate goal is almost always to share it with friends and family. And that’s why baking makes us happy!
In fact, according to a new survey, more than half of U.S. Millenials, America’s largest generation of adults, bake over the holidays to connect and spend time with loved ones. For them (well, us!), it’s more about creating meaningful memories than to enjoy the finish goods.
This Cranberry Frangipane Tart is not only delicious and perfect to share but also an edible gift that everyone will love. You can bake mini tarts, put them into festive packages and give them as gifts for teachers, hostesses and/or neighbors.
My plan this year is to bake a big tart for our Christmas Eve party and then bake the mini ones to give as favors. Yes, holiday party favors! Why isn’t that a thing? Why do only kids and wedding guests get to take home something fun?
I propose we all adopt giving homemade holiday party favors. Because who wouldn’t love taking home a mini version of the dessert they loved? I know I would!
Ingredients for Sweet Pastry Crust
Make sure you have these ingredients on hand:
- Confectioners’ Sugar
Ingredients for Cranberry Jam
Here’s what you will need:
- Cranberries – fresh or frozen
To make frangipane, you’ll need:
- Almond Flour
- All-Purpose Flour
- Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract
- Nielsen-Massey Pure Almond Extract
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Their vanillas are simply the best on the market and the richest tasting in the world. Each vanilla bean is hand-picked, hand-cured and carefully inspected to ensure it meets their strict quality standards.
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Available in 2 and 4-ounce sizes, the Holiday Flavors Bundle is the perfect gift for your favorite home baker, holiday party favors package or to have it at home.
Visit NielsenMassey.com to learn how to #BaketoShare this holiday season with guides for hosting holiday gatherings, new holiday recipes and gift giving ideas.
How to make Cranberry Frangipane Tart
While this recipe is not difficult, it requires some planning ahead, as you will need to chill and blind bake the crust before assembling the tart.
The recipe starts with a homemade simple sweet pastry crust because I love the buttery cookie-like texture it brings to this dessert! I’ll teach you how to make it, but you should read my tutorial on Patê Sucrée.
Avoid using store-bought pie shells. The texture will be different, and it will be lacking in flavor! Plus, making your own crust is definitely something worth mastering.
To make the crust:
- Make the dough: Combine the flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl.
- Add the butter and, using a pastry cutter, cut it into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse sand.
- Add the egg and mix using your fingers, until the dough comes together. If the dough doesn’t come together with the egg, you can add ice water, a teaspoon at a time, until it does.
- Roll the dough: Shape the dough into a disk and place in between two sheets of parchment paper. Roll until it is about 1/4-inch-thick and large enough to cover the base and sides of your tart pan. Slide the rolled dough with the parchment paper into a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- After 2 hours, remove the dough from the fridge and let it rest for a few minutes to soften slightly. Gently flip the chilled dough over the tart pan, using your fingers to settle it smoothly into the bottom and sides of the pan. Trim and crimp the edges of the crust.
- Freeze the crust for 15 minutes (and no longer than 30 minutes).
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Remove the tart pan from the freezer and, using a fork, liberally prick the dough all over to allow steam to escape.
- Transfer the tart pan into a baking sheet, line it with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans.
- Bake the crust: Bake until the edges begin to brown, about 15-20 minutes. Remove the parchment paper and weights and continue baking until the bottom is set.
- Cool completely before assembling.
Patê Sucrée – Tips and tricks:
- Do not overwork the dough or the crust will be tough.
- The dough can chill for up to 24 hours in the fridge. It can also be frozen for up to 2 months. Let it thaw overnight in the fridge before rolling out.
- This dough is very forgiving. You can patch any thin parts or cracks with excess dough.
- You can bake the crust ahead and store at room temperature, in an airtight container, for 2-3 days. You can also freeze the baked crust for a couple of months.
To make the filling and assemble the frangipane tart:
- Make the cranberry jam: Combine the cranberries, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer. Cook until the cranberries have burst, about 10 minutes. Reserve to cool.
- Make the almond cream: Combine the sugar and softened butter in a bowl. Using a hand mixer, beat until pale and fluffy.
- Add the almond flour and mix to combine.
- Add the eggs and extracts, beating until incorporated.
- Finish by adding the flour and beating to combine. Reserve.
- Once the tart shell has cooled to room temperature, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Assemble the tart: Spread the cranberry jam on the bottom of the crust.
- Gently spread the almond cream on top of the jam. It will be easier if you add dollops of the frangipane and then carefully move an offset spatula (or back of a spoon) back and forth, smoothing it out without mixing the almond cream with the jam.
- Arrange fresh cranberries in concentric rows, about 1/4-inch apart. You can also decorate the borders with crushed almonds, if desired.
- Bake the tart: Bake in the preheated oven for 40-50 minutes or until the frangipane is set and golden brown. You can also test with a toothpick.
If making smaller tarts:
- This recipe can be used to make five 5-inch mini tarts.
- Baking time might vary, so keep a closer eye after the 30-minute mark.
Cranberry Tart variations
Want to make this tart in the middle of summer, when cranberries are not available? No worries! You can easily substitute the cranberries for other fruits.
Here are a few suggestions:
Can I use leftover cranberry sauce?
Yes! If you have some leftovers from Thanksgiving, this is a great opportunity to use them.
You will need about one cup to make this tart.
How to serve Cranberry Frangipane Tart
Frangipane tarts are usually served at room temperature, dusted with powdered sugar.
However, I would be lying if I told you I never had it with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream! Oh, you can’t beat a still-warm slice of this tart with ice cream. Perfection!
How long does cranberry frangipane tart keep?
Your frangipane tart will last about 2-3 days at room temperature. Keep it in an airtight container so the crust doesn’t soften.
You can also refrigerate it for up to a week.
Can I freeze Cranberry Frangipane Tart?
You can freeze this tart for up to 3 months.
Sweet Pastry Crust:
- 1 3/4 cups (240g) all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups (150g) powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 9 tablespoons butter (127g), cubed and chilled
- 1 large egg (56g), lightly beaten
- 2 cups (200g) fresh cranberries
- 1/3 cup (75g) sugar
- 1/2 cup (115g) water
- 1/2 cup (115g) sugar
- 8 tablespoons (115g) butter, softened
- 1 cup (115g) almond flour
- 1 teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1/4 teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Pure Almond Extract
- 2 large eggs (112g)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon (10g) all-purpose flour
- fresh cranberries - about 1 cup
- crushed almonds (optional)
Mixing the dough:
1) Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and, using a pastry cutter (or your fingertips), cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Alternatively, you can use a food processor.
2) Add the egg and mix with your hands (or pulse in the food processor) just until the dough holds together when squeezed. If the dough doesn't come together with the egg, you can add ice water, a teaspoon at a time, until it does.
Rolling out the dough:
3) Transfer the dough to the counter and shape it into a disk. Place it in between 2 sheets of parchment paper and roll it until it is large enough to cover the base and sides of your tart pan (or large enough to cut enough circles for tartlet molds) and about 1/4 inch thick. Slide the rolled dough with the parchment paper onto an upside-down baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.
Transferring the dough to the pan(s):
4) Remove the dough from the fridge and let it rest on the counter for 10 minutes to soften slightly. If making a large tart, gently flip the chilled dough over a 10 or 11-inch tart pan, pressing it into the pan to shape it and then cutting off the excess. If making tartlets, use the tartlet molds (or a round cookie cutter) to cut the dough and use your fingers to press it in the mold. In both cases, you can patch any thin parts or cracks with excess dough.
5) Freeze the crust for 15 minutes or no longer than 30 minutes.
Blind Baking the pastry crust:
6) Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C).
7) Remove the tart pan from (or tartlet molds) from the freezer and, using a fork, liberally prick the chilled dough all over to allow steam to escape.
8) Place the tart or tartlets in a baking sheet, line the shell(s) with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake in the preheated oven until the edges just begin to brown, rotating halfway through. Time will vary depending on the size of the tart or tartlets and the material the pans are made of. Generally, it can take anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes.
9) Remove the parchment paper and weights, then continue baking for a few more minutes until the center of the pastry crust is set but not yet golden.
10) Cool to room temperature before assembling.
Make the cranberry jam:
11) Combine the cranberries, sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Cook, over medium high heat, until boiling. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the cranberries burst, about 10 minutes, pressing them with a wooden spoon so the jam is smooth. Remove from heat and reserve to cool.
Make the almond cream:
12) Combine the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Using a hand mixer, beat, over medium speed, until pale and fluffy. Add the almond flour and salt and beat to incorporate.
13) Add the eggs and extracts and mix well. Then, add the all-purpose flour and beat just until combined. Use immediately or refrigerate until ready to use.
Assembling and baking the cranberry frangipane tart:
14) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180C).
15) Spread the cranberry jam in an even layer on the bottom of the tart shell(s). Add dollops of the frangipane and, using an offset spatula, gently spread it on top of the jam, being careful not to mix the almond cream with the jam.
16) Arrange fresh cranberries in concentric rows over the frangipane, about 1/4-inch apart. You can also use crushed almonds to decorate the borders, if desired.
17) Place tart(s) on a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 40-50 minutes or until the frangipane is set and golden brown. You can also test with a toothpick.
18) Let it cool to room temperature before serving.
This recipe makes one large 10-inch tart or 5 smaller (5-inch) mini tarts.
When stored in an airtight container, this tart lasts 2-3 days at room temperature. In the fridge, it will keep well for up to a week.
You can freeze this frangipane tart for up to 3 months.
- Cranberry jam - You can use leftover cranberry sauce or any other jam you like!
- Fresh cranberries can be substituted for other fruits. Check the article for some suggestions!
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 381 Total Fat: 15g Saturated Fat: 9g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 5g Cholesterol: 104mg Sodium: 397mg Carbohydrates: 51g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 3g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 9g