cranberry curd tart with a gingersnap crust

every couple of months a recipe will come along to remind me of why i started photographing + blogging about food. it evokes a freshness; a renewed passion and love for this craft. this is one of those recipes. the striking color, the perfect flavor balance…..oh, and a blow torch. this was hands down, one of my favorite recipes to create and photograph.

the flavor profile goes a little something like this: a gingersnap cookie and butter press-in crust, sweetened fresh cranberries turned into the most divine curd, all topped with a toasted Italian meringue. the meringue is optional, but is a showstopper for sure. and in case you glossed over the detail about a blow torch…you totally get to use one to toast the meringue. rarely is a dessert as much fun to make as it is to eat! i hope you enjoy it as much as i have. – megs

a few tips

  • this recipe uses a gingersnap crust, but you can really use any crust recipe you like. you can absolutely use a store bought crust, too!!
  • you need to blind bake the crust (whatever crust you end up using) before adding the curd. if you don’t you will end up with a soggy bottom tart.
  • to blind bake, line the bottom of your crust with parchment paper filled with pie weights, rice or dried beans.
  • this can be made in stages if you’re pressed for time, but is best served the day you fully assemble and bake. if making in stages, blind bake and cool the crust. same for the curd. make it ahead and cool to room temperature before storing in an airtight container. when you’re ready to assemble, bring the curd to room temperature for 15-20 minutes. add to your par-baked crust and bake as stated in the recipe.
  • the edges of your crust may bake faster than the rest of your tart. if you fear the edges are burning, place foil strips along the edges and bake until the curd is set.
  • you will have eggs whites from two eggs leftover from the curd. you can either save for another recipe, discard OR make an Italian meringue. if this is your plan, i highly suggest using a candy thermometer. the sugar has to reach a certain temperature before incorporating into the meringue and this is the surest way to ensure this happens. i have never been able to make a stable meringue until i tried this recipe
  • a kitchen torch was used to toast the meringue. you can use any you like. but, this is the one i’ve used many times and its worked great!

cranberry curd tart with a gingersnap crust

Megan
This slightly tart and sweet curd fills a buttery gingersnap crust. Its the perfect complement of festive flavors and is sure to leave a lasting impression on your dessert table.
Prep Time 35 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Cooling Time 1 hr
Total Time 2 hrs
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8 slices

Equipment

  • 9" removable bottom tart pan
  • food processor
  • mesh strainer
  • parchment paper
  • medium sauce pan

Ingredients
  

gingersnap crust

  • 3 c gingersnaps
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, cold and cubed

cranberry curd

  • 12oz bag fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/2 c orange juice
  • 1 1/4 c caster or superfine sugar (275g)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 10 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 375 F, line bottom of a tart pan with parchment paper. Lightly grease sides of the tart pan with butter. I use a pastry brush dipped in some of the melted butter. In a food processor, pulse gringersnaps into a course sand like texture. Add cold, cubed butter and process until it just comes together. Press into prepared tart, starting with the sides and working across the bottom to the center of the pan. Chill in the fridge for 15-20 minutes. Line the crust with a piece of parchment paper, cut the diameter of the tart pan. Line with pie weights, rice or dried beans. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack until ready to be filled with the curd. Reduce heat to 350F.
  • Heat cranberries and orange juice in a sauce pan over low-medium high heat until cranberries begin to soften slightly and split. Strain through a mesh strainer, discarding the skins and returing the cranberry mixture to the same sauce pan. Add all remaining ingredients to the sauce pan with the cranberry mixture. Gently, but throughly stir together. Heat over low-medium heat until the mixture thickens, about 9 minutes.
  • As soon as the mixture thickens, strain through the same mesh strainer, into another bowl or container. Pour into par-baked crust and return to the oven. Bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes, or until the curd sets with a slight giggle. Remove from oven and cool on a cooling rack to room temperature, about an hour. At this point, the tart can go into the fridge to chill or can be served at room temperature.

Notes

You will have some leftover egg whites. If you’d like to use them, I highly suggest an italian meringue. See blog post for the link I used to make the one in the photos. Its perfect and worked well the first time! 
Other suggested toppings: dusting of powdered sugar, or fresh whipped cream
Keyword cranberry tart, easy entertaining, easy holiday dessert, tart

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