Cranberry, Caramel and Almond Tart

I hope you didn’t think I forgot about cranberries. I didn’t. This Cranberry, Caramel and Almond Tart is one of my all-time favorite recipes. I have made it many times and it is always delicious. The tart is served at one of my favorite New York food spots, The City Bakery and the recipe was published in the LA Times a couple of years ago. Deb tackled this recipe a while back and her post on it is useful to look at. Like Deb, I also had some trouble with the crust and so switched it out for an easier crust that I have had a much better relationship with. Not only is this beautiful, it is delicious.

Seriously folks, a buttery cookie-like crust topped with mounds of tart cranberries, toasted almonds and rich caramel? What could be better than this?

Cranberry, Caramel, and Almond Tart

Crust

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons heavy cream

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment,  combine the butter and confectioners’ sugar. Mix on low speed until combined, about 2 minutes.

Add egg yolks, and mix until incorporated, about 1 minute, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add 3/4 cup flour, and mix on low speed just until the flour is incorporated, about 30 seconds. Add remaining 3/4 cup flour along with the salt and the cream, and mix until flour is no longer visible, about 1 minute.

Turn dough onto a piece of plastic wrap, and shape into a flattened disk. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight. The dough can be frozen for up to 1 month; thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.

Roll dough out on lightly floured surface to 12 inch round or about 1/4 inch thick. Fit dough into a 9-inch round fluted tart pan with a removable bottom, pressing into edges. Using a sharp paring knife, trim dough flush with the pan. Chill the tart shell until firm, at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375° F. Prick the bottom of dough all over with fork. Line with parchment paper, leaving at least a 1-inch overhang. Fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until the edges are just beginning to turn golden. 20 to 25 minutes. Remove parchment paper and weights; continue baking until just barely lightly golden all over, 10-20 minutes more. Cool tart on wire rack.

Filling

  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup frozen cranberries
  • 2 cups sliced almonds

Measure the cream and butter into a saucepan and heat it over low heat. When the butter has melted completely, remove the pan from heat and set aside.

Spread the sugar evenly in a dry, deep, 10-inch skillet and place over medium heat. The sugar will turn straw-colored, then gold and then a nutty-brown caramel after about 10 minutes. If the sugar cooks unevenly, gently swirl the pan to distribute the sugar, otherwise do not stir the sugar/caramel. Remove from the heat and slowly whisk the cream and butter mixture into the sugar, which might splatter, so be careful. If the caramel seizes, return it to the heat and continue to stir until it is smooth and creamy. Strain the caramel into a bowl and cool it for 30 minutes.

Stir the frozen cranberries and almonds into the caramel and mix until the cranberries and almonds are all coated. Spoon the filling into the partially baked tart shell.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the juices and caramel are bubbling slowly around the edges. Remove from the oven and let stand for 1 hour, then gently lift the tart ring off the pastry.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

***And if that wasn’t enough, I served this with Crème Fraîche Ice Cream, which you’ll be hearing about tomorrow…

15 comments to “Cranberry, Caramel and Almond Tart”

  1. oh man. That looks incredible and something I’d actually eat! Yum.

  2. Cranberry desserts are not always a crowd pleaser, but I love them. Caramel and cranberry definitely is a wining combination in my book. I’ve not sampled this tart at City Bakery but I will definitely have to try a piece when I get a chance. Beautiful pictures!

  3. Oh, wow — I have been tempted by this recipe since Smittenkitchen posted it, but was horrified by the amount of butter in the combined crust and recipe. Your crust recipe looks much more reasonable — what is the texture like. I’ve never heard of a pastry crust made in the stand mixer…

  4. Hi Emily, it is unusual that the crust is made in a stand mixer…I thought so too. It is an adaptation of Martha Stewart’s “Tart Dough”. The texture is sort of cookie-like. Maybe close to a shortbread? But less crumbly. It is really delicious and works well with this recipe. Let me know how it goes…

  5. fact: this is one of the most luscious treats my eyes have ever seen. i hesitate to make it for fear that i’d eat the whole thing at once. :)

  6. Wow – that tart is GORGEOUS!

  7. This sounds great! Do you whole dried cranberries would work instead of the frozen?

  8. Hi Ashley: I wouldn’t recommend dried cranberries here. For one, they would be way too sweet..but also part of the magic here is that the cranberries are still juicy and tart.

  9. Hi TIM!!! I always think of you during cranberry season, so I am making this tart. I have a bag of fresh cranberries- do they have to be frozen?? There isn’t sugar added to the frozen cranberries, is there?

    Thanks! and hope you are getting ready for cranberry season!

  10. oh, and- do you toast the sliced almonds, or just raw? Will let you know how this goes over at my dinner party.

  11. Hi Erika! I was just thinking about this tart. I use raw almonds. I have never made this with fresh cranberries, but I can’t imagine why it wouldn’t work. They may break down more quickly than the frozen. If you are worried, just throw your cranberries in the freezer for a few hours. Frozen cranberries don’t have anything added to them. Let me know how it goes!

  12. Hi Tim,
    Since my tiny apartment doesn’t allow for a stand mixer, do you think making the dough by hand would irreparably harm it??

  13. Hey Mary, I am sure you can still make it work. I would definitely give it a try. Good luck!

  14. Your version includes butter in the filling that is not included in the Book of Tarts. Just checking that this is correct. The tart looks so luscious and am anxious to try.

  15. Hi Deborah, I don’t know what the Book of Tarts is, but this recipe works as written. Happy baking!

What do you think?