I absolutely love this Cranberry Meringue Tart. I can't tell you how good it is. The pillowy sweet Swiss meringue, the creamy tart cranberry curd and the slight crunch of the brown sugar crust are an amazing combination. I'm absolutely thrilled with how it tastes and excited to share this recipe with you. The bright jewel red of the cranberry curd was a surprise to me when I first made it. The creamy, tart and luscious. This tart is made with either fresh or frozen cranberries, therefore it can be made all year long. And the crust is my go-to favorite for making tarts. Learn how to make this delicious tart.
I love trying new flavor combinations. Once I made the cranberry curd I started thinking of ways I could use it other desserts. You can find the steps for a successful curd in my post for Cranberry Curd. I love the creative part of baking. Yes, there are rules and formulas that you must follow to make sure the cake doesn't sink, that your creme brulee doesn't turn into scrambled eggs and that your biscuits aren't tough. But once you've learned the dos and don'ts it becomes easier to experiment with different textures, techniques, and flavors. And all those mistakes I listed earlier? Yes, I have done all of them and many more. But I've learned from each of them, which has made me a better baker. Some of the information that I share with you on how to get the best bakes is because I made the mistakes and learned what not to do.
How to Make the Tart Crust
I love this tart crust recipe. It is one of the easiest and most versatile recipes that I know. It has 4 ingredients:
For this recipe, I used brown sugar and added ground ginger to the crust. Part of the success with this crust is to add the melted butter to the dry ingredients while it is still hot and then press the dough into the pan while it is still warm.
The crust needs to be thoroughly baked so it doesn't become too soft when the filling is added. I use this crust for my Rhubarb Tart with Hazelnut Crumble and the first time I didn't bake the crust long enough so the tart became soggy after a few hours with the rhubarb filling. Lesson learned. Bake the crust to match the filling.
The crust can be made 2 days in advance and then wrapped in plastic after it has cooled down. If you need to purchase a tart pan I make my tarts with the Fat Daddio Tart Pan.
How to Make Swiss Meringue Topping
There are three types of meringue used in baking:
- French Meringue
- Swiss Meringue
- Italian Meringue
Of the three, Italian Meringue is the most stable, but I love Swiss Meringue and how easy it is to make. Swiss Meringue is also stable and is great for this type of tart, especially if it will be a few hours before it is served. Just so you know Italian Meringue is made by adding hot sugar syrup to whipped egg whites. Both meringues are used as the basis for delicious buttercream. Italian Meringue is used to make Italian Buttercream and Swiss Meringue is used to make Swiss Meringue Buttercream, one of my favorite buttercreams.
Swiss Meringue is made by combining egg whites and sugar and hand whisking them over simmering water until it reaches 160 degrees F. When the mixture reaches temperature, it is whipped on medium-high speed on a stand mixer until the meringue is cooled and stiff peaks have formed.
I hope you try this delicious Cranberry Meringue Tart. The flavors and colors are perfect for special occasions. Since both the crust and the cranberry curd can be made in advanced most of it can be assembled the day before and the Swiss meringue can be added right before serving.
Let me know if you try this recipe by leaving a comment. If you post a picture to Instagram tag me @bakesbybrownsugar or #bakesbybrownsugar.
Cranberry Meringue Tart
- 1 1/3 cups (189 grams) all-purpose flour
- 5 tablespoons (63 grams) light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 10 tablespoons (142 grams) unsalted butter melted
- 12 ounces (340 grams) fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1 1/4 cups (250 grams) white sugar
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 (100 grams) whole eggs
- 2 (40 grams) egg yolks
- 8 tablespoons (114 grams) unsalted butter room temperature
For the Swiss Meringue
- 5 (150 grams) egg whites
- 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
For the Crust
- Adjust 1 oven rack to the middle position in the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Whisk flour, sugar, ground ginger, and salt together in a bowl. Add melted butter and stir with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon until a dough forms. Using your hands, press two-thirds of dough into the bottom of 9- inch tart pan with removable bottom. Press remaining dough into fluted sides of the pan. Press and smooth dough with your hands to even thickness.
- Place pan on a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet and bake on the middle rack, until crust is deep golden brown and firm to touch, 30 to 35 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking. Set it aside and let it cool before filling with the cranberry curd.
For the Cranberry Curd
- You don't need to thaw the cranberries for this recipe.
- In a small bowl whisk together the whole eggs and egg yolks. Place a bowl with a medium-coarse strainer next to the stove.
- Place the cranberries, sugar, water, and salt in a medium saucepan. Zest the orange directly into the saucepan. Juice the orange and add 1/4 cup of orange juice to the saucepan. Cook the mixture over medium heat, mashing occasionally with a potato masher until cranberries have mostly broken down and mixture measures 1 1/2 cups, 10 to 12 minutes. Strain cranberry mixture through the medium-coarse strainer into a bowl, pressing on solids with a rubber spatula to extract as much puree as possible.
- Whisk eggs and yolks into cranberry mixture in the bowl. Return the mixture to the saucepan. Place a clean bowl with a fine-mesh strainer near the stove. Cook the cranberry mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, until the mixture is thickened and registers 175 degrees in multiple spots, 5 to 7 minutes.
- Off heat, whisk in the butter, 2 tablespoons at a time until well incorporated. Strain the cranberry mixture through the fine-mesh strainer.
- If you're using the curd right away pour the curd into the tart shell and use an offset spatula to smooth the surface. Place the tart pan on a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.
- If making the curd 1 or 2 two days in advance, press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the curd, and refrigerate until ready to use. The curd can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Let the curd sit for 30 minutes at room temperature before filling the tart shell.
- After baking the curd in the tart shell allow it to cool to room temperature and then refrigerate for at least one hour before adding the Swiss Meringue topping.
For the Swiss Meringue
- Place the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk until the mixture reaches 160 degrees F then immediately put the bowl on the mixer, attach the whisk attachment and whip at medium-high speed until the mixture is cool and the whites hold stiff peaks, about 5-7 minutes.
- Scrape the meringue onto the top of the cranberry curd and use a palette knife or the back of a tablespoon to spread the meringue and create swirls. You can also put the meringue in pastry bag fitted with a pastry tip and pipe the meringue onto the tart.
- Use a blow torch to toast the top of the Swiss meringue. When you set up to use the blow torch make sure there is nothing flammable near the tart. Once the top is toasted, tightly shut the valve and do not let the tip come into contact with anything that is flammable or that could melt.I buy a blow torch from the local hardware store instead of the smaller ones specifically designed for the kitchen.
- The tart is best the same day it is assembled. It can be refrigerated for 4 to 6 hours and removed from the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving.