Tangy, creamy, and sweet, this homemade cranberry curd can be spread or dolloped on just about anything and it’s the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving line up.
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I have to be honest. I’ve never been super fond of cranberries. They’ve always been just “okay” to me. I did like the jellied cranberry sauce from a can, though. Haha! I know it’s not fancy, but it was good.
So when I bought a bag of fresh cranberries because I wanted to make something festive, I was determined to finally really like cranberries. And I succeeded in changing my own taste buds because this cranberry curd is beyond my expectations!
Cranberries have always been a little too tart for my taste, so I thought about tartness and how to tame it. I LOVE lemon curd, which works perfectly to tame the tartness of lemons. So why not cranberry curd? Cranberry curd is super simple to make and has that signature tartness, subdued enough with the addition of eggs and sugar.
HOW TO MAKE CRANBERRY CURD
When I was researching curd recipes, I looked to one of my most favorite recipe developers, Ina Garten. I’ve made her orange curd previously and I love her method. It’s unique and it produces a very kicked up orange flavor that’s unlike other curd recipes I’ve tried. I really like the bits of orange zest still in her curd.
The first step is to pulverize the cranberries with the sugar in a food processor. Pour the cranberry mixture into a mixing bowl with softened butter and beat until incorporated. It won’t be at all smooth and will most likely look curdled. There will be little bits of butter throughout. It’s okay. Don’t panic and just roll with it and forge ahead.
Add the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Pour this curdled-looking mixture into a medium saucepan. Over medium heat, continually stir with a whisk until the mixture begins to thicken. This will happen anywhere from 5-10 minutes.
Once the mixture has thickened like mayonnaise and the tines of the whisk start leaving indentations, immediately remove it from the heat and pour it through a fine mesh sieve over a medium bowl. Press the mixture through the sieve with the back of a spoon or spatula to remove as much of the cranberry seeds and pulp from the curd.
Cover the curd with plastic wrap resting right on the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming. Chill for at least 2 hours or up to one week.
WHAT CAN I DO WITH CRANBERRY CURD?
There are so many ideas for cranberry curd it’s really ridiculous! Here are just a few serving suggestions:
- Dollop on top of a piece of gluten free cream cheese pound cake.
- Spread on a warm gluten free biscuit or gluten free English scone.
- Use as a topping for gluten free pancakes.
- Spread on a toasted gluten free English muffin or gluten free cinnamon raisin toast.
- Fold into freshly whipped heavy cream and use as a topping for any pie or cake.
- Use as a filling in gluten free cupcakes.
- Add to French buttercream, Swiss meringue buttercream, or American buttercream.
These are just a few of the many ways you can use this homemade cranberry curd. It’s so versatile and so deliciously tangy and creamy.
Homemade Cranberry Curd
- 1 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries
- 1½ cups (300 g) granulated sugar
- 1 stick (4 ounces or 113 g) butter, softened
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- ⅛ tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp grated orange zest
- In the bowl of a food processor, process sugar with whole cranberries and orange zest until cranberries are finely chopped and well incorporated into the sugar, about 7-10 pulses.
- Pour cranberry mixture into a large bowl with softened butter. Beat on low so as not to splatter everywhere. Add the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. The mixture will look very curdled and there may be little bits of butter throughout. This is totally okay and expected.
- Pour the whole thing into a medium saucepan and whisk continuously over medium heat until mixture begins to thicken. This will take anywhere from 5-10 minutes. It should be about as thick as mayonnaise when it's done.
- Immediately remove the pan from the heat and pour the cranberry curd into a fine mesh sieve set over a medium bowl. Press through sieve with the back of a spoon or spatula to remove all the seeds and pulp of the cranberries, and discard this.
- Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd and chill the curd for at least 2 hours, or up to one week.
Inspired by Ina Garten’s Orange Curd recipe.