Martha Stewart's Cranberry Meringue Tartlets

October 12, 2021
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Photo by Johnny Miller
  • Prep time 3 hours 35 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

A brown-butter press-in crust forms a mellow counterpoint for these tangy, cranberry-orange-custard tarts. Chill them well before piping on a constellation of creamy, whipped meringue swirls to finish. Serve as is or lightly toast the meringue to dreamy perfection. —Martha Stewart


Test Kitchen Notes

Reprinted with permission from Martha Stewart's Fruit Desserts. Copyright © 2021 by Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, LPAll rights reserved. Published by Clarkson Potter an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • The crust
  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • The filling
  • 3 1/2 cups (12 ounces) fresh or thawed frozen cranberries
  • 2/3 cup fresh orange juice (from about 3 oranges)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 large whole egg plus 2 large egg yolks (reserve whites for topping)
  • The topping
  • 2 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  1. Make the crust: Preheat oven to 350°F. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until deep golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes. Let cool to room temperature, about 10 minutes. Stir in vanilla. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Pour brown butter mixture into flour mixture and stir just until combined. Divide dough among six 4-inch tart pans with removable bottoms; pat into bottoms and up sides. Arrange tart pans on a rimmed baking sheet. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. With a fork, pierce bottom of each tart shell all over. Line with parchment and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until edges are golden, about 20 minutes. Remove weights and parchment and continue baking until crust is golden, about 8 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  2. Make the filling: In a medium pan over medium-high, bring cranberries, orange juice, 1/2 cup water, and the salt to a boil. Reduce to medium, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until berries are very soft, 10 to 15 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve (you should have about 11/2 cups); discard solids. Return mixture to pan. Add sugar and cook over medium-high, stirring, until sugar is dissolved. Add butter and whisk until melted. In a heatproof bowl, whisk whole egg and yolks. Gradually whisk in half of hot cranberry mixture, then pour back into pan. Place over medium heat and simmer, stirring constantly, until mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon, about 8 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a heatproof measuring cup; pour into tart shells. Press plastic wrap directly on surface of curd and refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
  3. Make the topping: Whisk together egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a pot of simmering water until mixture is warm to the touch and no longer feels grainy when rubbed between two fingers. Remove from heat and beat on medium-high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 6 minutes. Transfer meringue into a piping bag fitted with a 1/2-inch tip and pipe swirls onto tartlets.

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