Makes one 9-inch round tart
Serves 8 to 12
For the crust and topping
- 375 g (3 cups) gluten-free 1:1 flour OR regular all-purpose flour
- 200 g (½ cup) granulated sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 230g (1 cup; 2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- 1 large egg
- 60ml (1/4 cup) whole milk
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 30 g (1/3 cup) slivered almonds, optional
- (TKg) (1/4 cup) coarse demerara or turbinado sugar
For the cranberry filling
- 4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
- Finely grated zest and chopped segments of 2 mandarins
- 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp tapioca or arrowroot powder
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp sea salt
This festive cranberry crumble tart brings easy elegance to the table. Its buttery shortbread crust, jammy filling, and crunchy streusel topping add up to a holiday treat that tastes as wonderful as it looks. What’s more, this impressive pastry is remarkably easy to make. The crust and the crunchy streusel topping are made from the same dough--and this dough requires no rolling! You can simply press it into the pan. Et voila!
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350°F. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch round fluted tart pan, preferably one with a removable bottom.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Add the cold butter cubes to the bowl. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, cut or pinch the butter into the flour until the mixture’s texture looks like coarse cornmeal with pea-size crumbles.
In a small bowl, stir together the egg, milk, and vanilla. Pour the liquid onto the flour-butter mixture. Use a fork to gently mix until the dough starts to pull together and resembles moist crumbly sand. It should be moist enough to hold together when squeezed. If it’s too dry, add more milk, 1 tsp at a time. You will have about 6 cups of crumbly dough. Scoop 2 cups of the dough into a separate mixing bowl and set aside; you will use it later to make the topping.
Pour the remaining dough into the prepared tart pan. Don’t worry if it looks crumbly; the dough will stick together when you press it into the pan. Use your hands, a nonstick spatula, or the bottom of a cup, to gently press the dough into an evenly thick layer on the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Carefully, place the pan in the freezer while you make the topping, at least 15 minutes.
Add the almonds and coarse sugar to the bowl with the topping dough. Use your hands to gently blend the almonds and sugar into the dough. Don’t try to get the sugar crystals to disappear into the dough--let them remain visible. Rub and squeeze the dough to achieve a clumpy, crumbly mixture. Aim for a mixture of big chunks or smaller pebbles of dough. When your dough is the texture you desire, cover the bowl and set in the refrigerator to chill while you proceed with the next steps.
Remove the tart pan from the freezer. Poke the dough all over with a fork. Place into the preheated oven to par bake until the crust is firming up and looks very lightly browned, about 15 minutes.
While the crust is baking, make the cranberry filling. In a medium saucepan, stir together the cranberries, brown sugar, mandarin zest and segments, tapioca or arrowroot powder, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Place over low heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the cranberries soften and pop open, and you have a chunky jammy mixture, about 15 minutes. You can press the berries with the back of the spoon to help them pop. (If the mixture becomes too thick or is threatening to scorch, add water a tablespoon at a time.) Remove from heat and set aside to cool for about 5 minutes.
Pour the cranberry mixture into your par-baked tart shell. With a rubber spatula, gently spread the filling to an even thickness. Sprinkle the crumble topping all over the cranberries.
Bake in the preheated oven until the topping and edges of the tart are browned and crisp and the filling is bubbling, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool for about 30 minutes in the pan; then, remove the tart pan’s outer ring, and let the tart cool completely on the rack. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.