The holidays call for cranberries in one form or another and I am just not a fan of cranberry sauce.  It should come as no surprise that I choose to meet my holiday cranberry quota with a dessert.  This Cranberry Shortbread Tart is an extra special dessert that will look stunning on your holiday table.

Cranberry Shortbread Tart {}

The perfection of this Cranberry Shortbread Tart is the result of the contrast of flavors.  Rich, buttery shortbread that has the added flavor components of ground, toasted almonds and cornmeal is sandwiched around a tart and tangy cranberry filling and the combination is simply delightful.

Cranberry Shortbread Tart {}

Cranberry Shortbread Tart

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes

Yield: 1 9-inch tart (serves 12-16)

Bright, tart cranberry filling sandwiched between rich buttery shortbread crust and topping makes a gorgeous and delicious holiday dessert


    For the filling
  • 3 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp orange marmalade (or you could use apricot jam)
  • For the shortbread crust/topping
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup, plus 1 Tbsp yellow cornmeal
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (16 Tbsp) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons and at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp grated orange zest
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 large egg yolk


    For the filling
  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir until sugar dissolves, this will only take a few minutes.
  2. Then, reduce the heat to medium and cook until the cranberries pop and the liquid has thickened into a syrupy consistency.
  3. Remove from heat and set aside to cool while you make the crust/topping.
  4. For the crust/topping
  5. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  6. Place sliced almonds onto a baking sheet and bake for about 5-7 minutes or until lightly browned and toasted. Turn oven off.
  7. Have a large bowl and food processor ready.
  8. Measure the 2 cups of flour into the large bowl. Take 2 Tbsp of the flour out of the large bowl and put it into the food processor. Into the large bowl, then add the cornmeal and salt. Set aside.
  9. In a food processor, pulse the toasted almonds with the 2 Tbsp of the flour until fine. Pour the almond mixture into the large bowl with the rest of the flour mixture.
  10. Next in the food processor, combine the butter, sugar, orange zest and extracts and pulse until smooth and creamy. Add the egg yolk and pulse to combine.
  11. Add the dry ingredients to the food processor and pulse until a cohesive dough forms.
  12. Coat a 9 1/2 X 1-inch fluted metal tart pan with a removable bottom with nonstick cooking spray. Gently and evenly press half of the dough into the tart pan, pressing the dough up the sides of the pan. Cover the crust with plastic wrap.
  13. Form the remaining dough into a disc and wrap it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate both the crust and extra disc of dough for 30 minutes so that it gets firm.
  14. Preheat oven to 325 again.
  15. Place the tart pan onto a baking sheet and prick the dough that is in the tart pan all over. Bake until lightly golden brown, about 35 minutes.
  16. If the crust has puffed up during baking, use the back of a metal spoon to gently push the crust down to make room for the filling.
  17. Pour the filling into the crust and spread evenly.
  18. Use your fingers to evenly crumble the remaining shortbread dough over the top of the filling. The pieces should be large, about the sizes of peas and marbles.
  19. Bake the tart on the the baking pan until the topping is golden brown, about another 30-35 minutes.
  20. Cool completely before carefully removing the rim of the tart pan. Cut and serve.
  21. Recipe adapted from Fine Cooking

This Cranberry Shortbread Tart recipe requires several steps but none of them is difficult,  The crumbly topping and crust are the same dough divided in half.  The filling could not be simpler to make, but you just need a little bit of patience as the filling cools and the crust gets popped into the refrigerator for 30 minutes to firm up.  The wait will be worth it, trust me.

Cranberry Shortbread Tart {}

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2 Comments ( Reply )

  1. emily (a nutritionist eats)
    Dec 11, 2014 @ 6:00 pm

    Love this idea!


  2. WholeYum
    Dec 16, 2014 @ 9:55 pm

    Very novel! Looks delish!!


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