Chocolate Cranberry Curd Tart


Chocolate Cranberry Curd TartChocolate Cranberry Curd had become an absolute favorite for the holidays at the bakery. Besides its vibrant color, the taste and texture are outstanding. We used it in tarts, cakes and petit fours. Room permitting, we would freeze cases of cranberries at the end of the season in order to get a head start the following season and test new recipes during the year.

I love cranberries so much that the staff would have to make me take some of the cranberry desserts off the menu so we could put other seasonal items on.  There is nothing like the sweet tart taste and the intense red color enclosed in a deep chocolate brown glaze.

The tart itself is easy to make with its press in crust which means no rolling.  The cranberry curd itself has one extra step as you have to cook the cranberries and puree them before actually making the curd.  The glaze is a simple matter two ingredients which make the perfect finish.

Pick over the cranberries for the odd ones that need to be discarded. To prevent them from rolling all over your kitchen (like they did in ours before we figured this out), place them in a jelly roll pan or rimmed baking sheet where they will be in one layer. You can see all of them and shaking the pan will turn them over to make sure no bad ones are hiding.   It saves a lot of time chasing them around the floor. They have a way of going directly under the most difficult area to reach. Cranberries have so much natural pectin, the curd sets up very firmly without the addition of gelatin.

We used the chocolate press in crust for myriad recipes.  Its ease of preparation made it a favorite.  The processor makes it even easier to put together.

The beauty of this Chocolate Cranberry Tart is it can be made ahead weeks ahead and frozen.  Defrost it in the refrigerator.  It can sit at room temperature for hours and should be served barely cool or at room temperature for the best flavor profile.

Chocolate Press in Shell Crust ingredients1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup cake flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 stick butter, cold and cut into small pieces
1 egg
1 egg yolk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray the bottom of an 11”x1” quiche pan with removable sides in the center only. Set aside.11" pan

Combine flours and cocoa in bowl of mixer. Flour and Cocoa in processorMix briefly to combine.Flour and Cocoa mixed Add butter Butter in processorand cut in until very fine. Butter cut inAdd sugar and baking powder. Sugar in processorMix to combine. Sugar in crust processedAdd egg and egg yolk; Eggs in processormix until it balls up and rides the blade.Crust finished in processor

Remove from the processor and divide in half.  Dough divided in halfDiivide one half into 2 pieces.  Roll one piece into a rope and press it in evenly along one side of the pan. Choc. Rope and panPressing in 1Pressing in crust 2Repeat with the second half of dough.  Overlap the seams and seal well so no seam shows.   Overlapping doughPress the remainder of the dough into the bottom of the pan.   Pressing bottom in 1Pressing in 2Pressing in 3Seal the edges very well so no line shows.

Sealing bottom edgePrick the shell before baking.Finished crushedBake approximately 10 to 12 minutes or until completely baked. Cool completely.

Note: This can be made in a food processor or a mixer. The instructions are the same but the food processor will be a lot faster.

Cranberry CurdCurd ingredients 12 ounce bag fresh or frozen cranberries picked over
1 cup sugar (7 ounces or 200 grams)
2 tablespoons water
5 egg yolks (3 ounces or 85 grams)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 stick unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces (4 ounces or 114 grams)

Place the cranberries in a rimmed baking sheet and pick over.  Shake the tray to move the berries around.Berries on a tryPlace the  cranberries in a saucepan with sugar and water over low heat until the cranberries are very soft and some of them have popped.   Stir frequently as this will be very thick and can scorch.Cranberries ad sugar in pan

Cranberries boilingImmediately, puree them in a food processor (by batches if necessary). Puree for several minutes to get the skins as fine as possible. There will be tiny specs of red which is as it should be. If you prefer to remove the skins, strain the puree before proceeding. Add the yolks and lemon juice to the processor and process briefly.Cooked cranberries in processorPureed cranberries Place the cranberry mixture in the top of a double boiler and add the butter. Curd in double boilerBring the water underneath to a boil.   Stir the curd constantly until an instant read thermometer reads 170 degrees.

Immediately pour into the cooled crust.  Curd pouring inSmooth the top. Spreading the curdCover directly with film and refrigerate for several hours or preferably overnight.Covered with film

Yield: 2 1/4 cups

Chocolate Cream GlazeGlaze ingredients 2/3 cup heavy cream
5 ounces semisweet chocolate, cut into small pieces (140 grams)

Bring the cream to a simmer. Submerge the chocolate.Chocolate submerged Allow to sit for 4 to 5 minutes then whisk gently to smooth the chocolate completely.Whisking cream glaze 1Whisking cream glaze 2Remove the film from on top of the cranberry curd. Pour the glaze in the center and move it out to the edge of the curd with an offset spatula.Pouring glaze onCream glaze on top

Refrigerate if using within a day or two. Freeze for up to a month for longer storage.

Pastry has not only been my profession, but my passion. If there is anything in particular you would like to see or any questions about baking or pastry, please let me know. Be sure to subscribe so you don't miss a post!
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13 thoughts on “Chocolate Cranberry Curd Tart

  1. sallybr

    Helen, did you strain your cranberry puree? I once did that with raspberries and told myself NEVER again…. it was such a messy ordeal ;-)

    I am really tempted to make this tart, your cranberry layer looks super smooth!

  2. Michael's Woodcraft

    Hi Helen, I follow Sally Newton, saw her post this morning about your cookie recipe so I just had to visit your site. I love this recipe, printed it to add to my collection, will try this one soon.
    I just read about your coconut cake, coconut cake is one of my favorites, make it all the time, especially this time of year. Your cake looks delicious!

    Michael :)

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Absolutely you can use frozen berries. You don’t even have to thaw them. They will take a bit longer to cook but they are just as good.

  3. sallybr

    Helen what a beautiful tart! I am amazed by the shocking red color of the filling, really perfect for the holidays

    by the way, I wanted to let you know that tonight at midnight I will have my post about your oatmeal cookies published – I hope you have a chance to look at it, and if there’s something you’d like me to change, send me a note, ok?

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Hi Elizabeth: I would imagine so. I never tried it. A 9 to 10″ square pan would approximate the same height. When you cut the bars, be sure to heat the knife and let it melt through the chocolate layer before cutting into the curd and crust.
      Share with us what happened when you tried the into bars. I would love to know.

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