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Cranberry Apple Puff Pastry Tarts – bakery quality pastries you can make at home with frozen puff pastry and a few pantry ingredients.
Frozen puff pastry is the queen of convenience when it comes to making spectacular desserts with little effort. Since we don’t want to complicate things, we’ve kept the filling simple, too. All you need is two fresh apples, lemon zest, lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of sugar, cinnamon and a handful of dried cranberries. Sprinkle the tops with sliced almonds just before baking, and you’re good to go!
These apple puff pastry tarts are surprisingly easy to make.
Once the apple filling is made the mixture is microwaved for a minute or two. This simple step helps prevent the apples from collapsing when baked. That little trick, from Cook’s Illustrated, activates an enzyme allowing the apples to bake without falling apart and turning into mush. The apples retain their shape and cook beautifully. How cool is that?!
Next, roll out the thawed puff pastry and spoon the filling into mounds. Pull the top of the pastry over the filling and cut into four tarts. Repeat with the remaining pastry and filling.
Seal the edges of the tarts before baking.
Once cut into tarts, pinch the edges of the pastries to seal. Next, fold the edges under the tarts and brush the tops with an egg wash. Cut slits in the tarts to vent, then sprinkle with sliced almonds. Bake until golden brown, about 18-20 minutes. Enjoy!
Dust the apple puff pastry tarts with powdered sugar just before serving.
These tarts are not overly sweet so you can be pretty generous with the powdered sugar. Or, if desired, make a simple glaze and drizzle icing on top of the pastries. The icing makes the tarts just a touch sweeter, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s all good!
Looking for more shortcuts?
If you really want to make this a super easy recipe use canned apple pie filling in place of the fresh apples. One 21-ounce can of pie filling is enough for all 8 tarts. In fact, you can use any flavor pie filling you want. Think blueberry, cherry or even lemon. Easy peasy! Personally, I love the little burst of flavor from the fresh apple chunks and the contrasting tartness of the cranberries. Just saying 🙂
Flaky, crisp, sweet and delicious, these apple puff pastry tarts are memorable!
The apple-cranberry combo is a classic, especially around the holidays. For this recipe we use Golden Delicious apples and dried, sweetened cranberries. If you’re not a fan of cranberries, feel free to omit or use raisins as a substitute. I have not tested these with fresh cranberries which may cause the filling to be too wet and watery.
This recipe is easily halved to make four apple puff pastry tarts.
As written this recipe makes eight tarts, which is enough to feed a big family and have a few leftover. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying these tarts for breakfast either. They’re not as sweet as donuts and most other bakery pastries. If you’re having company for the holidays, perhaps you’d like to show off a little and bake these up for brunch! Nobody needs to know how easy they are to make, but everyone will enjoy these strudel-like pastries!
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Cranberry Apple Puff Pastry Tarts
For the filling:
- 2 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- ½ cup dried, sweetened cranberries
For the puff pastry:
- 1 large egg, mixed with 1 tablespoon water
- 1 17.3 ounce package frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- powdered sugar for dusting
- Preheat oven to 400° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
To prepare the filling:
- In a large microwave safe bowl combine the apples, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, cinnamon and salt. Cover and microwave until the apples are warm to the touch, about 60 to 75 seconds, stirring halfway through cooking. Cover the mixture and set aside for 5 minutes.
- Pour the apples into a colander set over a medium bowl and drain, reserving the liquid. Return the drained apples to the bowl and stir in the cranberries. Set aside.
- In a small bowl whisk together the egg and 1 tablespoon water. Set aside.
To prepare the puff pastry:
- NOTE: For best results, work with one puff pastry sheet at a time, leaving the second sheet in the refrigerator.
- Lightly dust a clean work surface with flour. Carefully unfold 1 pastry sheet. If the pastry does not unfold easily, allow it to rest at room temperature for a few more minutes to thaw. Roll the pastry out into a 16x12-inch rectangle with the longest side facing you.
- Spoon half the apple filling onto the bottom half of the pastry into 4 mounds, leaving a 1-inch border along the bottom and sides. Brush some of the reserved apple liquid around and in-between the mounds.
- Pull the top half of the pastry over the bottom half, covering the filling. Pinch the edges tightly to seal. Using a pizza wheel or sharp knife, cut in between the mounds of apple filling creating 4 equal sized tarts. For each tart, pinch the edges together firmly to seal and tuck under. Place the tart on the parchment lined baking sheet, seam-sides down. Repeat with the remaining tarts.
- Brush the top of the pastries with the beaten egg wash. Cut 3 or 4 slits on top of each pastry then sprinkle with almonds, pressing lightly to adhere.
- Bake 18-20 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom. Remove to a wire rack to cool. While the first batch is in the oven, repeat with the second sheet of pastry and the remaining apple filling.
- Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. Dust with powdered sugar just before serving.
- If desired, substitute canned apple pie filling for the fresh apple mixture. Add the cranberries to the pie filling before assembling the tarts.
- For crispy flaky tarts, they are best eaten the day they’re made. Leftover tarts will keep for up to 2 days at room temperature, lightly covered. The tarts will soften a little, but are still delicious.
- These tarts can be made a few hours ahead and baked when you need them. Make the tarts through step No. 4 and then refrigerate on the baking pans. Bring to room temperature for 20 minutes before baking, then proceed with step No. 5.
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Thanks so much for stopping by! Tricia