How to Make Cranberry Curd

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Scones and Curd
Cranberry Curd

Cranberries are a flavor often associated with Christmas so, today, I have taken seasonal cranberries and turned them into a divine Cranberry Curd for which the possibilities to enjoy it are endless and limited only by your creativity.

Cranberry Curd, like any curd, is not particularly difficult to make but it can be a little time-consuming. Be prepared to devote some time and patience to making any curd. The curd cooks slowly over a pot of simmering (never boiling) water to reach its finished stage. Cook the curd in the top of a double boiler (or a heatproof bowl) until the temperature registers 175° on a candy or instant-read thermometer. I do not recommend cooking the curd in a pot over direct heat as, with the sugar and egg content, it can easily scorch if it is too close to the heat. This is why I recommend the double boiler method. Anywhere between 170°F – 175°F will produce a lovely spreadable curd but 175° sets this curd up beautifully. You may wish to read my previous postings on making lemon curd and rhubarb curd (links below) for hints and tips on how to make curd as many of the same techniques apply to the making of this cranberry curd though with the following exception.

Scones with curd and clotted cream
Cranberry Curd

Typically, curds are made with citrus fruit juice. Cranberry Curd, however, is a different kind of curd as it is made with cranberries (either fresh or frozen) that must first be cooked and then strained to remove their seeds and skin. The strained product is a lot thicker than, for example, lemon juice that would be used for lemon curd. Once the cranberries have been cooked until they pop, burst, and are softened, they need to be further broken down before being strained through a fine mesh sieve. I find an immersion blender works well to break down the cranberries but they can also be puréed in a standard blender or food processor.

Curd with Scones
Cranberry Curd

A curd should have a luxuriously smooth and silky texture. Cranberries have dozens of little tiny seeds and, of course, the berries have skins. Even when puréed, some will still be evident and will mar the look and texture of a fine curd. For this reason, the puréed mixture needs to be strained through a fine wire mesh sieve to remove any remaining stray bits. Because the puréed mixture will be thick, it will need some assistance to pass through the sieve. Use the back of a large spoon to gently push the mixture through the sieve and then discard any remaining solids.

Scones with Curd and Double Cream
Cranberry Curd

Use this Cranberry Curd in the same way in which you would use lemon, rhubarb, lime, or clementine curd — as a traditional spread on scones, muffins, toast, or even on pancakes or waffles; as a filling for cakes; in a parfait with Greek yogurt; as a filling for tarts, cookies, and French Macarons; dolloped over a New York style cheesecake or slices of pound cake served with fresh fruit; or as a filling in meringue nests. Let your imagination and taste buds guide the many ways you can discover to enjoy this delicious curd.

Gift bottles of Homemade Curd
Cranberry Curd

Cranberry Curd is particularly lovely at Christmas time. It has a wonderful deep natural rose color. I like to have it on a Christmas afternoon tea table as it is lovely with scones. It also makes a wonderful gift, too, when bottled in a decorative jar with a festive bow. It’s a perfect thinking-of-you or host/hostess gift for someone, especially if you include a batch of homemade scones with it (links to scone recipes below). Be sure to include a note to keep the curd refrigerated for up to one week and add some suggestions for its many uses.

If you love the flavor of cranberry, you will love this show-stopping, colorful Cranberry Curd and find ever-so-many creative uses for it. It’s even good by the spoonful!

Christmas Curd
Cranberry Curd by the Spoonful

[Printable recipe follows at end of posting]

Cranberry Curd

Ingredients:

¾ lb cranberries (fresh or frozen)
1/3 cup water
¼ cup orange juice

¾ cup + 2 tbsp caster* sugar or granulated sugar
3 tsp finely grated orange zest
3 large egg yolks, room temperature
1 large whole egg, room temperature
3½ tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature

Method:

Combine cranberries, water, and orange juice in saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat then reduce heat to medium-low and cook cranberries for 8-10 minutes until the cranberries pop, burst, and are softened. Stir occasionally.

Cool cooked cranberries for 5-7 minutes then use an immersion blender to break down the cranberries further or, alternatively, transfer to a standard blender or food processor to purée the mixture. Transfer cranberry mixture to a fine mesh sieve positioned over a bowl and, using the back of a large spoon, gently press the cranberry purée through the sieve to strain the mixture. Discard any remaining solids.

As the cranberries are cooling, bring about 2” of water in the bottom of a double boiler to the simmering point (around 200°F – see Note below). Maintain the water at this simmering point over medium-low heat.

Off heat, place sugar in the top of the double boiler or heat-proof bowl. Mix in the orange zest.

Stir the strained cranberry mixture into the sugar.

In a small bowl, lightly beat the 3 egg yolks and the whole egg together with a fork, just enough to break up the yolks and blend them with the whole egg. Whisk the eggs into the sugar-cranberry mixture. Add the soft butter. Place this pot or bowl over the simmering water. Stir the mixture frequently as it cooks until it is thickened and the temperature of the mixture registers 175°F on a candy or instant read thermometer. Be patient as this will take awhile. Make sure the water in the bottom of the double boiler does not boil and stays only at the simmering point.

Remove curd from heat and strain through a mesh strainer a second time to remove any of the egg white that may have coagulated as well as the orange zest. Pour strained curd into sterilized bottle(s). Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd to prevent it from forming a skin on top. Cool at room temperature. Remove plastic wrap. Cover jar tightly and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

Yield: Apx. 1¾ cups

*caster sugar may also be known as fruit sugar, berry sugar, super fine sugar, or instant dissolving sugar. For best results and an exceptionally satiny-smooth textured curd, I recommend using this super-fine sugar in all curd recipes.

Note: Altitude may affect the temperature at which the water reaches the simmering point. The important thing is that the water in the bottom of the double boiler does not boil or touch the top of the double boiler/heatproof bowl during the cooking of the curd.

If you have made this recipe and enjoyed it and/or wish to share it with your friends, please do so on social media and share the direct link to the Cranberry Curd recipe on my website.

Cranberry Curd

This luxuriously smooth and flavorful Cranberry Curd is especially a treat at Christmas. A wonderful addition to scones, parfaits, and pastries.
Course Condiment
Cuisine Canadian
Keyword cranberry curd, curd
My Island Bistro Kitchen Barbara99

Ingredients

  • ¾ lb cranberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • ¾ cup + 2 tbsp caster* sugar or granulated sugar
  • 3 tsp finely grated orange zest
  • 3 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1 large whole egg, room temperature
  • tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature

Instructions

  1. Combine cranberries, water, and orange juice in saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat then reduce heat to medium-low and cook cranberries for 8-10 minutes until the cranberries pop, burst, and are softened. Stir occasionally.
  2. Cool cooked cranberries for 5-7 minutes then use an immersion blender to break down the cranberries further or, alternatively, transfer to a standard blender or food processor to purée the mixture. Transfer cranberry mixture to a fine mesh sieve positioned over a bowl and, using the back of a large spoon, gently press the cranberry purée through the sieve to strain the mixture. Discard any remaining solids.
  3. As the cranberries are cooling, bring about 2” of water in the bottom of a double boiler to the simmering point (around 200°F – see Note below). Maintain the water at this simmering point over medium-low heat.
  4. Off heat, place sugar in the top of the double boiler or heat-proof bowl. Mix in the orange zest.
  5. Stir the strained cranberry mixture into the sugar.
  6. In a small bowl, lightly beat the 3 egg yolks and the whole egg together with a fork, just enough to break up the yolks and blend them with the whole egg. Whisk the eggs into the sugar-cranberry mixture. Add the soft butter. Place this pot or bowl over the simmering water. Stir the mixture frequently as it cooks until it is thickened and the temperature of the mixture registers 175°F on a candy or instant read thermometer. Be patient as this will take awhile. Make sure the water in the bottom of the double boiler does not boil and stays only at the simmering point.
  7. Remove curd from heat and strain through a mesh strainer a second time to remove any of the egg white that may have coagulated as well as the orange zest. Pour strained curd into sterilized bottle(s). Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd to prevent it from forming a skin on top. Cool at room temperature. Remove plastic wrap. Cover jar tightly and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

Recipe Notes

Yield: Apx. 1¾ cups

*caster sugar may also be known as fruit sugar, berry sugar, super fine sugar, or instant dissolving sugar. For best results and an exceptionally satiny-smooth textured curd, I recommend using this super-fine sugar in all curd recipes.

Note: Altitude may affect the temperature at which the water reaches the simmering point. The important thing is that the water in the bottom of the double boiler does not boil or touch the top of the double boiler/heatproof bowl during the cooking of the curd.

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You may also enjoy these other curd recipes from My Island Bistro Kitchen:

Luscious Lemon Curd
Rhubarb Curd
Clementine Curd
Luscious Lime Curd

Enjoy this Cranberry Curd with these scones:

Currant and Orange Scones
Gluten-free Scones  

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Christmas Cranberry Curd
Cranberry Curd

 

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