Today we are going to talk about pie, because as you know, Thanksgiving is right around the corner…like ONE week away. (EEK!) After I found out I had celiac disease, one of the things that devastated me the most, was that I was convinced that would never be able to enjoy my favorite holiday dishes again. I told myself that gluten-free desserts were going to be disgusting, dry and tasteless, or too just difficult to make. And I shed many-a-tear over the stuffing, gravy, and most specifically this Gluten Free Cranberry Frangipane Tart, that would no longer be a part of my holiday feasting. Boy was I wrong.Jump to Recipe
Recipe card, instructions, text and images updated 11/17/21.
This Gluten Free Cranberry Frangipane Tart, adapted from a recipe by Deb over at Smitten Kitchen, became an important part of our family’s holiday repertoire when my sister-in-law brought it a few years ago for Thanksgiving. It was, and remains to this day, the best holiday dessert ever. The crisp, buttery crust tastes just like a shortbread cookie. The frangipane filling, made from ground pecans, a splash of bourbon, and spiked with orange zest, is rich and sublime. And the fresh cranberries (ours always shipped special from Cape Cod) are studded throughout like so many sparkling rubies bursting with tart flavor.
Last Thanksgiving, I made the recipe gluten-free by using a pate sucree recipe by Karen Morgan of Blackbird Bakery. It’s the same crust I use for my lemon tart. It is a mind-blowingly good crust–perhaps even better than the glutenous version–and I was relieved that Thanksgiving would be saved..or at least this dessert was.
This time I shed tears of joy…because our holiday dessert table wouldn’t be complete without this lovely tart.
Love Cranberries – we’ve got you covered. Check out these delicious recipes:
- Boozy Cranberry Cheesecake Tartlets
- Cranberry Orange Old Fashioned Cocktail
- A Beautiful Recipe for Gluten Free Cranberry Bread – with Cranberry Glaze
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Gluten Free Cranberry Frangipane Tart
- 10" tart pan with removable bottom
For the Crust
- ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons tapioca flour plus more for dusting (also called tapioca starch)
- ¾ cup non-GMO cornstarch
- ¼ cup sweet rice flour or glutinous rice flour
- ⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon millet flour
- Pinch kosher salt
- 1½ teaspoons xanthan gum
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 cup 2 sticks very cold butter cut into cubes
- 1 large egg plus one egg yolk whisked
For the Filling
- 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
- 1½ tablespoons all-purpose gluten-free flour blend or cornstarch
- ⅔ cups sugar
- 9 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg white
- 1 tablespoon brandy optional
- 1½ teaspoon orange zest
- ½ to 1 cup whole fresh cranberries
- Make the tart crust. Place tapioca flour, cornstarch, sweet rice flour, millet flour, salt, xanthan gum and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat lightly to combine. Add the butter, and mix on medium speed until the mixture becomes pebbly. Add the eggs and beat just until the mixture turns on itself. Turn out onto a board that’s been lightly floured with tapioca flour and knead for one or two turns. Flatten dough into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (it can be stored for a few days in the fridge).
- Remove dough from fridge and place on a board that’s been lightly floured with tapioca flour. Roll out into a 12-inch circle. Using your rolling pin, carefully roll up the dough and transfer to a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Press dough into the pan, taking care not to stretch too much. Remove excess dough from the edges. Prick dough all over with a fork. Spray the shiny side of a large piece of foil with GF cooking spray and lightly press onto dough. Fill with pie weights (I used a very old one-pound pinto beans). Place pan in the freezer for 30 minutes while you preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Remove from freezer and place directly into the oven. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and pie weights and bake for an additional 20 minutes or until the crust is lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool completely. (Can be covered tightly and kept at room temperature overnight).
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel-blade attachment, pulse the nuts with the flour blend until finely ground. Add the sugar, butter, egg, brandy and orange zest and pulse until smooth.
- Spread into a pre-baked tart shell and dot with as many cranberries as you’d like. Bake for 45 minutes, or until filling is puffed and golden and cooked through. If necessary, test by inserting a toothpick near the center of the tart….it should come out clean. Serve with ice cream, whipped cream or just on its own.