What are your holiday traditions? I don’t have too many that are unique to our family (we always do a tree, an advent calendar and love making Christmas cutout cookies,) but I will say that every year I HAVE to make this Cranberry Curd Tart. I so look forward to it, that sometimes I’ll make it a couple of times leading up to Christmas or bake up a few to give to neighbors or friends as gifts (BTW have you seen our Holiday Gift guide for homemade food gifts?! Check it out!). This cranberry curd tart is made with a pecan brown sugar crust, and served with a light, Swiss meringue. It’s rich and delicious, with the perfect amount of sweet and tang from the cranberry.
Cranberry curd is simple to make and has such a deliciously tart, rich and creamy flavor to it. I love any kind of curd, and this one, with its deep fuchsia color, will be a beautiful addition to your holiday table!
a delightful pair: pecan brown sugar crust and cranberry curd
The pecan brown sugar crust is the perfect type of crust for this cranberry curd tart! It’s buttery and sweet, with a hint of pecan flavor. Since cranberry curd has a tang to it, this sweet, pecan brown sugar crust pairs wonderfully. Here’s how to make it:
- Toast pecans about 10 to 12 minutes in the oven, set to 350°F (make sure to stir the pecans about 5 minutes in, to make sure they toast evenly).
- After they’ve roasted and cooled, place them in a food processor with the flour and salt, processing until the mixture is fine like sand.
- Add sugar and butter, then pulse it until it looks like damp sand.
- Press the dough into your tart pan (we recommend this type of tart pan) and use a fork to prick the bottom of the crust before placing it in the freezer for 30 minutes.
- Bake at 350°F for about 8 to 10 minutes or until the crust is lightly toasted.
How to make the curd for a cranberry curd tart
This is my favorite part! There’s some sort of sweet satisfaction when I hear the popping of cranberries cooking. That sound = YUMMINESS. Here’s how to make the rich, creamy filling of the cranberry curd tart:
- Cook the cranberries, sugar, orange zest and orange juice in a saucepan over medium heat for about 10 to 12 minutes until the cranberries get soft (pop, pop, pop!).
- Pour the cranberry mixture into a strainer that is set over a large bowl. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to mash the cranberry mixture into the strainer, draining all the liquid/puree into the bowl and leaving the pulp behind. Strain the pulp.
- Return the strained cranberry puree to the saucepan, then stir in the butter into the cranberry puree.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and egg yolks. Slowly drizzle 1 cup of the warm, cranberry puree into the eggs while whisking, tempering the eggs (this allows you to add the hot cranberry puree without ending up with scrambled eggs!). Pour the tempered eggs into the cranberry puree in the saucepan, cooking over medium-low heat until the mixture is thick and coats the back of the spoon (about 8-10 minutes).
- Strain the cranberry curd (just in case some of the eggs cooked too fast and scrambled), then set aside to cool the curd to room temperature (preheat the oven to 350°F during this time).
- Pour the cooled cranberry curd into the pre-baked tart shell and bake for 10 minutes, then allow to cool on a wire rack.
The final step is whipping up some of the Swiss meringue (full instructions in the recipe!). We love the Swiss meringue with this cranberry curd tart because it’s light and doesn’t mask the cranberry flavor, but a dollop of homemade whipped cream would also work too.
Can cranberry curd tart be made ahead of time?
- You can make the crust for the cranberry curd tart up to several weeks in advance and freeze it until it’s ready to use (make sure to cover it tightly!)
- The cranberry curd can be made 1 day in advance and stored in the fridge. Pro tip: if you make it ahead of time, press plastic wrap against the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming on top.
If it’s not already, this lovely and decadent cranberry curd tart is sure to become a Christmastime favorite! In fact, it might even turn into a holiday tradition. 😉
SOME OTHER RECIPES WE ARE SURE YOU WILL LOVE:
- Make the most of cranberry season with this Christmas Cranberry Layer Cake! A tart, cranberry mixture sandwiched between vanilla cake layers and blanketed with creamy white icing.
- It’s hard to beat the classic, chocolate chip cookie but these Whole Grain Einkorn Chocolate Chip Cookies might just become your favorite! Soft and tender with extra depth and texture from the whole grain, we dare you to try eating just one! 😉
- This Gluten-Free Chicken Enchilada Casserole is an easy, comfort food perfect for entertaining or large family gatherings! South-of-the-border flavor and a polenta crust make this extra tasty!
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For the brown sugar pecan crust
- See our recipe for brown sugar pecan pie crust
For the Cranberry Curd:
- 12 ounces fresh cranberries
- 1 cup sugar (200 grams)
- zest of 1 orange
- Juice of 1 orange (about 1/2 cup)
- 8 tablespoons butter, softened
- 2 whole eggs
- 2 egg yolks
For the Swiss Meringue
- 4 egg whites
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
For the crust
- See the recipe for brown sugar pecan pie crust and press it into a 10-inch tart pan. Follow the instructions to freeze it before baking then set it aside while you make the cranberry curd.
For the Cranberry Curd:
- Place the cranberries, sugar, orange zest and orange juice in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat for about 10 to12 minutes until the cranberries get very soft.
- Set a strainer over a large bowl and pour the cranberry mixture into a strainer. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to mash the mixture down and get all the liquid/puree to drain into the bowl. Discard the seedy pulp and return the strained cranberry puree to the saucepan. Stir the butter into the cranberry puree.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and egg yolks. While whisking the eggs, slowly drizzle 1 cup of the warm cranberry liquid into the eggs. This will temper the eggs so you don’t end up with scrambled eggs. Now pour the tempered eggs into the saucepan with the rest of the cranberry puree. Cook over medium-low heat until the mixture is thick and coats the back of a spoon (about 8-10 minutes).
- Strain the cranberry curd through a strainer (this is helpful in case some of the eggs cooked too fast and made scrambled eggs in the curd). Set aside to cool down to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F while the curd cools down.
- Pour the cooled cranberry curd into the pre-baked tart shell and bake for 10 minutes. Set on a wire rack to cool completely.
For the Swiss Meringue
- Whisk the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar in a heatproof bowl.
- Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk constantly until the mixture is warm and the sugar has dissolved. Continue whisking until the mixture reaches 160°F, about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Remove the bowl from the saucepan and use a hand mixer (or transfer the mixture to a stand mixer) and beat the whites on high speed until stiff peaks form.
- Spoon or pipe the meringue on the top of the tart. Use a kitchen torch or place the tart under the broiler for 1 to 2 minutes to brown the top of the meringue
- The crust can be made several weeks in advance, covered and frozen until ready to use.
- The cranberry curd can be made 1 day in advance and stored in the fridge. If you make it in advance press some plastic wrap against the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming on the curd.
- The recipe for the cranberry curd was adapted from cooking.NYtimes.com .
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Amount Per Serving Calories 400 Total Fat 31g Saturated Fat 13g Trans Fat 1g Unsaturated Fat 32g Cholesterol 117mg Sodium 189mg Carbohydrates 26g Net Carbohydrates 0g Fiber 3g Sugar 12g Sugar Alcohols 0g Protein 5g