These bite-sized mini Cranberry Shortbread Tarts are the ultimate holiday dessert. They can even be made in advance!
Cranberry Shortbread Tarts
Buttery shortbread cookie shells filled with velvety cranberry curd and topped with fluffy whipped cream… SIGN ME UP!
This is the dessert that keeps on giving.
On day 1 they’re a glorious combination of sweet and tart.
By day 2? The tartness is replaced by fruity sweetness and they straight up taste like berry pop tarts. POPTARTS Y’ALL! I’m calling this a Christmas miracle.
Make them to enjoy with the fam, bake them in advance for a holiday party, but whatever you do just make them!
If you’ve already seen my Mini Cranberry Phyllo Cup Tarts then you know just how obsessed I am with this cranberry curd recipe.
So much so, that I had to stuff it in these little shortbread cookie tart shells!
mini shortbread tart shells FTW!
Feeling a bit extra? You can actually make your own mini tart shells!
I think I’ll try my hand at making my own next round! You basically press homemade shortbread into mini tart molds and bake until the cookies have set. I’ll let you know how it goes!
make-ahead tips for cranberry curd and tarts
These colorful cranberry tarts can be made in advance! After baking, allow to cool completely, then store room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
Baked and cooled tarts can also be stored in the fridge and brought to room temperature before serving. Either method works great!
If you’d like to make the curd in advance then assemble the tarts on the day they’re needed, that works too! Cool cranberry curd to room temperature, cover tightly with plastic wrap (press it right up against the curd) and refrigerate. This can be done 1 day in advance.
Cranberry Shortbread Tarts
These bite-sized mini Cranberry Short Bread Tarts are the ultimate holiday dessert. They can even be made in advance!
- 6 oz fresh cranberries (170 grams)
- 1/2 cup sugar (100 grams)
- 1/2 medium orange (navel oranges work great)
- 2 oz softened butter (1/2 stick)
- 1 large egg plus 1 additional egg yolk
- 24-30 shortbread tart shells (store-bought or homemade)
- whipped cream for topping to taste
- Zest half your orange (orange part only) and juice it to yield about 3-4 TBSP of juice.
- Add cranberries, sugar and orange juice and orange zest to a small saucepan over medium heat.
- Simmer until cranberries have popped and softened, about 8-10 minutes.
- Use an immersion blender, food processor, or blender to puree the cranberry mixture.
- Transfer to a fine-mesh sieve and press pureed sauce through the sieve with a flexible rubber spatula into a large bowl. The liquid likes to stick to the bottom side of the sieve so scraping that liquid off with a spoon a few times will help get all that gorgeous magenta puree into the bowl. It’s a bit messy but worth it!
- Whisk the butter into the warm liquid.
- Add one egg and an additional egg yolk to a medium bowl and beat lightly. Slowly whisk a few tablespoons of warm cranberry puree into the eggs one at a time to temper, then combine both and whisk together.
- Return the cranberry-egg mixture to the pot and cook over low heat until nearly bubbling and thickened, about 8-10 minutes.
- If using immediately, let cool to room temperature. For advance prep, cool to room temperature, cover tightly with plastic wrap (press it right up against the curd) and refrigerate.
To make your tarts, preheat oven to 350°F. Spoon room temperature or slightly warm cranberry curd into pre-baked or store-bought tart shells and smooth the tops with the bottom of your spoon. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 6-8 minutes to set the filling.
Allow to cool completely before topping with whipped cream. Enjoy!
If making in advance, add whipped topping just before serving. Allow tarts to cool completely, then store room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Baked and cooled tarts can also be stored in the fridge and brought to room temperature before serving. Both methods work great!
Serving a large crowd? Feel free to double or triple the recipe as needed. I typically make my curd a day in advance and then fill and bake the phyllo cups (to set the curd) an hour or two before serving.
Nutrition Facts below are estimated using an online recipe nutrition calculator. Adjust as needed based on whipped topping/cream used and enjoy!
If you get a chance to try these bite-sized cranberry shortbread tarts, let me know!
Leave some love in the comment form below or tag your photos with @peasandcrayons on Instagram so I can happy dance over your creation. I can’t wait to see what you whip up!
crazy for cranberries?
On the savory side, my Cranberry Quinoa Salad with candied walnuts and Honey Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberries and Feta are always a hit!