Make Ahead Cranberry Linzer Tart


Cranberry Linzer TartCranberry Linzer Tart with its bright deep red, vibrant,  cranberry filling is a variation of the Viennese Linzer Tart with raspberry filling.  The spiced Linzer pastry is a perfect partner with the cranberries.   It is best made ahead so the flavors can blend making this a natural for the holiday season.  It can also be baked and frozen until needed.

Often pastry crusts are simply carriers for whatever it holds, Linzer tart pastry is as important as the filling. There are several ways to get the lattice top on the tart, the one used is quick and easy.

Cranberries have a huge amount of natural pectin which allows the filling to set up firmly without a thickener. However,  it is important that it not be overcooked.  This filling is great as a jam for biscuits and scones also.  It lasts for weeks in the refrigerator so can be made well in advance.

So if you thought a Linzer tart is out of reach for you, this really easy Cranberry Linzer Tart will brighten your holidays.

Cranberry FillingCranberry filling ingredients for Cranberry Linzer Tart

1 bag fresh or frozen cranberries (340 grams or 12 ounces)
1 cup sugar (200 grams or 7 ounces)
1/3 cup water

Place the cranberries in a jellyroll pan and pick over them removing any that have seen better days.  Add the water to a saucepan, the sugar, and the cranberries. Cranberry fillin in panBring to a boil over low heat, stirring very frequently until the cranberries start supplying additional liquid as they break.  Cranberry filling boilingLower the heat and cook until thickened, stirring often – about 5 to 10 minutes. Cover the top directly with plastic wrap.  Cool completely before using the filling.

Cranberry Linzer PastryLinzer Tart pastry ingredients

5 ounces toasted almonds, hazelnuts or a combination of the two (155 grams)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (210 grams or 7 1/3 ounces)
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup unsalted butter, refrigerated (1 1/2 sticks or 170 grams or 6 ounces)
3/4 cup sugar (150 grams or 5 1/3 ounces)
2 egg yolks

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly spray a 9”x3/4” tart pan with a removable bottom.

Place the nuts, flour, and cinnamon in the processor and Almonds in processor

process until the nuts are powdered.   Almonds ,flour processedCut the butter into small pieces and add to the processor. Butter in processorProcess until the butter is indistinguishable. Butter processed for Linzer Tart pastry Add the sugar and process until mixed.Sugar in processor Lastly, add the yolks andYolks in processor process until it forms a ball.  Do not be impatient as this may take 1 to 1 1/2 minutes.  Redistributing the dough helps it come together.Pastry forms a ball

Assembly of Cranberry Linzer Tart

Remove 3/4 cup (200 grams or 7 ounces) and set aside. Divide the remaining piece in half (280  grams each or 10 ounces each). Set one half aside and divide the remaining piece in half again (140 grams or 5 ounces). Pastry divided Roll one piece into a 12″ rope and place it half-way around the inside edge of the pan. Half rope in panRepeat with the second piece.
Before continuing, press together the two edges of the pastry where they meet so no line is Overlapped edgesvisable. Overlapped edges pressed togetherPress the pastry firmly and evenly around the edge.

The pastry will be very thick.  Work some of it down into the bottom of the pan.

Press the remaining piece evenly into the bottom of the pan.  Pastry in bottom of the pan

Botom pressed inSeal the edges by pressing firmly together so no line is visible.Bottom meets edge Finished unbaked shellSpread the filling evenly over the crust.Cranberry filling spread over crust

Roll the 3/4 cup pastry into a ten inch rope.
Cut it into ten 1″ pieces. Pastry cut into 10 piecesRoll into balls andPastry Balls then into 9″ ropes.  Place 5 evenly spaced across the tart.  Lay the first rpe in the middle of the tart.  Place the end ropes on and divide the space between for the final ropes.Five lattice strips Place the next 5 ropes diagonally across the tart in the same manner.  Seal the edges of the lattice to the crust by pressing down.   Place on a baking sheet and bake for 35 to 45 minutes.  Cool completely, remove from the pan. If the edge of the pan does not easily slip down, turn the tart upside down and slip a small metal spatula under the rim of the tart pan all the way around.  The side should lift off. Releasing the bottom of the pan

To remove the bottom, slip a larger straight metal spatula between the bottom of the pan and the tart being careful not to dig into the tart.Releasing the bottom of the tart pan

Lift the bottom off.

Turn the Cranberry Linzer Tart right side up.Tart released

It is best at this point to either freeze it, well wrapped, until needed or wrap it in foil and store it for up to a week at room temperature.  When ready to serve, sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cranberry Linzer Tart with powdered sugar

If you sprinkle it several hours before serving, leaving it uncovered, the powdered sugar on the filling only will melt making a more striking looking Linzer Tart.Powdered sugar melted

Powdered sugar melted

Note:  If freezing, do not sprinkle with powdered sugar until it is completely thawed.

All Cranberries All the Time

Cranberries are one of my most loved foods and I use it in a variety of ways from muffins, to cakes to jams.

Cranberry Vanilla Muffins
Cranberry Curd Tart – Our most requested tart recipe
Chocolate Cranberry Quick Bread – easy and perfect for breakfast, brunch or a snack
Cranberry Strawberry Jam
Cranapple Tart
Orange Cranberry Cake

Pastry has not only been my profession, but my passion. If there is anything in particular you would like to see or any questions about baking or pastry, please let me know. Be sure to subscribe so you don't miss a post!
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10 thoughts on “Make Ahead Cranberry Linzer Tart

  1. Terry

    Hi Helen,
    Could almond flour be subbed for the flour and nuts in the recipe? If so, how much would it take?

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Hi Terry, I can’t really say because I haven’t tried it. I would imagine you could sub the almond flour for all-purpose and keep the nuts but as I said, I haven’t tried it.

  2. sallybr

    Helen what a cool tip to sprinkle powdered sugar hours ahead… it does change the look completely, you are always so full of tricks that make a diference! I need to get a folder in my computer and call it Helen’s Wisdom Tips!

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Hi Sally – as with many things in baking and pastry (indeed in life), I stumbled upon this one day when I sprinkled it but didn’t get back to photograph it. When I came back, the sugar had melted and the tart was oh so much prettier. I am looking forward to December 12th.

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Thank you. I am a fanatic when it comes to cranberries. This Thanksgiving I got two more converts who said they didn’t like them and ended up going back to get more Cranberry Relish.

  3. Micki

    I’ve searched your Baking Hints but can’t find the answer to my question.
    Please help. When you say semi-sweet chocolate are you referring only to “real chocolate ” or can chocolate chips be used? Just don’t want to make a mistake making your delicious Chocolate Cranberry Curd Tart.
    Being new to your posts makes me spend too much time reading your delicious recipes….this will take forever and I can’t wait to start. Thank You so much.

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Hi Micki, Welcome to the blog. Semisweet chocolate refers to real chocolate. My recipes will refer to “chocolate chips” if those are what are to be used. The chocolate I use looks like chips but are Callebaut callets and are real chocolate. They are easy to use and don’t require chopping bars of chocolate into meltable pieces. Here is a link to the same chocolate I use – The semisweet chocolate I use is 54.5% which refers to the amount of pure cacao beans used to make the chocolate.

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