Bright, tart, and creamy, Cranberry Curd is a holiday treat that can be used to fill cakes, stir into yogurt, top cookies and more.
I am a serious fruit curd lover. With intense bright flavor and buttery richness, fruit curd is a taste sensation. Like a cross between fresh fruit and buttercream frosting, it’s both fruity and decadent!
And since it comes in many flavors, wouldn’t going with a Cranberry Curd be perfect for the holidays? How do you beat puckery cranberry tartness, in a creamy rich creamy spread!
What is Fruit Curd?
Per Wikipedia, “Fruit curd is a dessert spread and topping usually made with citrus fruit, such as lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit or tangerine. Other flavor variations include passion fruit (or lilikoi), mango, and berries such as raspberries, cranberries or blackberries. The basic ingredients of fruit curd are beaten egg yolks, sugar, fruit juice, and zest, which are gently cooked together until thick and then allowed to cool, forming a soft, smooth, flavorful spread.”
And because it can be made with so many different fruits, it can be tailored to holidays, like Strawberry Curd for Mother’s Day or Cranberry Curd for Thanksgiving or Christmas!
How is fruit curd different from jam?
While fruit curds and jam are both sweet and fruity, they are very different toppings. Enriched with eggs (or egg yolks) and butter, fruit curd is richer and more decadent than jam. And it’s even better suited for filling a cake.
That richness means that fruit curds are less well preserved than jams, however, so they need to be consumed more quickly. And unlike jam, curds are not safe for home canning due to their lower acidity (though they do freeze beautifully).
Of course if it’s jam you’re looking for, check out my easy Cranberry Jam recipe.
Why You’ll Love This!
Flavorful. Rich and tasty, you can’t go wrong with cranberry flavor for the holidays. Or any time you want a sweet tart treat!
Easy. Even though it sounds exotic and challenging, cranberry curd is actually quite easy to make. (Shhhh.)
Festive. With its rosy red color and bright flavor, Cranberry Curd is fun and festive!
What You’ll Need
- Cranberries. This provides the bright cranberry flavor.
- Sugar. This sweetens the cranberry curd. Cranberries are tart!
- Orange juice. This helps the cranberries cook down and adds the slightest hint of orange flavor. You can use water instead if you prefer.
- Butter. This adds richness and helps thicken the curd.
- Eggs. This helps thicken the curd and adds richness. You can use all egg yolks if you prefer.
- No special tools required!
Step by Step Directions
In a medium saucepan, bring cranberries, juice and sugar to a boil. Simmer until berries are soft and have “popped,” about 15 minutes.
Puree the berry mixture using a regular or immersion blender.
When mostly smooth, strain the berry mixture, pressing on the pulp to extract as much juice as possible.
Save the pulp for another use or compost it. Wash or wipe the saucepan clean.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs (or yolks) until well mixed, then mix a heaping Tablespoon of cranberry puree into the eggs. Be sure to whisk the whole time.
Mix in another heaping Tablespoon, then add the egg mixture back into the cranberry bowl.
Pour the cranberry egg mixture back into the cleaned saucepan. Cook on medium, stirring slowly and consistently, and scraping the bottom and sides of the pan. When mixture has thickened (before it comes to a boil), remove it from the heat.
Whisk in the butter, a few cubes at a time, until it’s all added. Pour curd into jars with lids and refrigerate to cool. The curd will continue to thicken as it cools.
How to Serve
There are so many things you can do with cranberry curd. Although it was traditionally served at tea with scones or other baked treats, it is good any time of the day.
Stir it into yogurt for breakfast, top pancakes or spread it on—well almost any kind of baked good from muffin to toast.
Got the munchies? Top graham crackers or make a cookie sandwich with vanilla wafers.
Cranberry curd is also delicious in more formal desserts. Mix it with whipped cream and fill a cream puff or use it as the filling for a layer cake. And my favorite—fill a cranberry tart. Check out my recipe coming on Friday.
Variations and Special Diets
And for more tasty cranberry recipes, take a look at the Cranberry Week recipes from my blogging friends. They’re at the end of this post.
Cranberry curd should last 1-2 weeks in the refrigerator.
Curds also freeze beautifully, so make it now, put it in the freezer, and you’ll have one less thing to do when the holidays arrive!
Tips & FAQs
Don’t change the order you add the butter. By adding it at the end, it is supposed to help emulsify the curd (like mixing oil and vinegar for salad dressing).
You can save the leftover cranberry pulp for a few days to stir into yogurt or oatmeal. Or if that’s not appealing, it can go into the compost.
Why do you use whole eggs? Many cranberry curd recipes will include only egg yolks and I include this as an option. This makes an even richer curd–not that this isn’t very rich already! If you happen to making an angel food cake, this may be the option for you! And egg whites freeze well, so you can store them up until you need them.
Despite these advantages, I am going more with whole eggs this year. You see, when I cleaned out my freezer, I found soooo many leftover egg whites that I never got around to using and had to discard. (Despite having tons of egg white recipes, go figure.) So now, when it isn’t critical to use just the yolks, I am trying to use the whole egg.
Welcome to #CranberryWeek where we celebrate all things made with those tastily tart, red berries! This is the third year for this event and I can’t wait to see what the other 8 bloggers are sharing this week. We have over 15 recipes to share on Monday and Friday so make sure to follow #CranberryWeek to see all their delicious goodness.
More Cranberry Recipes:
- Apple Cranberry Cake from Palatable Pastime
- Cranberry and Fudge Layered Pie from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Cranberry Apple Salsa from Magical Ingredients
- Cranberry Curd from Art of Natural Living
- Cranberry Jalapeno Dip from Cheesecurd In Paradise
- Cranberry Lemon Cookies from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Cranberry Orange Chicken Thighs from A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Spiced Cranberry Sangria from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- 12 ounces cranberries – 3 cups
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup orange juice or water
- 3 eggs or 6 yolks
- 4 ounces butter cut into cubes
- In a medium saucepan, bring cranberries, juice and sugar to a boil. Simmer until berries are soft and have “popped,” about 15 minutes.
- Puree the berry mixture using a regular or immersion blender. When mostly smooth, strain the berry mixture, pressing on the pulp to extract as much juice as possible. Save the pulp for another use or compost it. Wash or wipe the saucepan clean.
- In a separate bowl, beat the eggs (or yolks) until well mixed, then mix a heaping Tablespoon of cranberry puree into the eggs. Be sure to whisk the whole time. Mix in another heaping Tablespoon, then add the egg mixture back into the cranberry bowl.
- Pour the cranberry egg mixture back into the cleaned saucepan. Cook on medium, stirring slowly and consistently and scraping the bottom and sides of the pan. When mixture has thickened (before it comes to a boil), remove it from the heat.
- Whisk in the butter, a few cubes at a time, until it’s all added. Pour curd into jars with lids and refrigerate to cool. The curd will continue to thicken as it cools.
- Tasty Pumpkin Cookies
- Festive Cranberry Curd Tart