Super Simple Cranberry Tarts

A super simple tart crust is covered in a layer of Monterey jack cheese (also tested and loved with Gouda!!) and then covered in jammy, spiced cranberries. Just prior to serving gloss them up with rosemary-infused honey. The crust, cranberries and honey are all make ahead. Thank you The Creamery for partnering on this post!
close up of a cranberry tart

Friends, welcome to your new favorite dessert: Super Simple Cranberry Tarts with Rosemary Honey Drizzle! Every component of these tarts is make-ahead making these perfect for all of your holiday entertaining needs, and we have many.

These little wonders are the perfect combination of tart from the barely sweetened cranberries, sweet from the honey, buttery from the Monterey jack cheese + crust and herbaceous (and more sweet) from the rosemary-infused honey.

More importantly, what’s cuter than individual tarts at the end of the meal? 

cranberry tarts, one with a bite missing

The Super Simple Cranberry Tart Crust

Using six kitchen staples, we throw together a tart crust that’s equal parts buttery, flaky and fabulous. I think tart dough is less fussy than pie dough…think of it a bit like making a shortbread crust for bar cookies. Simply whisk together your dry ingredients, work in some butter (this coats the flour and protects it from gluten development) then lastly add your ‘wet’ ingredients that will hold the whole lot together. And you’re done!

My favorite tips for working with tart crust dough:

  • Use a light hand: Don’t overwork your dough or it will become tough.
  • Be economical with moisture: Too much moisture and you’ll active the gluten (read: tough crust), too little moisture and it won’t hold together.
  • If humidity is low: You may need an extra tablespoon or two of liquid…but add additional moisture in small doses and use as little as possible.
  • Let your dough rest: This gives the gluten time to relax and hydrates your dough (and makes it easier to work with).

Method for Mixing

The recipe instructions have you using an electric stand mixer for mixing the dough. However, you could easily use a food processor or a bowl and your hands. For this latter method, do this:

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, sugar and salt well. Sprinkle the butter over the top and using a pastry blender or your fingers to mix in the butter until it resembles wet sand and clumps together when pressed between two fingers. In a small bowl whisk together the egg yolk and apple cider vinegar and drizzle over the top. Stir with a fork until blended and you see no visible signs of the yolk. Then follow the remaining recipe instructions.

Once the dough comes out of the fridge and you’re ready to roll it out, you need it to come a wee closer to room temperature to make it workable. You can gently hit it several times with your rolling pin and that will start to soften the dough…and relieve any pent-up aggression.

Vinegar Alternatives

If you don’t have any apple cider vinegar on hand, you can substitute with vodka or heavy whipping cream. Both will work wonderfully. Because of the thickness of the cream, you may need an additional tablespoon or two.

Cranberry Tart Dough Storage

The tart dough can rest in the fridge, wrapped very tightly, for 2 to 3 days. Since refrigerators can be quite dehydrating, I would stash it (wrapped tightly still) in the freezer for longer periods.

If you stash it in the freezer, place it in the fridge to begin defrosting overnight before using.

cranberry tarts on plates
a bowl of cranberries

The Jammy Cranberries

Can I say cranberries are my jam? I mean, what’s not to love. Barely sweet, perfectly tart, vibrant and jewel-toned…they love to be paired with holiday spices…I could go on…

These cranberries need very little fussing or cooking. Whilst on the stove look for some of the cranberries to be burst (that’s the jammy party) and the other half to remain whole (that’s the tart bit).

You will have leftovers, here’s what to do with them:

  • Spread them on a turkey sandwich
  • Serve with some oozy brie and crusty bread
  • Steep in vodka and make cocktails (and invite me over!)

You can use fresh or frozen cranberries in this recipe.

lots of cranberry tarts with cheese

Let’s Talk Cheese!

When my friends at The Creamery in Beaver, Utah asked me to put together a cheesy dessert I immediately started thinking of these petite cranberry tarts. I love the idea of ending a meal with something a little bit cheesy and a little bit dessert-y…I think it’s very French of us.

The Creamery sent me a HUGE box of cheese to inspire and holy schmoley I was in cheese heaven. Everything was completely delicious, however I would be remiss not to recommend two cheesy delights for you to grab, beyond the Monterey Jack or Gouda for this recipe: The Creamery Jalapeño Bacon Cheese Ball (you have no idea…order three) and The Creamery Green Onion Cheese Curds (you’ll need two to three of these, at least, to last you through the season). Your family and friends will flipping love you.

Honey with rosemary in it

Rosemary-Infused Honey

Rosemary-infused honey is about to become your new favorite thing. It takes minutes to make and has a multitude of uses. For this, we use it to add flavor, sweetness, and a glossy sheen to the finished tarts. 

Feel free to get frisky and opt for thyme or bay or lavender to infuse your honey. Additionally, herb-infused honey is a great addition to any cheeseboard (or cocktail).

A silicon pastry brush is awesome to use here!

unbaked cranberry tarts

Make Ahead

As noted above, this tart dough can be stashed in the fridge for several days or in the freezer for longer stints. Additionally, you can freeze it once patted into a rectangle or after it’s been pressed into the tart pans. Either way, make sure the dough is tightly wrapped.

The cranberries can be prepared, placed in a lidded container and stashed in the fridge for 2 to 3 days or in the freezer for up to one month.

Defrost both items the night before using by placing them in fridge. Bring both closer to room temperature just prior to using.

A single cranberry tart with a bite out

Equipment

Petite Tart Forms

Pastry Blender

Silicon Pastry Brush

Baking Sheet

More Pastry!

Chai Pumpkin Tart With Gingersnap Crust

Salted Honey Pear Crostata

Eggnog Cream Pie With Caramel Rum Sauce

a close up of a cranberry tart with a bite missing

Let’s bake some super simple cranberry tarts, shall we?

close up of a cranberry tart

Super Simple Cranberry Tarts

A super simple tart crust is covered in a layer of Monterey jack cheese (also tested and loved with Gouda!!) and then covered in jammy, spiced cranberries. Just prior to serving gloss them up with rosemary-infused honey. The crust, cranberries and honey are all make ahead. Thank you The Creamery for partnering on this post!
5 from 5 reviews
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Tarts
Keyword: Cranberry Tarts, Petite, Rosemary, Honey
Servings: 6 4-inch Tarts

Ingredients

For the Tart Crust

  • 1 ½ cup (203) g all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 10 tablespoons (143 g) unsalted butter, cut into 20 pieces, cold
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

For the Cranberries

  • 1 orange juice + zest
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 8 ounces (230 g) fresh or frozen cranberries

To Assemble

  • 8 ounces The Creamery Jack or Gouda shredded
  • 1/3 cup (113 g) honey
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary

Instructions

  • For the Dough
  • In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment add the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter and run the machine on low until it resembles coarse meal. Add the yolk and vinegar and continue with the machine on low until it resembles wet sand. Lay a piece of plastic wrap on the counter and pour the crumbly dough over the top. Using your hands, quickly press and shape into a rectangle about 1 1/2 inches thick. Wrap tightly. If there are any cracks gently press down until they disappear. Set in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
  • For the Cranberries
  • Add the juice and zest from 1 orange to a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Add in the water, honey, cornstarch, five-spice and cinnamon and whisk until fully combined and the cornstarch is dissolved. Add the cranberries and reduce to medium-low and cook for 5 minutes more until thickened. Some cranberries will have burst, at least half should remain whole. Set aside to cool completely.
  • To Assemble
  • Preheat the oven to 375 F (191 C). Set aside six, 4-inch petite tart pans.
  • Cut the chilled dough into six, equal-sized hunks. Roll each one into a circle about ¼ to 1/8 inch in thickness. I prefer the thicker crust, fyi. The dough should be about ½-inch larger than your mini tart forms. Place the dough over the top of the form and gently press it down into the bottom and sides of the form. Use a knife to cut off the dough so that it is level with the top of the tart pan. I like to cut on the outside of the tart form, so you allow room for some dough shrinkage. Repeat with the remaining dough and set the tart pans in the fridge to chill for 10 minutes.
  • Press the tines of a fork into the bottom of the tart dough. Place the tarts on a baking sheet and bake in the center of the oven for 10 minutes. Let cool completely.
  • Add 3 to 4 tablespoons of shredded cheese to each tart and cover with 2 to 3 tablespoons of the cranberries. Bake in the center of the oven for 10 minutes more or until the cheese is melted and the cranberries are bubbly. Let cool for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • In a small saucepan set over low heat, add the honey and rosemary and heat until warmed through (about 5 minutes). Use a pastry brush to lightly brush the honey over the cranberries. Gently remove from the tart molds and serve immediately! I like these best served slightly warm and the same day they are made.
Thanks for baking with me! Please tag me on social @displacedhousewife #displacedhousewife so I can see your beautiful treats! xo

Thank you to The Creamery for sponsoring this Super Simple Cranberry Tart post and to you for supporting the brands that we work with!

6 Comments

  • Sally November 18, 2021 at 8:26 AM

    5 stars
    So pretty and festive!

    Reply
    • Rebecca Firth November 18, 2021 at 8:29 AM

      Thank you! They’re so fun to make!! xo

      Reply
  • Hilary November 18, 2021 at 8:14 AM

    5 stars
    Omg i need to make these!!!! They look sooo pretty and i love that they are SIMPLE to make!!!! Can’t wait to try them.

    Reply
  • James November 18, 2021 at 7:53 AM

    5 stars
    So good. Sweet, tart in the mix – Oh My

    Reply
    • Rebecca Firth November 18, 2021 at 7:54 AM

      They’re delicious — you would LOVE! xx

      Reply

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