This cranberry curd tart features a smooth sweet and tart cranberry curd filling inside a gluten-free oat and nut-based crust that results in a stunningly delicious and festive holiday dessert.
Oh boy, do I have a stunning holiday dessert for you!
This cranberry curd tart is what dreams are made of when it comes to festive desserts.
A silky smooth, brightly tart and just perfectly sweet cranberry curd filling inside a tart crust made from oats and walnuts is not only beyond delightful in taste, it’s a true showstopper as the sweet centerpiece on your holiday table.
When it comes to desserts I’m a sucker for a good homemade fruit pie. I’m not even picky on the fruit (although berry and cherry pies are my favorite), I just love the combination of tart and sweet with my pastry, something cream pies seldom offer.
But, I think I may have found an even greater love with this cranberry curd tart.
Not only do you get the tartness and sweet taste from the fruit, this oat and walnut tart crust is leaps and bounds easier to put together than a pastry pie crust.
Plus, the cranberry curd is texturally so smooth and silky it’s literally like a forkful of pure bliss with each bite.
TRY THIS CRANBERRY CURD TART THE HOLIDAYS THIS YEAR
I know we all tend to have our traditions when it comes to holiday desserts.
This apricot brandy cake has been a longstanding tradition in my family.
But this year, since it’s 2020 and all bets seem to be off, why not try something new?
If you’re a cranberry lover, I think you will absolutely adore this tart recipe.
The silky smooth cranberry curd is such a fun change of pace from how cranberries are traditionally enjoyed.
And, not only is the appearance downright jaw-dropping on the table, it’s one of those recipes you’ll feel so proud of and accomplished at the end.
HOW TO MAKE THE TART CRUST
This easy oat and walnut crust for the cranberry tart is actually based off my No Bake Irish Cream Cheesecake recipe.
I use a no-bake oat and walnut base in those cheesecake jars and the flavor is so delicious I knew I wanted to mimic it in this recipe.
Unlike traditional tart crusts which are more of a pastry base, this tart crust is more similar to a no-bake tart (like these avocado lime mini tarts) except we do bake it for 15 minutes.
That said, it comes together incredibly easily and there’s no need to roll out any pastry to fill the tart pan. I’ll call that a win!
INGREDIENTS FOR THE CRUST
You’ll need the following ingredients to make this easy cranberry curd tart crust:
- rolled oats
- brown sugar
- cold unsalted butter
PREPARING AND BAKING THE OAT AND WALNUT TART CRUST
Combine everything except the butter in a food processor and process until a fine crumble results.
Add the cold (it’s important that it’s cold!) unsalted butter little by little (I cut into cubes), pulsing the mixture as you go.
Pulse until the ingredients start to come together and roughly form a ball. The mixture should hold together easily when pinched.
Transfer to a lightly greased 9″ tart pan with removable bottom and press evenly along the bottom and up the sides using slightly wet hands.
I find using the bottom of a shot glass to be helpful in evening out the bottom of the crust.
Transfer the crust to the refrigerator and let it chill while the oven preheats to 350°F.
Once preheated, place the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. The edges will just start to turn golden brown and the middle will have puffed up a bit.
Remove from the oven and let cool. Using your hands, gently press the center down a bit to create a flat base to pour the cranberry curd into.
Set aside and let it cool completely while you make the curd on the stovetop.
HOW TO MAKE THE CRANBERRY CURD FILLING
While the oat and walnut crust with the subtle cinnamon and cardamom flavors is incredibly delicious, the star of the show in this recipe is the luxurious cranberry curd filling.
It’s amazing how just a few simple ingredients can result in such deliciousness!
INGREDIENTS FOR THE CRANBERRY CURD
You’ll need the following to make the curd:
- fresh cranberries
- lemon zest
- lemon juice
- egg yolks
- unsalted butter
PREPARING THE CRANBERRY CURD FILLING
Combine the cranberries, most of the sugar (details in recipe card below), lemon zest and water in a sauce pot.
Bring to a simmer then lower and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring the mixture occasionally as it cooks until cranberries have broken down and it’s thickened. Turn off the heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
Pour the mixture back into the sauce pot over medium-low heat.
Add the remaining sugar, lemon juice, eggs, egg yolks, salt and butter one by one while whisking constantly.
Once all the ingredients have been added, continue cooking while whisking the entire time for another 10 minutes. The mixture should have thickened substantially and easily coat the back of a spoon.
Strain the cranberry curd through a fine mesh strainer into a large bowl.
This will take a little patience and elbow grease but it’s an important step to make sure the curd is silky smooth in texture. I suggest using a spatula to help push the curd through the strainer.
If you don’t strain it, there will be quite a bit of fiber from the cranberry skins and potentially some cooked egg bits if you weren’t diligent about whisking the entire time. Don’t skip this step!
Once strained, pour the cranberry curd into the cooled tart crust and refrigerate for at least 3 hours until it has completely set.
Before serving, remove the outside piece of the tart pan and place on a serving platter or cake plate.
HOW TO GARNISH THE CRANBERRY TART
One of the things I think makes this a cranberry tart rather than a cranberry pie are the garnishes!
That being said, you can easily make this recipe in a pie dish if that’s all you have and then it’d be a cranberry curd pie. It’s just semantics at that point!
For some extra festive flare with this dessert, I use sugared cranberries and candied lemon slices along with some fresh rosemary to garnish the finished tart.
To make sugared cranberries simply roll a damp cranberry in granulated sugar until coated.
There’s no need to get fancy and use a simple syrup mixture as these are likely just for decoration (although you can definitely eat them if you choose to, I did!) and the sugar will adhere to the cranberries just fine.
The fresh rosemary is just for a nice pop of green and some contrast to the striking red color of the cranberry curd. It’s not really an edible portion of the dessert and other herbs such as mint, thyme or sage could be used instead.
Another idea is to place some fresh pine needles or branches underneath the tart when serving for the same effect.
Garnish the tart as desired just before serving so the elements stay nicely fresh and bright.
HOW TO STORE THE LEFTOVER TART
This cranberry curd tart is best eaten the day (or within 24 hours) it’s made.
If you have leftovers, however, they can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
CAN I MAKE OR PREP THIS AHEAD OF TIME?
As mentioned above, I like to make this within 24 hours of consuming so the curd stays nice and fresh.
That said, you could definitely prepare the curd and crust separately ahead of time.
For the crust, I would prepare as directed and press into the tart pan (or pie dish) then refrigerate at that point without baking. Bake it off the day you plan to serve it.
For the cranberry curd, you can prepare it fully ahead of time, keep it refrigerated and then spoon into the baked tart crust (that has cooled) on the day you plan to serve it.
Because the curd will have already thickened, you shouldn’t need the stated 3 hours to set once the curd has been put into the tart crust but, I would still give it at least an hour or so to chill fully assembled.
So make your traditional holiday cookies as you normally would.
If you need some new ideas for those I highly suggest these Healthy Chocolate Chunk Molasses Gingerbread Cookies, Tart Cherry Fudge Thumbprints or, for even more cranberry goodness, these Cranberry Orange Thumbprints.
But then, consider this cranberry curd tart recipe as a newcomer to your holiday dessert spread.
Love the idea of a curd tart but not set on cranberries? I think a grapefruit curd would be a lovely winter alternative.
You can use whatever curd flavor filling you like in this crust so feel free to switch it up if you’d like!
MORE HOLIDAY DESSERTS TO TRY:
For the tart crust
- 1 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
- 5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
For the cranberry curd filling
- 12 ounces fresh cranberries
- zest of 1 lemon
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 350°F and lightly grease a tart pan with a removeable bottom with butter or baking spray making sure to pay attention to the sides.
- Combine the oats, walnuts, brown sugar and spices in a food processor. Process until finely chopped then pulse in the cubes of cold butter one by one until the mixture starts to come together.
- Turn the ingredients out into the prepared tart pan and press evenly into the bottom of the pan and up the sides.
- Place the crust in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
- Remove from the refrigerator, place the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake the crust for 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, gently press down the middle if it's puffed up a bit from baking and let cool while you make the curd.
- Combine the cranberries, lemon zest, 3/4 cup sugar and water in a sauce pot. Bring to a simmer then lower the heat and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to help break down the cranberries.
- Turn off the heat and let cool for 5 minutes then transfer the mixture to a blender and blend until smooth.
- Return the mixture to the sauce pot over medium-low heat.
- One by one add the remaining ingredients including the leftover 2 tablespoons of sugar to the pot whisking constantly as you go.
- Once all ingredients are added to the pot, continue cooking for 10 minutes whisking constantly until the mixture has thickened.
- Strain the cranberry curd over a large bowl through a fine mesh strainer using a spatula to push the curd through.
- Pour the strained filling into the cooled tart crust and refrigerate for at least 3 hours until set.
- Keep refrigerated until serving. Garnish with sugared cranberries or candied lemon slices.
Keep tart stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Best served within 24 hours of making.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 279Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 120mgSodium: 155mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 4gSugar: 7gProtein: 6g
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.