Cranberry Linzer Tart

Maybe you already know what you’re making for Thanksgiving dessert. But for all of the procrastinators in the audience, how about this cranberry linzer tart? It is a dream of a recipe that turned out pretty flawless on my first attempt.  I like the use of walnuts in the tart dough and the tartness of the cranberry filling. Spices are great and they get the palate ready for Christmas flavors. The dough is fairly easy to work with though, as the recipe warns, you need to handle the lattice strips gently. You can make the filling  and dough in advance, which is always a bonus at this time of year. And even better, this thing keeps well. It was just as good (better?) on day two and I ate some on day 3 and 4 and still enjoyed it. Anyway, this recipe is a keeper.

Hope everyone is looking forward to the holidays.

Cranberry Linzer Tart (recipe by Claire Saffitz, Bon Appetit —my only change was to increase salt in dough)


  • 1 pound fresh (or frozen) cranberries (This is sort of annoying because cranberries are sold in 12 oz bags. I think you could just use a 12 oz bag and be okay)
  • 1¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated peeled ginger
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

Dough and Assembly

  • 1½ cups walnuts
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 14 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 large eggs
  • Powdered sugar (for serving)

10-inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom



Bring cranberries, sugar, ginger, butter, and salt to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring often to prevent scorching and help dissolve sugar. Continue to cook, stirring often, until cranberries burst, mixture is syrupy, and pot is visible when a wooden spoon is dragged across the bottom (mixture should be reduced to about 1¾ cups), 10–12 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lemon zest. Chill until cold, at least 1 hour.

Filling can be made 3 days ahead. Transfer to a nonreactive container; cover and chill.

Dough and Assembly:

Place a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 350°. Toast walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing once, until golden brown, 10–12 minutes. Let cool.

Pulse walnuts, granulated sugar, lemon zest, cinnamon, salt, cloves, nutmeg, baking powder, and 2 cups flour in a food processor until nuts are finely ground. Add butter and pulse until largest pieces are pea-size. Add 1 egg and process in long pulses until dough forms a ball around the blade. Divide dough in half. Wrap one half in plastic, flattening into a ½-inch thick disk. Press the remaining half into tart pan, working it across bottom and up sides with floured hands to create an even layer. Chill the dough in the pan and the wrapped dough until cold, at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.

Scrape filling into crust and spread into an even layer.

Unwrap remaining dough and roll out on a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper, dusting with more flour as needed to prevent sticking, to a ⅛-inch thick round.

Cut dough into 8 strips.

Arrange strips over top of tart in a crosshatch pattern (this dough is delicate, so don’t fuss with strips too much once they’re on the tart). Pinch off excess dough and press strips into edges to adhere. Chill 15–20 minutes.

Beat remaining egg in a small bowl and brush over crust.

Bake tart until crust is golden brown around the edges and golden across surface and filling is bubbling, 40–55 minutes. Let cool.

Just before serving, remove ring from pan and dust tart with powdered sugar.

13 comments to “Cranberry Linzer Tart”

  1. Ooo, I’m so glad you posted this! I earmarked this as my dessert to make this year from Bon Appetit and it makes me feel much more confident that you tried it and liked it.

  2. lemon zest?!

  3. Kelley! I wondered how long it would take for someone to call that out. This is an instance where I am okay with lemon zest. I contain multitudes! But also you could totally use orange zest or omit it entirely.

  4. Hi Tim, I cannot wait to make this. However, I’m like you with orange zest – I’ll probably use orange instead. I just love that combination anyhow.

    One quick question – what size tart pan do you use? I have a pretty large one, so I’m considering scaling the recipe a bit.

  5. Hi Kel- Oops! Did it not say tart pan size? I corrected it. I used a 10-inch pan, which is what the recipe called for.

  6. I made this over the weekend too, and had an issue with the tart sticking to the pan. The crust would not release from the bottom pan, and it was a bit of an endeavor getting it out of the ring. Never had this happen with a tart before. Did you have any issues with that? Also, I found the bottom to be slightly less crisp than I might have liked. Do you think baking it on a lower rack for about 10 minutes might help with both issues?

  7. Hey Emily: No issues with the tart sticking. Did you use a dark tart pan or a silver? I used silver but I sometimes have trouble with the dark tart pans and sticking. My guess is that you didn’t bake it enough? You’re not going to get a crisp crust with a dough like this, there are eggs. It is a softer more tender dough, not like a shortbread. Huh. I wonder what happened!?

  8. I found the dough impossible to work with…haven’t yet baked or eaten it yet…it was so annoying I was kinda hoping it wouldn’t be good so it wouldn’t be a “make it again” request for next year…like my annoying yet delicious collard green gratin recipe that is easily the most labor intensive recipe of Thanksgiving….

  9. Hi Teresa- So funny when people have such different experiences of a recipe! I would definitely not have described dough as difficult. Though there are a lot of uncontrolled variables in this recipe (how many nuts, which could vary wildly based on volume, how finely ground nuts are, etc). Anyway, I guess I hope you hate how it tastes? LOL. Don’t want you to have to make it again! haha

  10. ha! I”m torn between wanting it to be delicious and wanting it to be a bust at this point…I have yet to work with the strips on top, I’ve got the base in the fridge and the filling too, going to bake tomorrow.

  11. ate the little biscuits I made with leftover dough today…darnit…it’s DELICIOUS!

  12. I guess I should have read this through before I started, but I’m not sure if the 350 degrees for toasting the walnuts is the same temp for baking. But here goes. At least I have some awesome nutty spiced dough to nibble on while I wait. :)

  13. Update: I went with the 350 and it was ready at 40 minutes, and it sure was good. Everyone got a slice along with some pumpkin and I got lots of “mmmms” and “this crust!” and “the crust tastes like a spice cookie.” It’s true; I’d eat the crust all by itself; thanks for introducing me to another winner. And happy Thanksgiving.

What do you think?