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Rustic apple and cranberry tart recipe

Rustic apple and cranberry tart recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Cake
  • Cheesecake

Sweetened apples and cranberries are the filling in this rustic fruit tart made with a cream cheese pastry.

1 person made this

IngredientsServes: 8

  • 250g plain flour
  • 110g butter, chilled
  • 110g cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon water, or as needed
  • 4 apples - peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 75g fresh cranberries
  • 30g soft brown sugar, or more to taste
  • 30g caster sugar, or more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 40g roughly chopped walnuts, or more to taste
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon Demerara sugar

MethodPrep:20min ›Cook:30min ›Ready in:50min

  1. Place 250g plain flour in a large bowl; rub or blend butter and cream cheese into flour until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Gently mix water into flour mixture until dough forms into a ball.
  2. Mix apples and cranberries with brown sugar, caster sugar, 2 tablespoons plain flour, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl until coated.
  3. Preheat oven to 190 C / Gas 5. Lightly grease a baking tray.
  4. Roll pastry onto a lightly floured work surface, forming about a 28cm circle. Transfer pastry to the prepared baking tray. Arrange apple-cranberry mixture decoratively on the dough, leaving a 5cm rim of exposed pastry. Sprinkle walnuts over apple-cranberry mixture. Fold exposed pastry up and over the edge of the fruit.
  5. Brush egg over the pastry; sprinkle with Demerara sugar.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven until pastry is golden and apples are tender, 30 to 35 minutes.


Adding the butter and cream cheese into the flour can also be done in a food processor: pulse the cold butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the cream cheese and pulse until it's the size of small peas.

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Rustic French Apple Tart

When we think of French desserts, we usually imagine fancy pâtisseries with pyramids of pastel-colored macarons and glossy fruit tarts. But when the French bake at home, they keep it simple. One of my favorite food writers, Dorie Greenspan, wrote of her time living in France: “No matter how chic the hostess, her homemade dessert invariably looked as rustic as if it had come from a farmhouse grand-mère.” The recipes are often centuries old and passed down through the generations. In fact, the recipes are so tried and true, she writes, “many French women make them without recipes, or au pif.” This free-form French apple tart is something a French cook might throw together au pif. Like an apple pie without the pan, it consists of a thin layer of cinnamon-scented apples atop a buttery, flaky crust.

I know the mere mention of a homemade pastry crust is enough to send some people running for the hills but, rest assured, this tart dough is virtually foolproof and easy to roll to out — and it comes together in a food processor in under a minute. Plus, the beauty of a free-form tart is that you don’t have to fuss over crimping the dough into a pie plate you simply fold it casually over the fruit. The charm of this dessert lies in its imperfections.

Rustic Apple and Cranberry Tart

Tarts have always been a favorite of mine. Unlike other bakes, such as muffins, cookies, or cakes, they’re versatile yet forgiving when it comes to experimenting with different fillings and crusts. And they make the perfect dessert for the holiday season. From the fruity smells that fill the kitchen while they bake to the steaming hot mug of coffee to go alongside a slice, tarts are a hallmark of Christmas. (Speaking of which, a slice goes along perfectly with a good old fashioned Hallmark movie, perhaps even my book’s adaption .) They also serve as a gorgeous centerpiece – something I can’t say about my other pastry work!

Still, the absolute best thing when it comes to tarts is how they show that the whole is truly greater than the sum of the parts – and my Rustic Apple and Cranberry Tart with its easy crust is no exception.


My rustic apple and cranberry tart combines a whole medley of fresh and preserved fruits and even a dash of lemon juice to cut the sweetness. With two varieties of apples – granny smith and honey crisp in this case but feel free to select your own favorites – a sprinkling of cranberries throughout, and just a touch of apricot preserves, it also features several different textures. The apples soften yet remain firm during the baking process while the cranberries acquire an almost jelly-like consistency.

Combined with its crumbly crust, this all makes for a sweet and tangy tart with different flavors and textures all within just one bite – a welcome contrast to the gluey texture and taste I often find with baked fruits.


No need to fuss around with this one! This tart simply calls for any pie crust recipe you have on hand, or, if you must, a store-bought one, and has you quickly hand-raise it around the tart filling in a matter of minutes without worrying about looks. Since tarts are mostly open-faced, the fruits and glaze are what stand out rather than any fancy pastry design. This really brings in the rustic and homemade nature of the recipe. And remember what I mentioned about experimenting? I highly recommend trying different variations of apples or fruit preserves to give this recipe your own twist.

Still looking for a go-to pie crust? Tune in here to see a live demonstration of my own secret recipe and how I bring it all together – just in time for Christmas!

How to make walnut pie crust

  1. Finely chop the toasted walnuts in the food processor.
  2. Add the flour, sugar and salt and pulse to combine.
  3. Add cold butter and pulse a few times until it resembles coarse meal with some larger bits of butter.
  4. Whisk together the egg yolk and ice water and add to the flour mixture.
  5. Pulse about 8 times or until the dough just starts to come together.
  6. Transfer the walnut crust dough to a work surface and quickly form into a ball.
  7. Press into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 20 minutes.

Pro Tip #1: If the dough seems dry or isn&rsquot coming together, you can add more ice water one tablespoon at a time, and pulse it until it does come together

ProTip #2: .If you chill longer than 20 minutes, remove the dough from the refrigerator and let rest for 20 minutes before rolling out.

Rustic Apple-Cranberry Tart

  • For the filling
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup apple juice
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 4 large tart apples, cored, peeled and sliced
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • For the crust
  • 1 1/4 cups whole-wheat (whole-meal) flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons trans-free margarine
  • 1/4 cup ice water

Preheat the oven to 375 F. In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine the cranberries and apple juice. Cook on high for 1 minute, then stir. Heat for 30 seconds at a time — stirring after each interval — until the apple juice is very hot. Cover and set aside until the mixture is close to room temperature, about 1 hour. In a large bowl, combine the cornstarch and apple slices. Toss well to coat evenly. Add the cranberries and juice. Mix well. Stir in the vanilla and cinnamon. Set aside. To prepare the crust, add flour and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Using a fork or pastry cutter, cut in the margarine until the mixture is crumbly. Add the ice water 1 tablespoon at a time and mix with a fork until the dough begins to form a rough mass. Tape a large piece of aluminum foil to the countertop. Sprinkle it with flour. Place the dough in center of the foil and flatten. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough from the center to the edges, making a circle about 13 inches in diameter. Place the fruit filling in the center of the dough. Spread the filling over the dough, leaving a 1- to 2-inch border. Fold the edges of the crust up and over the filling. The pastry won’t cover all of the filling — it should look rustic. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons sugar. Remove tape from the foil and countertop. Place another piece of foil over the tart to protect the exposed fruit. Slide tart, bottom and top foil included, onto a cookie sheet and bake about 30 minutes. Remove the top foil and continue baking until browned, about 10 minutes. Cut into 8 wedges and serve immediately.

About the Author: Sarah Carter

Sarah Carter is a health coach and dash diet advocate. Once Struggling with weight and hypertension, she turned to the dash diet which helped her to keep her hypertension in check and helped her keeping active and healthy lifestyle. She now actively blogs and coaches clients in discovering a new and healthy eating lifestyle.

Rustic Apple-Cranberry Pie

Stop for just a moment and breath in. can you smell that? That's right. Fall is in the air. The weather has already started turning cooler here, school is back in session, and with the Labor Day holiday this weekend, we can officially say that the summer is over. (Insert sad face here!)

Although I'm very much a summer girl loving the hot weather and sunshine, I also readily welcome the start of autumn. After the rush of a season filled with activities, vacations, and working outdoors, it is nice to slow down and do a little exploring. I enjoy seeing the vibrant colors and adding layers and texture back into my home and wardrobe. And there is nothing like the scents and flavors that accompany the season.

I don't do much baking during the heat of the summer, but I start to get the urge again as soon as I can sense fall. And one of the first ingredients I reach for to use in a recipe is apples. Fresh fruit picked straight from the tree always has the best taste and most apples are at their peak in September.

There are so many ways to use this seasonal fruit and I love finding new and inventive recipes that incorporate their flavor into my baking. Today I'm excited to be joining in with a very talented group of bloggers to kick off a monthly series featuring recipes for the upcoming holidays. Kristen from Ella Claire Inspired has organized everything and it is an honor to be included.

For this first post, we are all sharing a fall apple recipe and I'm sure you are going to be rushing to the market to pick up fruit to try some of them. Links to everyone's recipes appear at the end of this post.

There are not many recipes I've made over the years that I return to again and again. But years ago, I found the recipe for this Apple-Cranberry Pie created by Alan Carter in an issue of Better Homes and Gardens and have never fell more in love with a dessert recipe than I have with this one. Aside from altering the ratio of fruits from the original recipe, there has been no need to make any other adjustments to his perfect pie.

The pairing of the tart granny smith apples and cranberries with the cinnamon and allspice is delicious. But what really makes this pie special is a smooth pastry cream filling that is spread across the bottom crust. It makes this more than just a recipe for a fruit pie and turns it into a special dessert.

There are a few extra steps to making this pie, but is it so seriously worth the time that you'll spend putting it together. Making the pastry cream and pie crust should be done at least the day before you need it because they both have to chill.

To make things a bit simpler, you can use a refrigerated pie crust instead of making your own. Although, I highly suggest you try the recipe included here for the crust at least the first time you make the pie. It has a flavor that really compliments the taste of the fruits and browns beautifully.

This is a rustic type of pie, so you don't need to have any fancy crust making skills for it to still turn out beautiful. Honestly, it is hard to control how this pie looks when it comes out of the oven because it is so packed full of fruits that the shape takes on a life of it's own as the ingredients cook down.

Best of all, baking this pie fills your home with the incredible fall scents of apples and spice which I find makes a home seem cozy and comforting. just what you want for the autumn season. And because cranberries are a fruit that start to show up fresh a little later in the fall and into the Christmas holiday, this pie actually becomes a perfect dessert for anytime during the rest of the year. (Feel free to use frozen cranberries while the fresh ones are out of season.)

I am confident that this is a pie that you can feel confident in making and serving to your friends, family, and guests this fall. Add a scoop of ice cream, pour yourself a cup of coffee, and enjoy!

What Is an Apple Galette

A galette is a French cake. I always thought it was a lazy man’s pie, but it’s a cake. It can be savory or sweet and filled with lots of delicious fillings, like jams and nuts.

I have seen galettes made using both puff pastry and pie dough. I like using pie dough because I feel like it has a chance to stay closer to a pie than when it’s made with puff pastry.

Being that it’s fall and close to Thanksgiving, I thought that the combo of cranberry and apple in this rustic galette would be too good to pass up!

What is the Difference Between Crostata and Galette

Basically, the region that this is made in. Crostata comes from Italy and can be either a free-form tart or be baked in a pie pan. It can also be filled with a sweet or savory filling.

A galette is a French free-form dish with a flaky crust and is filled with either a savory or sweet filling.

Rustic Apple Cranberry Tart

A rustic-shaped pie is so easy to do! Simply place the pastry dough in a pie plate, pile the fruit filling in the center and fold the edge of the pastry up around the filling.

Recipe Ingredients:

1 (9-inch) unbaked pie crust*
1 (21-ounce) can apple pie filling
1 cup Ocean Spray® Fresh or Frozen Cranberries,chopped
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, optional
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon granulated sugar

Cooking Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C). Unwrap pie crust press seams together firmly. Place in a 9-inch pie plate.
  2. Combine all ingredients, except sugar, in medium mixing bowl mix well. Spoon fruit mixture into pastry-lined plate. Fold edge of pastry over fruit, pleating so crust lies flat. Sprinkle sugar over crust.
  3. Bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F (175°C). Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until fruit is bubbly and crust is golden brown.

*Use store bought, ready-to-use pie pastry, or your favorite recipe for homemade pie pastry.

Holiday Baking: Rustic Apple Cranberry Tart

I adore the holiday season for many reasons, but baking delicious cakes, pies muffins and other desserts is a favorite. For Thanksgiving, I love pies and such, so I though that an apple cranberry something would be divine. After a little internet research, an apple tart hit me… I had to spruce this one up a bit! I wanted to participate in the #Bake4Better challenge (see below), so I used some of Pompeian’s Grapeseed Oil in place of flour for this recipe. The tart came bubbling hot out of the oven, once it cooled… OMG.

Rustic Apple Cranberry Tart

  • 1 premade pie crust
  • 2 tsp. Pompeian Grapeseed Oil or spray
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 medium apple, sliced
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 4 tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 – 3 dashes of nutmeg

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Spray, or drop 1 tsp. of Pompeian Grapeseed Oil onto a cookie sheet, spread over the entire surface. Unroll your pie crust and lay flat on the cookie sheet.

In a mixing bowl, combine the cranberries, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and melted butter. When thoroughly combined, spoon the majority of the mixture into the middle of the pie crust, leaving about 2 inches around the edge for folding. Set aside a small amount of the brown sugar mixture to sprinkle on top at the end.

Layer the apple slices on top of the brown sugar mixture, side by side, going around the entire pastry. Fill the middle with remaining apple slices until the entire tart is covered. Then, sprinkle on the rest of the brown sugar mixture over the apples.

Fold the crust upwards over the mixture in the center, pleating it as you go around. Spray, or brush the remaining teaspoon of Pompeian Grapeseed Oil onto the folded crust edges. If you are pastry brush challenged, like myself, you can use your fingers or a paper towel.

Bake this lovely tart for 30 – 40 minutes at 425 degrees, or until the crust is a golden brown color and the filling is bubbling hot. Then, admire…

This tart came out heavenly! I like the substitution of Pompeian Grapeseed Oil instead of vegetable or olive oil, it’s a light oil made with 100% grapeseeds, has a high smoke point, and is imported from France. I didn’t even have to flour my pie crust, the grapeseed oil did the trick! You can use it for pretty much all of your cooking needs. I couldn’t find it for this recipe, but I can see the spray becoming a staple in my pantry!

The Bake for Better Challenge…

Pompeian has teamed up with executive pastry chef Duff Goldman to get us all to better their baking by using the new Grapeseed Oil Spray. When you use it in your favorite holiday dishes, that’s a chance to better your community with a $5,000 advance, plus a Pompeian gift basket for you!

Enter the Bake for Challenge by following @Pompeian on Instagram and post a photo showing how you switched up your baked goods using Grapeseed Oil Spray, using the #Bake4Better hashtag and tagging @Pompeian. The most creative photo, chosen by celebrity pastry chef Duff Goldman, will receive a $5,000 donation in the name to their local food bank and a Pompeian gift basket to continue baking better all year long!


Make the dough:

  • Put the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the water and pulse until the dough just starts to come together. Take care not to overprocess.
  • Turn the dough out onto a work surface and press it into a cohesive ball. Divide it into six equal balls and put each on a sheet of plastic. Press the balls into disks and wrap well with the plastic. Refrigerate the dough until firm, 1 hour (or hold in the refrigerator for up to two days).
  • In a medium saucepan, combine 2 cups of the cranberries with the raisins, sugar, maple syrup, orange liqueur, orange zest and juice, and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved, the cranberries have popped open, and the mixture is quite thick and syrupy, about 6 minutes. Taste the mixture. If it seems too tart, add more sugar. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the remaining 1 cup cranberries. Let the filling cool to room temperature (it will thicken to a jam-like consistency). Once cool, the filling can be refrigerated for up to two days.
  • Position oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment. About 15 minutes before rolling the dough, take it out of the refrigerator so that it becomes malleable.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll each disk of dough into a 5-1/2- to 6-inch round.
  • Transfer three rounds to each baking sheet and sprinkle the gingersnap crumbs evenly over the surface of each round, leaving a scant 1-inch border. Dollop the cooled filling into the center of each dough round. Use the back of a spoon to spread the filling evenly, leaving a 1-inch border.
  • Gently fold the border over the filling, pleating as you go, to partially enclose the filling. Lightly press the pleats together to seal. Sprinkle the crust with sugar. Bake until the pastry is golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway through. Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream on the side.