Cranberry Sauce Tarts

Love them of hate them, the holidays bring leftovers. I have to admit I do love leftovers and making something new with them like turkey pot pie or just having them on hand for lunches.

I have been known to make up a turkey just because. No real reason other than to have turkey and to have leftovers on hand for a speedy dinner or lunch. I have even roasted one up in July. Okay it was a cooler day in July, but summer none the less.

After a big holiday meal I find the easy to figure out what to do with the main and sides- soup, stock, pot pies, casseroles galore. The options seem to be endless. What I have struggled with before is the cranberry sauce.

Are you like me and purchase the big bag of cranberries because they are so inexpensive during the holidays? Do you make them all up into sauce because it is so delicious? Do you have cooker regret afterwards when you misgauge how much your family and guests actually consume? Are you out of ideas on what to do with the sauce after the leftover turkey dinners have been exhausted? Do you try an hide it in the back of the refrigerator hoping it will magically turn into something else or end up throwing it out when it has passed it’s prime? You are not alone on any of this.

I still buy the big bag and make an army sized vat of cranberry sauce. There is still lots left over after the turkey dinner and leftovers are done. What has changed now is that I know what to do with the container of sauce so it doesn’t become this sad watery mess that is pitched in the bin.What is it you ask? Beautiful flaky tarts that double as an extra dessert. I call it bonus dessert!

Can you really argue with making something so great as a bonus dessert? It’s one that you never really planned on making or eating but ‘poof’ there it is. Your cranberry sauce will never have a sad ending again.

The sauce that I make usually has the orange and spices in it already, so it can pretty much go right into the tart shell. I did start the recipe off as it being just plain because I know that there is usually someone at the holiday table that insists on having it not doctored up. This way you can do that later, you know, after they leave.

Another reason that this is a bonus is let’s say you are making pie for the holiday dessert, use some left over pastry for the tart shells and half the work is done already. Same goes for the pot pie pastry for the leftovers, just add the filling.

The one thing that I do regret about this is the fact that I did not think of it sooner. So many times perfectly good sauce just went to waste, not to mention the chance to make these. In most cases the pastry is already being made and citrus spicy sauce with a touch of tang is ready to use.

Go ahead, make a bonus dessert and be the hero of the holidays!


Cranberry Sauce Tarts

Prep Time: 33 minutes

Cook Time: 27 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 24 tarts

Cranberry Sauce Tarts

Sweet and tangy tarts to use up the holiday cranberry sauce into a brand new dessert!


  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, cold
  • 1/4 cup shortening, cold
  • 1/2 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 2-4 Tbsp ice water
  • 1 1/4 cup cranberry sauce
  • 1/2 orange, zested and juiced
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp all spice
  • 1/8 tsp ground clove


  1. In a bowl sift flour, salt and sugar together. Using a pastry cutter or 2 knives, cut in 1/2 of the butter and and shortening until pea like granules appear. Then cut in the remaining butter and shortening.
  2. Sprinkle in the vinegar and 1-3 Tbsp of the iced water and gently combine, trying not to over work the dough. You want the consistency that is the dough will hold together once pinched. Add additional water if necessary.
  3. Once the desired consistency has been met, then divide the dough in half. Wrap each portion in wax paper and let rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the tart filling by combining the cranberry sauce, orange zest, orange juice cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice and clove into a medium sized bowl and stir.
  5. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Remove dough and let rest at room temperature for 10 minutes. On a floured surface, roll out one portion into a circle until about 1/8 of an inch. Using a round cookie cutter cut out 24 rounds of pastry just slightly larger than the mini muffin tin circumference. Place the rounds in the muffin tin by lightly pushing in the middle of the cut round to form a cup shape in the muffin tin.
  6. Fill the pastry with the prepared cranberry sauce tart filling and place in the preheated oven to bake at 450 degrees for 7 minutes. Lower the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 18 minutes until the pastry is cooked through and golden brown.Remove the tarts from the mini muffin tins and let set to cool completely on a wire rack.
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