Filed under: Fruit Based
December 15, 2018

cranberry and lemon curd tart

Combining the best of summer flavors (lemon) and the best of winter (cranberry) , this tart is a true standout dish. The curds are made separately and swirled together for perfect balance of sweet and tart. The beautifully contrasting filling is held together by a giant cookie crust. Each slice is so intense, it will make all your sense tingle.

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curd swirl tart

I know, I know, I know. I’m supposed to be posting cookie recipes this time of year, right? It’s +teen days away from christmas and here I am obsessing over curds and tarts. I must be a little bit of a contrarian. But I have to say, I cannot understand why we only talk about cookies in the first three weeks of December? I dunno about you but I love them all year!

Anyway, back to this swirly beaut. It may not be a cookie (although the crust is pretty close) but it is very seasonally made out of cranberries. And oh, such good cranberry flavor. I first saw the idea for a cranberry curd tart on nyt cooking and was just mesmerized by the bright red hue. I made the curd and stopped before it became a tart because it seemed to want to be between fluffy yellow cake layers. But I couldn’t get the image out of my head, I was imagining it beautifully swirled around lemon curd and it turned out terribly easy and totally worth it.

This tart pie is a hostess’ dream – the parts (two curds plus a shell) can be made in advance and fully assembled the day before – she needs chillin’ time anyway. The day of, top it with some whipped cream to balance the strength of the ‘tartness’, and watch your guests awe at the gorgeousness of bright summer colors in the dead of winter. This is a great dessert antidote to all the cloying sweetness we are usually served this time of year.


Cranberry Lemon Curd Tart


  • The curds can be made a day or two ahead. You can also make the dough in advance and stick’er in the fridge (or even freezer). Once baked, the final tart will need to chill for awhile in the fridge so no need to fuss the day of entertaining!
  • The crust recipe yields a dough for two 9inch pans, the author recommends freezing the other for future use.
  • This tart is, as you’d expect from two curds, quite tart! It is divine on its own, but my sweet tooth enjoyed it more when paired with some sweetened whipped cream to help balance the flavor.

Tart Cookie Crust, NYT Cooking

  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon milk
  • 12 oz flour


You can do this in a stand mixer, a hand mixer or even in a food processor. In any case, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add egg yolk, salt and milk and mix to combine. Add flour and combine. In a food processor you’ll see it come together when it starts forming little balls. You can press it together with your hands. Divide in two by eyeball or by weighing dough. Wrap both doughs in plastic wrap, freeze one of the doughs and refrigerate the other.

Cranberry Curd

  • 340 g cranberries, fresh
  • 225 grams sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • juice and peel of 1 orange
  • 1 stick butter (113grams)
  • 2 eggs plus 2 yolks


In a pot boil the cranberries, sugar and orange parts until cranberries have all popped and gone very soft. It should take about 10 minutes. Using a blender puree the mixture and then press through a sieve and discard chunky bits. Return to saucepan and add butter. Let simmer until butter is fully melted. In a heatproof bowl whisk the eggs and yolks. Using a ladle add a small amount of the cranberry mix to the bowl and whisk to combine. Do this twice more to temper the eggs. Add the egg mixture to the pot and simmer until it becomes thick enough to cover the back of a spoon and reaches 170 degrees. Remove from heat and strain into a heatproof container to remove egg bits. Set aside to cool. If making in advance store in an airtight container.

Lemon Curd

I use Ina Garten’s recipe here (halved) because it doesn’t leave me with leftover egg whites and because, well, I could make it in my sleep. KAF also has a super easy one that only involves a microwave.

  • zest and juice of two lemons
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 stick of butter, at room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • pinch of salt


In a food processor blend the lemon zest and sugar or rub with your hands until the zest begins to release its oils. Cream the butter, sugar and salt together and add eggs. Pour into a pot and let simmer until the curd reaches 170 degrees and covers the back of a spoon. Strain to remove egg bits into a heatproof container. If not using immediately store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Tart Assembly

Once you have your curds ready, preheat the oven to 375. Remove your dough from the fridge and use your fingers to press it into 9” tart pan. Using a fork prick the bottom of the dough all over and bake it for 20 minutes.

Lower the oven temperature to 350 and pour in the cranberry curd. Smooth it over with the back of a spoon. Spoon the lemon curd onto the cranberry in large circles. Once all your lemon is in, use a toothpick to swirl it into a pretty design.

Bake the tart for about 10 minutes to ‘set’ it. Allow it to cool at room temperature and then place it in the fridge for at least a few hours before serving.

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