Cranberry Curd Tart


This tart, hey? I discovered it’s tricky to say “cranberry curd tart” (try it) – but it turned out to be one of the most stop-in-your-tracks stunningly gorgeous things I’ve ever made. (In that it’s a brilliant pink colour, not because I made a particular effort to get fancy on its behalf.) I made it a few weeks ago for a holiday story, and wanted to share before Thanksgiving weekend, since it is the first of two annual holidays during which cranberries are crown jewels.


It’s a simple curd, like lemon – with lemon, because the cranberry on its own doesn’t have quite enough pucker. It’s thin and sweet-tart and crunchy-smooth, hitting all the right notes – something I saw in the New York Times food section (one of my faves), but more or less completely changed, crust, curd and all. I could have topped it with sugared cranberries, which would have been gorgeous, but I kind of liked the look of the brilliant pink puddle, unadorned. It would do fine with a blop of softly whipped cream, or really anything you might scatter over a lemon tart. But we ate it by the sliver as is, and it made me want to play Pac-Man.

Cranberry Curd Tart


October 5, 2016



1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1 Tbsp. sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 cup butter, lard, or a combination

1/3 cup cold water

Cranberry Curd:

3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries

1 cup sugar

juice and zest of 1 lemon

1/2 cup butter, cut into bits

2 large eggs + 2 egg yolks


1Preheat the oven to 375F.

2In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Grate in the butter or lard using the coarse side of a box grater, or cut it into bits. Blend it into the flour with a fork, pastry cutter or your fingers, until it’s crumbly, with bits of butter the size of a pea remaining. Add the water and stir just until the dough comes together.

3Shape it into a disk, and on a lightly floured surface, roll it out into about a 12-inch circle. Drape over a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, and gently press it in to fit into the bottom and sides. Use the rolling pin to roll across the edge of the pan to cut the pastry cleanly away; discard any scraps.

4Place a piece of foil or parchment in the pastry and fill with pie weights; bake for 15 minutes, then remove the weights and foil and bake for another 10 minutes, or until golden. Remove and set aside to cool.

5Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring the cranberries, sugar, and lemon zest and juice to a simmer. Cook for 10-15 minutes, until the berries pop and soften. Set a colander over a bowl and pour in the sauce; stir and press down on the solids to extract as much as possible. (You could save the solids for a smoothie.) Add the butter and set aside to cool.

6Once the butter has melted (there can still be a few solid bits in there), whisk in the eggs and return the mixture to the pan. Bring it to a simmer over medium-low heat, whisking constantly until it bubbles and thickens. If there are little bits of egg, lemon or cranberry you want to get rid of, pour it through a sieve into another bowl. Pour into the shell while it’s still warm, and let stand at room temperature until cooled and set.

7Serves 12-16.


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9 comments on “Cranberry Curd Tart

  1. Katie
    November 23, 2017 at 6:36 am

    Thank you! I made this last night so I can bring it with me to Thanksgiving today.

    It looks amazing and was fairly simple. I wish that I’d had left some more of the pie crust around the edge, this one shrunk in and left some sparse bits, but overall thinking it will still be OK!!


  2. EMILY
    November 7, 2018 at 7:42 pm

    I am making two of these four days apart. Is it possible to make the cranberry curd in advance and then spread it in the shell day of?

    • Julie
      November 8, 2018 at 7:29 am

      Yes, definitely!

  3. LL
    November 21, 2018 at 5:00 pm

    Can you make this the night before?

  4. Jenny
    November 24, 2018 at 5:40 pm

    Do you chill the dough prior to rolling it out or after you roll it out and before you bake it?

  5. Kait
    October 13, 2019 at 6:58 pm

    hi Julie! should I refrigerate the tart if I make it the night before, or cover and leave it on the counter? thanks!

    • Julie
      October 15, 2019 at 3:05 pm

      So sorry! Either would be fine – it would be fine on the counter if you don’t have room in the fridge!

  6. Maya Sosnowski
    March 13, 2020 at 10:44 pm

    This looks delicious! Could I make it in mini tart pans? If so, how long would you recommend I cook the shell for?

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