Cranberry Crumble Tart with Cranberry Whipped Cream is a fabulous buttery shortbread crust filled with a tart cranberry filling. It goes from breakfast and brunch to holiday dessert with ease ~ isn’t it nice when a recipe cooperates like that?
Here’s what you need to know about this cranberry tart
It’s an easy recipe that doesn’t require a whole lot of culinary know-how (i.e. even if you’re a klutz in the kitchen you can do this!)
Cranberries have a uniquely wonderful flavor that makes this a standout dessert; their famous tartness is a perfect contrast to the buttery shortbread, and the addition of vanilla adds a nice background note.
It’s laid back but fancy. It can go super casual, breakfast style, or glammed up for Thanksgiving dessert.
Once you’ve mastered the basic idea, you’ll want to change it up in a million ways, and it will eventually become your signature recipe, too 😉
How do you make cranberry whipped cream?
The concept is simple, you’ll make a small amount of extra smooth cranberry puree and whip it up with heavy cream. Add sugar to counter the natural tartness of the berries.
- Make cranberry puree: cook down cranberries in a pot until they break down and thicken.
- Blend the cooked cranberries until smooth.
- Add a few tablespoons to heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Whip until soft peaks form.
- Use immediately, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- See my Cranberry Whipped Cream post for all the details.
Cranberry whipped cream is thick, stable, and pipe-able, making it perfect for holiday desserts.
This tart is easy to make, and lovely to serve. I use a large cake spatula to remove the tart from the bottom of the pan because I think it looks so much nicer without the metal showing when I slice it. I’ll set it on a flat plate, or a cake stand for presentation.
It keeps well on the counter, overnight, and I love a small slice for breakfast…who wouldn’t?
Variations on a cranberry shortbread crumble tart
- Fresh or frozen cranberries can be used, but you cannot use dried cranberries.
- The filling recipe as written is quite tart because I like it that way, but if you like things a little sweeter, increase the sugar. You might also try maple syrup.
- White or brown sugar will work in the filling and in the crust.
- Add some chopped walnuts or pecans to the crumble topping.
- Add 1/4 cup rolled oats to the crumble topping.
- Add the zest of an orange to the cooked cranberry filling.
- Double down on the cranberry orange theme and make your dough with orange sugar. Find out how to make citrus sugars here.
- If you don’t have a tart pan you can make this in a 9×9 baking pan. I recommend lining it with a parchment paper sling so you can lift it out for slicing.
- Instead of cranberry whipped cream, why not serve this with a scoop of cranberry ice cream?
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Recipes for all those fall cranberries
- The Best Cranberry Orange Bread ~ could this classic quick bread be any prettier??
- Cranberry Glazed Pork Roast ~ proof that cranberries can go savory.
- Chocolate Cake with Cranberry Buttercream ~ a spectacular cake that will outshine any pumpkin pie this season.
- Cranberry Breakfast Cake ~ we start making this easy snack cake the minute we spot cranberries in the fall and we don’t stop until we’ve used up every bag in the freezer.
Cranberry Crumble Tart
- 10 inch tart pan with removeable bottom
- 3 cups fresh cranberries (frozen are fine)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 tsp Instant Clearjel or cornstarch
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (use almond if you prefer)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Rinse your cranberries and add to a saucepan along with the brown sugar.
- Bring up to a boil, stirring constantly to dissolve the sugar. Cook for a few minutes to allow the cranberries to pop and release their juices. Sprinkle in the Instant Clearjel and continue to cook until thickened to a loose jam consistancy. Remove from heat and let cool. (The filling will continue to thicken as it cools.)
- Cream the soft butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Beat in the vanilla and salt. Note: it's important that your butter be at room temperature. I like to leave it out overnight when I know I'll be baking.
- Add the flour and continue beating, with your mixer on low, just until the mixture becomes crumbly and there are no dry patches of flour left.
- Take 2/3 of the dough and pat it into the bottom of your tart pan. I like to scatter the dough in crumbles across the bottom, and then start to pat it down. It helps to flour your fingers, or use the bottom of a metal measuring cup to tamp it down. Take the time to get the dough evenly distributed. Note: you're not looking to go up the sides of the pan with the dough, just to make an even flat layer.
- Spread the cranberry mixture evenly over the bottom crust.
- Take the remaining dough and break it apart with your fingers to make coarse crumbles. Crumble evenly over the cranberry filling. It's ok if some of the cranberries show through.
- Set the tart pan on a baking sheet, and bake in the preheated oven for about 35 minutes, or until the top is just starting to turn pale golden. I sometimes lay a sheet of foil loosely over the top for the second half of baking so it doesn't brown too much.
- Let the tart cool for 15 minutes on a rack before releasing the bottom from the sides. Finish cooling on the rack.
- Serve with cranberry whipped cream, recipe here.