Cranberry Shortbread Tarts

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.

It’s legendary.

So much so, that I had to stuff it in these little shortbread cookie tart shells!

mini shortbread tart shells FTW!

I found pre-made tart shells at World Market recently. They’re made by Clearbrook Farms and oh so delicious! If you don’t have a local World Market, you could also order them off Amazon!

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
5 from 2 votes
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Cranberry Shortbread Tarts

These bite-sized mini Cranberry Short Bread Tarts are the ultimate holiday dessert. They can even be made in advance!

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Cranberry Shortbread Tarts
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 43 minutes
Servings 24 tarts
Calories 90 kcal
Author Jenn Laughlin – Peas and Crayons

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. Zest half your orange (orange part only) and juice it to yield about 3-4 TBSP of juice.
  2. Add cranberries, sugar and orange juice and orange zest to a small saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Simmer until cranberries have popped and softened, about 8-10 minutes.
  4. Use an immersion blender, food processor, or blender to puree the cranberry mixture.
  5. 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!
  6. Whisk the butter into the warm liquid.
  7. 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.
  8. Return the cranberry-egg mixture to the pot and cook over low heat until nearly bubbling and thickened, about 8-10 minutes.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

  11. Allow to cool completely before topping with whipped cream. Enjoy!

  12. 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!

Recipe Notes

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!

Nutrition Facts
Cranberry Shortbread Tarts
Amount Per Serving
Calories 90 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat 5g8%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 14mg5%
Sodium 72mg3%
Potassium 21mg1%
Carbohydrates 12g4%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 84IU2%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 6mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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!

Or keep things sweet with a tray of baked Cranberry Cheesecake Bars or fluffy Banana Cranberry Muffins!

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Comments

  • Jenna Weldon

    5 stars
    These are heavenly! Such a perfect combo of tart and sweet. Love them!

  • Julia Godbehere

    5 stars
    Perfect combination of sweet and tart. They are tasty and oh so pretty! The perfect treat to take to a party.

    • So glad you enjoyed them Julia – thanks!

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