This Cranberry Curd is so delicious and so easy to make. It's made with fresh cranberries, sugar, butter, and eggs. It's creamy and tart and takes less than 30 minutes. It can also be made with frozen cranberries. It's a great seasonal treat and I hope you give it a try.
Why This Recipe Works
Fruit curd is an indulgent, luscious, tart, creamy fruit spread that is good as a dessert topping, spread on toast, or as a filling for tarts and cakes. This recipe uses fresh cranberries to produce a curd that is tart and sweet. Orange juice and orange zest balance out the tartness and a beautiful citrus flavor.
This curd is so good that I've used it to create several recipes including Cranberry Linzer Cookies and Cranberry Meringue Tart. If you'd like more fruit curd ideas check out my recipe collection for Fruit Curds.
Cranberry Curd Ingredients
Here's what you'll need for this delicious curd:
- Fresh or Frozen Cranberries. Either fresh or frozen can be used in this recipe. If using frozen berries, you don't need to thaw them before starting the recipe.
- Orange Juice. The orange juice enhances the flavor of the cranberries and adds a nice citrus taste to the curd.
- Orange Zest. The zest adds citrus flavor, but it also adds a slight floral flavor.
- Granulated Sugar
- Whole Eggs and Egg Yolks. This recipe uses a combination of whole eggs and eggs. Save the leftover egg whites for macaroons or Swiss meringue buttercream
- Unsalted Butter. Use only unsalted butter for this recipe. Salted butter will make the curd too salty.
How to Make the Cranberry Curd
The first step to making cranberry curd is to extract as much juice from the cranberries as possible before combining them with the eggs and butter. I revised the recipe to make this step easier.
Chop the cranberries in a food processor. This step makes it easier to cook the cranberries and strain them to remove the solids.
Cook the fresh cranberries with sugar, orange juice, orange zest, water, and a little salt until the mixture starts to thicken.
Once the cranberries are cooked strain them through medium coarse strainer to remove the large solids, i.e. the cranberry skins. Taste the cranberry puree and add more sugar 1 tablespoon at a time if you would like it sweeter.
Allow the cranberry curd to cool to room temperature or until it is just barely warm (about 85 degrees). Return the cranberry puree to the same saucepan and quickly whisk in the eggs.
Place the saucepan over medium heat until it reaches 175F. When the curd reaches temperature remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the butter, one tablespoon at a time.
Strain the curd a second time to remove any remaining solids.
Refrigerate the curd until it is completely chilled. As with all curds and custard type dishes cover the surface of the curd with plastic wrap to keep a skin from forming.
How Long Can Fruit Curd be Refrigerated
The cranberry curd is good in the refrigerator for 2 weeks and can be frozen for up to one year. If you freeze it, allow it to thaw in the refrigerator about 24 hours before you're ready to use it.
- Use it as a topping for pancakes, waffles, ice cream, yogurt, cheesecake, other cakes and even just plain toast.
- Use it as filling for layer cakes, tarts, crepes or pies, such as this Cranberry Cheesecake Pie.
Pro Tips for Making a Delicious Curd
- Use a heavy bottom non reactive pan. Stainless steel, anodized aluminum, and enamel all work well. Some materials, such as plain aluminum or unlined copper, will react with the acid in the cranberry and orange, discoloring the curd and giving it a metallic flavor.
- Use an instant read thermometer to check the temperature of the curd.
- Don't let the curd boil. Boiling the curd will cause it to curdle. Take your time and keep the heat moderate.
- Whisk constantly afer adding the eggs so the curd doesn't burn.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, the cranberry curd can be frozen for up to a year. Allow it to thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours before you're ready to use.
Unfortunately, if the curd is allowed to boil it will curdle the eggs and make the curd grainy. You can try straining it twice through a fine-mesh strainer, but that may not remove all the grainy bits.
Yes. If you're allergic to dairy you can make the curd without butter. It will be a little less creamy, but still taste delicious.
I am making this cranberry curd to be featured in other desserts, mainly by Orange and Cranberry Curd Cake. I love making fruit curds. The taste of a creamy fruit custard is just wonderful. One of my favorite things is just to spread it on toast. There are recipes for other fruit curds on the blog and they include:
I hope you try this recipe for cranberry curd. If you do please let me know what you think of it via email or on Instagram @bakesbybrownsugar.
- 12 ounces (340 grams) fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1 1/4 cups (250 grams) white sugar
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 (100 grams) whole eggs
- 2 (40 grams) egg yolks
- 8 tablespoons (114 grams) unsalted butter room temperature
- You don't need to thaw the cranberries for this recipe.
- Place the cranberries in a food processor and pulse the food processor to roughly chop the cranberries.
- In a small bowl whisk together the whole eggs and egg yolks. Place a bowl with a medium-coarse strainer next to the stove.
- Place the cranberries, sugar, water, and salt in a medium saucepan. Zest the orange directly into the saucepan. Juice the orange and add 1/4 cup of orange juice to the saucepan.
- Cook the mixture over medium heat, until the mixture starts to occasionally bubble up, thickens, and measures 1 1/2 cups, 10 to 12 minutes. Strain the cranberry mixture through the medium-coarse strainer into a bowl, pressing on solids with a rubber spatula to extract as much puree as possible.
- Whisk eggs and yolks into cranberry mixture in the bowl. Return the mixture to the saucepan. Place a clean bowl with a fine-mesh strainer near the stove. Cook the cranberry mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula or whisk, until the mixture is thickened and registers 175 degrees in multiple spots, 5 to 7 minutes.
- Off heat, whisk in the butter, 2 tablespoons at a time until well incorporated. Strain the cranberry mixture through the fine-mesh strainer. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the curd, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
- The curd can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.