While I could just as well entertain with one big, delicious tart, I love the way little tarts personalize a party. And unlike most individual desserts that require a stack of miniature pans or baking dishes, these rustic cranberry tarts (also called galettes) are freeform, requiring only your everyday baking sheet and a sheet of parchment.
This is the kind of dessert anyone can make. The dough comes together in the food processor, and it doesn’t require any pastry-making experience. Yet for all its simplicity, you’ll be amazed by the delicate, buttery pastry this recipe produces.
You can fill a rustic tart with just about any type of fruit, but I like cranberries. For one thing, they’re beautiful—ruby cranberries tossed with golden raisins create a jewel-like filling that looks festive. And for me, that tart-against-sweet flavor is what makes the filling so intriguing.
What you can do ahead…
You can make the dough and the filling in advance, but the tarts should be assembled and baked the day you serve them.
You can make the pastry and the filling ahead. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate it for up two days (or freeze it for up to one month; just defrost it overnight in the refrigerator before using it). You can refrigerate the filling for up to two days.
I like to serve these little tarts warm (not hot), so I assemble and bake them just before guests arrive. You can also bake them further ahead and warm them in a 350°F oven for 5 minutes before serving.