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Cranberry Lemon Tart

This Cranberry Lemon Tart is possibly the most gorgeous tart ever! Bright and zesty cranberry lemon custard filling inside of a vanilla cookie crust makes for a show-stopping and tasty dessert!
Prep Time4 hrs 30 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time4 hrs 40 mins
Course: Dessert, Pie
Cuisine: American, Dessert
Servings: 12 servings


For the Crust:

  • cups Nilla Wafer crumbs
  • 3 Tbsp granulated white sugar
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

For the Cranberry Lemon Filling:

  • 3 cups frozen cranberries (about 12 oz) plus 1/2 cup for topping thawed
  • cups granulated white sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 medium lemon
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For Sugared Cranberries:

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar divided


  • First, make your crust: Preheat oven to 350° degrees F. In a medium bowl, combine the Nilla Wafer crumbs, granulated sugar and melted butter and stir until moistened and combined. Press into a 9-10" fluted tart pan with a removeable bottom in an even layer. Bake for 10 minutes.
  • Next, make your filling: In a blender, combine 3 cups of thawed cranberries, 1½ cups granulated white sugar, and 1/2 cup of water. Peel the lemon in wide strips using a vegetable peeler; set all but a few strips aside. Remove any white pith from the lemon, then add the whole lemon flesh (yes, including seeds) and about 3-4 strips of lemon rind to the blender. Blend on high power until smooth, stopping to add in up to 1/4 cup more water if mixture is too thick and isn't blending well.
  • Place a fine-mesh sieve over a medium saucepan and pour the cranberry mixture into the sieve. Use a spoon or rubber spatula to gently stir the cranberry mixture around, straining it into the saucepan. Discard any leftover seeds and skins. Bring the cranberry mixture in the saucepan to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  • Meanwhile, whisk the whole eggs, egg yolk, cornstarch and vanilla extract in a medium bowl. Add in about 1/2 cup of the hot cranberry mixture, whisking constantly and vigorously to prevent eggs from scrambling. This step is called tempering the eggs so they come to a warmer temperature. Pour the warmed egg mixture into the cranberry mixture in the saucepan and stir constantly until filling begins to boil and thickens like pudding, about 10-15 minutes. It should be pretty thick.
  • Pour the cranberry filling into the tart crust and place a piece of clingfilm or plastic wrap onto the surface of the pie. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight (preferable).
  • For the sugared cranberries: Bring 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup granulated sugar together in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then add in the cranberries and remove from heat immediately. Let cool, then strain through a fine-mesh sieve. Place 1/4 cup granulated sugar in a small bowl, and toss the sticky cranberries to coat. Just before serving the tart, garnish with the sugared cranberries and remaining strips of lemon zest.


Fresh cranberries can obviously be used, but sometimes in the off season frozen cranberries are easier to find!