Cranberry Curd Tart Recipe

Overhead of cranberry tart on serving platter with candied garnishes on top of and beside it.
Recipe At-A-Glance
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Thanksgiving, Gluten-Free3 hours
This tart has the perfect balance of tart and sweet. It’s made with homemade cranberry curd, a crisp, nutty crust, and lots of seasonal fruit.

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The holiday season is all about pie, pie, and more pie. As delicious as traditional pies are, there’s another holiday dessert that should have a spot on your Thanksgiving or Christmas table—cranberry curd tart.

If you’ve never had cranberry curd tart, you have to try it this year. Everyone knows cranberries are a must-have for Thanksgiving, and this tart is a delicious way to serve them.

The sweetness of this curd is nicely balanced with tart cranberries, zesty oranges, and a crisp almond crust. You can be sure that this gorgeous red tart will stand out amidst the oranges and beiges of a table full of pumpkin and apple pies.

Overhead of single slice of holiday dessert tart sitting on a plate, garnished.

Tell me about cranberry curd!

A fruit curd is a soft filling or spread made out of the juice of fruit (typically citrus fruits like lemons and limes, but we went rogue here), eggs, and butter. The result is silky, rich, and decadent. Our cranberry version is packed with cranberry flavor and bright, neon red color!

Close view of sugared cranberries and candied orange peel on top of bright red cranberry tart.

How do you make cranberry curd?

Making a fruit curd might seem intimidating, but once you’ve made it, you’ll realize just how simple it is—and you’ll want to make curds from all the fruit in your house! Here are the steps:

Collage of eight steps to making homemade cranberry curd.

  1. Place the cranberries, orange zest, and cranberry juice in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring frequently, until all the cranberries have burst open.
  3. Blend the mixture either using an immersion blender or by pureeing it in a blender.
  4. Fit a fine-mesh strainer over a large bowl. Pour the blended cranberry mixture through the strainer, using a spatula to press the mixture through.
  5. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and egg yolks. Then temper the eggs by adding a few tablespoons of the warm cranberry puree to the eggs and whisking.
  6. Continue adding the cranberry puree a small amount at a time until all the cranberry has been added.
  7. Pour the cranberry and egg mixture back into the saucepan. Add in the sugar and salt and whisk until smooth. Place the mixture over medium heat and stir the curd constantly, making sure to scrape down the sides and bottoms of the pan. Cook until the mixture thickens.
  8. Remove the pan from heat, and add in all the butter and vanilla extract, stirring well until the butter is completely melted.

What is orange zest?

Orange zest is little flecks off the orange part of the peel. Before you turn up your nose at eating an orange peel, hear me out. The zest is found in the outermost layer of the peel. This orange layer has a highly concentrated orange oil that adds a strong citrus flavor to your foods. It’s not the same as the bitter white inner layer of the peel.

To zest an orange, you can use a zester or the finest side of your box grater. Make sure your orange is washed well before you grate it. Lightly scrape the outside of your orange, stopping when you reach white.
Top view of whole cranberry curd tart garnished with sugared cranberries and candies orange peels.

Is there an easy way to separate the yolk from the egg?

There sure is! The easiest way to separate the yolk from the egg is to crack it in your hands and let the egg whites drip out through your fingers into a bowl below. This may seem a little messy, but it’s the simplest way to separate out the yolk.

Do I have to use almond flour in the crust?

The almond flour and almond extract will give your crust a slightly nutty flavor. This is an essential part of the overall flavor of your cranberry curd tart, so I wouldn’t recommend substituting it with another flour. You can make your own almond flour by pulsing blanched almonds in a food processor until they form a fine flour.

Side view of almond crust and candies garnishes close up.

I’m in a rush. Can I skip freezing the crust?

Nope, sorry, freezing your crust needs to be done, so you shouldn’t skip over this step. Chilling your crust before you add your filling allows it to relax and spread out a little. It also stops it from shrinking when it’s baked, so this step is important.

Why do I have to add the cranberry mixture to the eggs so slowly?

Slowly adding a hot liquid to an egg mixture is known as tempering. This allows the eggs to rise in temperature gradually. Tempering your eggs is important because it prevents them from cooking. You don’t want scrambled eggs in your cranberry curd tart!
Close view of a single slice of holiday tart garnished on a plate with a fork.

What should you top your cranberry curd tart with?

If you’re looking to add a sprinkle of flavor and color to this cranberry curd tart recipe, you can’t go wrong with candied orange peels. Sugared cranberries are another excellent topping for a little more sweetness.
A hand holds up a pie serve with a garnished slice of cranberry curd tart on it.

Can this cranberry curd tart recipe be made ahead of time?

This cranberry curd tart can absolutely be made in advance, and in fact, it needs some time in the fridge to really set up before serving. You can make this tart up to 2 days in advance of serving.

You can also make the parts ahead of time (the curd and the crust) separately, and then assemble them, bake, and chill.

 
Overhead of cranberry tart on serving platter with candied garnishes on top of and beside it.

Cranberry Curd Tart Recipe

Yield: 1 10-inch tart
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Additional Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 20 minutes

This tart has the perfect balance of tart and sweet. It’s made with homemade cranberry curd, a crisp, nutty crust, and lots of seasonal fruit.

Ingredients

For the almond crust:

  • 1/2 cup (115g) granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons softened butter, more as necessary
  • 2 cups (220g) finely ground blanched almond flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Cold water

For the cranberry curd:

  • 12 ounces (about 3 cups) fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 2/3 cup 100% cranberry juice
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) softened butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For assembly

  • Sugared cranberries and candied citrus peel, for garnish

Instructions

To make the crust:

    1. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, in a large bowl with an electric mixer, or in a food processor, cream together the sugar and butter until pale and thick.
    2. Add almond flour, almond extract, and salt.
    3. Mix until the dough comes together. If the mixture seems too crumbly to work with, add in cold water a tablespoon at a time until the mixture forms into a rough ball when squeezed.
    4. Press the dough evenly into a 10-inch tart pan. You should use about half the dough for the sides, and half for the bottom of the pan. Prick bottom of the crust with a fork and freeze for 30 minutes.
    5. When chilling time is almost up, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the chilled tart shell until lightly brown, about 15 minutes. Cool completely.

    To make the curd

    1. Place the cranberries, orange zest, and cranberry juice in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until all the cranberries have burst open, about 5 minutes. Blend the mixture either using an immersion blender or by pureeing it in a blender.
    2. Fit a fine-mesh strainer over a large bowl. Pour the blended cranberry mixture through the strainer, using a spatula to press the mixture through. Discard the pulp left in the strainer. You should have about 1 1/3 cups of cranberry puree.
    3. In a large glass measuring cup or bowl, whisk together the eggs and egg yolks. Then temper the eggs by adding a few tablespoons of the warm cranberry puree to the eggs and whisking. Continue adding the cranberry puree a small amount at a time—increasing the amount added each time—until all the cranberry puree has been incorporated into the eggs.
    4. Wipe out the saucepan used for the cranberries, and then pour the cranberry and egg mixture back into the saucepan. Add in the sugar and salt and whisk until smooth. Place the mixture over medium heat and stir the curd constantly, making sure to scrape down the sides and bottoms of the pan. Cook until the mixture comes to a mixture and thickens slightly, about 5-7 minutes. It should coat the back of a spoon, and it’ll read around 150ºF on a thermometer.
    5. Remove the pan from heat, and add in all the butter and vanilla extract, stirring well until the butter is completely melted.

    To assemble the tart

    1. Pour the cranberry curd into the pre-baked tart crust and spread in an even layer. Bake in the preheated oven until the curd is set, but is still slightly jiggly in the center—about 12-15 minutes.
    2. Let the tart cool on a wire rack for one hour, and then transfer to the fridge until chilled through—at least 2 hours—before serving. Garnish with sugared cranberries and candied citrus peels for garnish.

Notes

To make sugared cranberries, soak cranberries in a 1:1 simple syrup. Drain and allow to partially dry on a wire rack. When the cranberries are tacky, roll in granulated sugar to coat.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1/8 tart
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 461Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 262mgSodium: 367mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 3gSugar: 30gProtein: 10g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

Cassie is the founder and CEO of Wholefully. She's a home cook and wellness junkie with a love of all things healthy living. She lives on a small hobby farm in Southern Indiana with her husband, daughter, two dogs, two cats, and 15 chickens.

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