Cranberry Curd Tart

September 29, 2020
9 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland. Prop Stylist: Sophie Strangio. Food Stylist: Drew Aichele.
  • Prep time 3 hours
  • Cook time 40 minutes
  • Makes 1 (9-inch) tart
Author Notes

Curd is a sweet, creamy spread typically made with juice (such as lemon or orange), eggs, sugar, and butter. It’s usually served as a topping for toast, biscuits, scones, and other baked goods. But it makes a wonderful filling for tarts too.

This cranberry curd tart is divine and just in time for fall. Warm cinnamon balances the cranberries tartness. Orange zest adds brightness to bring it all together. Serve this tart with a dollop of whipped cream or scoop of your favorite ice cream.

Tips for success: Sometimes finding fresh cranberries can be a challenge, so I used frozen cranberries when creating this recipe. However, you can still use the same weight of fresh cranberries and proceed as directed. Fresh cranberries are finished cooking once they begin to pop, about 8 to 10 minutes.

For the tart crust, using confectioners’ sugar reduces the time it takes to cream the butter and sugar, since confectioners’ sugar dissolves faster than granulated sugar. Eggs are the secret to a successful pastry—their fat creates a crisp, cookie-like crust that’s tender in the texture and rich in flavor. Over-mixing the dough will develop too much gluten and will cause the tart to toughen and shrink during baking. —Kenneth Temple

What You'll Need
  • Cinnamon Tart Crust
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, at room temperature, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Cranberry Curd
  • 12 ounces frozen cranberries
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large orange, zest and juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  1. Make the tart dough: In a large bowl, cream the butter and confectioners’ sugar with a hand mixer about 2 minutes, until the mixture is smooth and fluffy. Add the egg and egg yolk, and mix for 1 minute, until fully combined. In a separate bowl mix the flour, cinnamon, and salt. While mixing on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture. The dough should be smooth and firm, but not sticky. Pop in the fridge for 5 minutes uncovered.
  2. Grease a 9-inch tart pan with melted butter. On a lightly floured surface, press the dough into a disc. Roll out to a 12-inch circle (about 1/8-inch thick). Transfer to the prepared tart pan. Press the dough into the pan, making sure it’s dough it’s pressed firmly into the creases and corners of the pan. Roll your rolling pin over the top to trim any overhang and discard the scraps of dough. Use a fork to evenly prick the dough (this prevents excess puffing when it bakes), wrap with plastic or foil, and freeze for 30 minutes.
  3. While the tart is in the freezer, heat the oven to 350°F and work on the filling: Add the cranberries, sugar, orange zest, salt, and orange juice to a medium saucepan. Turn on the heat to medium and bring to a boil. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until the sauce has reduced by half, the liquid should be even with the cranberries, not below it.
  4. Transfer the cranberry mixture to a food blender and blitz on high for 1 minute. Add butter and blitz on low for 15 seconds. Pour through a mesh strainer over a medium saucepan to remove any lumps.
  5. In another bowl, use a fork to beat the eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla together. Stir in 1/4 cup of warm cranberry liquid to temper the eggs. Add this mixture to the saucepan with the remaining cranberry liquid. Turn heat to medium-low and cook for 5 minutes, until mixture simmers slightly, stirring occasionally. Cool cranberry curd over an ice bath (take a large bowl and fill it with ice water—more ice than water, just enough that it doesn’t overflow).
  6. Add the tart shell to a sheet pan and bake for 15 minutes, until the crust is browned slightly. Remove and cool for 10 minutes. At this point, the tart is ready for it filling.
  7. Pour the cooled cranberry curd mixture into the tart crust and bake for about 10 minutes, until the curd is set—it will have a slight jiggle left but it should not be stiff. Cool the tart on a cooling rack (if you don’t have one, you can use a rack from your oven). You can serve at room temperature or chilled. The tart is good for up to 4 days in the fridge.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Cathy Bennett
    Cathy Bennett
  • Sandy Avriette
    Sandy Avriette
  • trulacfry
  • jpriddy

6 Reviews

Cathy B. January 2, 2021
So I made this and took it to some friends for a New Year's Eve dessert. OMG it is amazing. Rave reviews! The crust shrank a bit, and I know I didn't overwork it. Next time I think I'll just let it rest a bit longer. The curd is really so tasty, just the right sweet/sour mix. Friends noted that it reminded them a bit of Key Lime Pie, but prettier and better.
Sandy A. November 27, 2020
Soooooo the curd is delicious! But the instructions for the crust and the ratios made it an utter mess. Had to throw it out and make another tart crust.
trulacfry November 26, 2020
I made this for Thanksgiving. It is utterly scrumptious. My husband was skeptical of the idea of it, but he’s crazy about it now and he said, “I guarantee this is the best dessert being served on Thanksgiving in the whole entire town.” I did cheat a little with the crust though. I didn’t follow this crust recipe, but stuck to a simpler recipe that I’m used to (called No Fail Pie Crust found on this site). I also made French meringue (also from this site) for a topping and sprinkled it with a little cinnamon. I’ll be making this cranberry curd tart again tomorrow for another family dinner.
Rcwee November 25, 2020
This crust was quite a departure from my typical piecrust. It did not go well to work with room temp butter. If I did it again I would stick with the cold butter method.
jpriddy November 23, 2020
Why would you need to bake this curd in the tart crust when both are already cooked? And might this curd be lovely in a nut crust with a layer of creme patisserie?
trulacfry November 26, 2020
Baking it sets the curd. I wouldn’t be brave enough to try not baking them together. I think if you don’t bake it, the curd will probably run everywhere once you cut into it. I baked them together and when we cut into the finished product, the curd stayed in place like a nice piece of pie. So scrumptious.