The City Magazine Since 1975

Lemon Cranberry Tarts

December 2017
(Yields 24 two-inch tarts) Note: Many elements of this recipe, such as the cranberry filling, sugared cranberries, and tart dough, can be made in advance.
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For the cranberry filling:

Note: This filling can be made in advance. You will not need all of it for the tarts, but the extra filling can be placed in a sealed container and refrigerated for up to one month. It makes a delicious fruit compote for holiday dishes.

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
12 oz. frozen or fresh cranberries

Place sugar and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Add cranberries, stir, and return to a boil. Reduce heat and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool and store in refrigerator until needed.

For the sugared cranberries:

Note: These can be made up to a week in advance and stored in a small, covered container in the refrigerator.

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
1 cup fresh cranberries
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Make a simple syrup by combining the granulated sugar and water in a small saucepan and heating just until sugar is dissolved and simmering but not boiling. Add the cranberries, stir, and transfer to a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, drain the cranberries. Place individual cranberries on a paper towel to soak up excess liquid. Place cranberries a few at a time in bowl of sugar and toss until lightly covered with sugar.

For the tart dough:

Note: The dough can be made and pressed in advance and refrigerated until ready to fill and bake.

6 oz. unsalted butter
5 oz. cream cheese
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Warm butter and cream cheese to room temperature. Cream butter and cream cheese in stand mixer with paddle attachment on medium speed until just combined.

In a separate bowl, combine flour and powdered sugar. Add to butter and cream cheese and mix until just combined. Use your hands to work any unincorporated crumbles at the bottom of the mixing bowl into the dough.

Spoon approximately one tablespoon of dough into each ungreased tart pan or small muffin tin. Press and spread dough using fingers; it’s fine if the dough extends slightly above the top of the mold.

Place the molds or muffin tins on rimmed baking sheets. They may be refrigerated for up to a week or frozen for up to a month. Thaw in the refrigerator.

For the lemon filling:

2 cups sugar
5 Tbs. all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
2 Tbs. lemon zest, approximately 2 medium-size lemons using a microplane
4 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the sugar and flour. Mix in eggs with whisk or spatula until combined. Add lemon zest and juice and mix with whisk or spatula until combined.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Put a small amount of cranberry filling into the bottom of each tart shell. Continue filling the tart shell with lemon filling to just below top of crust. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until tart dough is golden brown. Remove from oven and allow the tarts to cool 15 minutes before removing from the mold or muffin tin. Run a knife around edge of each tart and carefully pop out. Set on cooling racks to cool completely.

For the lemon glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar
4 1/2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 1/2 tsp. lemon zest, approximately 1/2 lemon using a microplane
1 drop yellow food coloring (optional)

Place ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk until combined. Spoon the glaze onto the tarts, topping each with a sugared cranberry before the glaze sets up.