This Easy Cranberry Tart with Almond Frangipane is an elegant and impressive holiday dessert that tastes as great as it looks! It's made with tart cranberries and creamy almond frangipane baked into a buttery shortbread crust. It's a great make-ahead dessert that's perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas!
During the holiday's it's important to have a few go-to recipes that are super impressive despite being really quick easy. This is one of them. It's just as stunning as my Cranberry Meyer Lemon Pie with Gingersnap Crust but with a fraction of the work. You don't even have to make a traditional pie crust. I also have a recipe for the beautiful shimmering Sugared Cranberries that I used for a garnish. They're totally optional but make this cranberry tart look extra bright and festive!
Why this recipe works
- Beginner friendly.
- Only 8 ingredients needed.
- Made entirely in a food processor.
- No messy rolling out pie crust.
- Super easy to make with really impressive results.
- Festive, colorful and looks absolutely stunning on a table!
- Skinless or Blanched Almonds - Slivered almonds and sometimes sliced almonds are often found skinless, so this is what I usually use. It's important that the almonds are fresh and crunchy. If they're a bit on the softer side, crisp them in a 325 degree oven for 5-10 minutes, but be careful not to let them brown. You don't want toasted almonds.
- Cranberries - Fresh cranberries are best for a cranberry tart, but frozen cranberries can be used in a pinch. If using frozen cranberries, they may bleed out their color more into the frangipane filling so it may not have the same appearance. Do not defrost. Use more cranberries for a more tart flavor or less for a sweeter tart.
- Eggs - For the best tasting frangipane, use the freshest, best quality eggs you can get. Look for the words "pasture raised" in the grocery store - I like this brand.
- Vanilla Extract - Make sure you use a good quality pure vanilla extract, not imitation vanilla flavoring. If you want a stronger almond flavor you can substitute almond extract.
- Tart Pan - This cranberry tart recipe calls for an 11-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, but it will also work in a 9-inch tart pan or a 10-inch tart pan if that's what you have, the crust and filling will just be thicker, so it may take more time to cook. You can also make it in a spring form pan.
- Food Processor - Since this recipe is made almost entirely in the food processor, it's pretty essential. I've had my Cuisinart food processor since 2007 and it's still going strong.
- Rubber or Silicone Spatula - One of my most used tools in the kitchen, a rubber or silicone spatula is great for scraping the sides of the food processor and getting everything out.
- Bench Scraper - A bench scraper is essential for scraping the dough off the counter. I use mine all the time when baking.
Step by step instructions
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of a 11-inch tart pan with a removable bottom and set aside.
- To make the crust, add the flour, sugar and salt to the bowl of a food processor and pulse once to combine.
- Add the butter, then process until the mixture comes together and forms large clumps, about 30 seconds to one minute.
- Press the dough into the tart pan evenly around the base and up the sides. Use the flat bottom of a glass or measuring cup to help even and smooth it out.
- Place the tart on a sheet pan and transfer the whole thing to the freezer or refrigerator while you make the filling.
- To make the filling, add the almonds, ¾ cup sugar, flour and salt to the food processor (don't bother cleaning it out), then pulse until it forms a fine powder.
- Add the butter and process until combined, then add the eggs and vanilla extract and blend until totally smooth.
- Remove the tart pan from the freezer, then add the batter and spread it out into an even layer.
- Arrange the cranberries evenly on top, then sprinkle all over with remaining tablespoon of sugar.
- Bake for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until puffed, golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (except for a little cranberry juice).
- Allow the tart to cool to room temperature before serving. Store in the refrigerator.
Tips for success
- Make sure your almonds are fresh! If they've gone soft, re-crisp them in a 325 degree oven for 5-10 minutes, but be careful not to let them brown. You don't want toasted almonds.
- Don't bother cleaning out the food processor after making the crust even if there are still remnants of dough. The filling has the same ingredients so it won't have any affect.
- For a more tart cranberry pie, simply use more cranberries. For a sweeter, less sour pie, use less cranberries.
- Garnish the cranberry tart with a few sugared cranberries on top for an extra festive look!
Frangipane is a French or Italian (depending who you ask) pastry filling typically made from almonds, although you can make it with pretty much any nut you want. It's rich and buttery, smooth and creamy and pairs wonderfully with fruit. Oftentimes it's flavored with almond extract, but I don't love the flavor of almond extract so I use vanilla instead. That way the flavor from the almonds is toasty and nutty, rather than artificial tasting.
Yes! I have had great success making this tart gluten free by substituting the all purpose flour with an all purpose gluten free flour blend. Cup4Cup is my favorite, but use whichever brand you prefer.
Did you make this recipe and LOVE it? Please leave a star ⭐️ rating and/or comment to help other readers. I absolutely love hearing from you and do my best to answer all questions and comments. I love seeing when you make my recipes, so please tag me @ColeyCooks on Instagram and I will repost!Print