Just last week I did my very first pastry class in Dallas, Texas. What a treat to teach in my hometown to a class of wonderful people! We made this gorgeous cranberry lemon curd tart recipe and chocolate pecan macarons as I imparted a LOT of additional tips. It’s perfect for Thanksgiving, but really delicious at any time.
The tart shell is crisp and melt in your mouth delicious whereas the filling is creamy and flavorful, the butter cutting any tartness you’d expect from the cranberries. On top, finish it off with a beautiful whipped cream or Italian meringue buttercream.
Cranberry Lemon Curd Tart
A beautiful tart for Thanksgiving or any time of year. For the tart crust, feel free to use a premade crust if you'd like. The curd can be made several days in advance and the crust 2 days in advance. Bake the crust and assemble the day before, or most preferably, the day of for best flavor. Serve at room temperature, topped with whipped cream, or not!
NOTE: For the tart crust, half an egg is called for. This is a bit finicky, so I'd suggest doubling all other ingredients so you can simply add a whole egg. Freeze any extra dough for up to a month.
For the tart crust:
(1/3 cup) powdered sugar/confectioners sugar
- 25g (1/4 cup) finely ground almonds (almond flour/meal)
(1 cup) all-purpose or pastry flour
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 70g (5 tbsp) unsalted butter, cubed, room temperature
- 25g egg (1/2 egg)
For the cranberry/Lemon curd:
- 100g (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
- zest of 1 lemon
- 2 large eggs
- 25ml (2 tbsp) lemon juice
- 150g (11 tbsp) unsalted butter, cubed, room temperature
For the cranberry puree for the curd:
- 80g (3/4 cup) fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- Peel of half an orange or a whole clementine
- 120ml (1/2 cup) water
For the chantilly cream (OPTIONAL)
- 120ml (1/2 cup) heavy whipping cream
- 2-3 tbsp powdered/confectioners sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Make the tart crust:
Simply mix all ingredients together in a mixer until a dough forms. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill 30 minutes. Note: If you do not have a mixer, this can be made by hand. Whisk together the dry ingredients, then cut in the butter. Mix in the egg/vanilla extract and then turn out the dough onto a clean surface.
Using the palm of your hand and starting closest to you, push the dough forward and away from you in multiple strokes smearing the mixture across the work surface to combine the ingredients. Once you get through all of the dough, scrap together into a pile and start again, repeating until the dough comes together. Chill about 30 minutes before rolling out.
Roll out the dough on a floured surface and line a regular sized tart shell (8-9", 20-24 cm) or 5 individual tart shells. For large tart shells, place a piece of parchment paper on top, and fill with baking beans.
Chill. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350F/165C and bake 15-20 minutes or until nicely golden brown, removing the baking beans halfway through the bake. Set aside.
Make the curd:
Start by making the cranberry juice:
In a small saucepan, place all of the ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook 5-10 minutes until cranberries are soft and have popped if using fresh. Add additional water if needed (ie. The water entirely evaporates).
Remove the peel (optional) and blend in a food processor. Cool.
In a medium bowl, place the cubed room temperature butter. In a saucepan, add the sugar, lemon zest, eggs, lemon juice, and 60ml (1/4 cup) of cranberry juice/puree. Place over medium-low heat, whisking continuously until thickened. When the mixture starts to boil, it is ready to be taken off the heat. If you see little white egg pieces, pass through a strainer. Pour the curd over the cubed butter, pushing through with a spatula. Remove the strainer and whisk until the butter is melted and fully incorporated.
To assemble the tart:
There are two methods… pour the hot curd into the cooked tart crust then allow to cool at room temp or in the fridge (be sure to place the tart on a plate or cake platter before filling, or it will be difficult to move – you could even keep it in the tart mold).
OR, allow the curd to cool completely and thicken in the refrigerator (several hours), then spoon into the baked crust. Use an offset metal spatula to spread the curd to the sides and smooth the top. It will be very firm and then soften as it warms up.
Make the Chantilly cream by whipping the heavy whipping cream in an electric mixer until soft-medium peak and adding the powdered sugar and vanilla.
Pipe the cream on top in whatever design you'd like! It can also be topped with sugared cranberries and edible flowers.