Cranberry Curd Tart Recipe: A Fresh Take On Thanksgiving Dessert

Cranberry Curd Tart Recipe with Candied Cranberries & Ginger Snap Crust perfect for thanksgiving as an alternative to pie.

Are you feeling ready for Thanksgiving yet? It’s a few weeks away, but fast approaching. For many of us, this Thanksgiving is the first holiday back with (vaccinated) loved ones. So this season, instead of leaning on more traditional desserts, we whipped up this bold cranberry curd tart recipe to change things up. This vibrant and flavorful tart combines a Thanksgiving table must-have (cranberries) and transforms them into a festive and delicious dessert that is decidedly not a pie. Sweet flavors pair beautifully with the sweet and salty handmade crust, making this Thanksgiving dessert a new tradition for my household!

Cranberry Curd Tart Recipe with Candied Cranberries & Ginger Snap Crust perfect for thanksgiving as an alternative to pie.

Cranberry Curd Tart Recipe with Candied Cranberries & Ginger Snap Crust

What is a curd tart?

Trust me, I get it that not everyone knows what curd tart is. Truth be told, a tart is similar to a pie, but with one key difference: instead of a pie filling made of whole pieces of fruit, a tart is filled with a smooth and creamy curd. For this recipe, we simmer cranberries to get all the flavor out whisk it with eggs and a few other key ingredients to achieve a smooth consistency.

There are many benefits to making a curd tart, too. First and foremost, you can prep the tart the day before Thanksgiving. Second, this recipe is very easy to create and doesn’t require nearly as much elbow grease as a pie with a homemade crust. Additionally, because the tart shell is made with ginger snaps, it is stable enough to hold its shape outside of the tart pan.

Cranberry Curd Tart Recipe with Candied Cranberries & Ginger Snap Crust perfect for thanksgiving as an alternative to pie.

Frozen vs. Fresh Cranberries

Another great thing about using cranberries is their hardiness. Unlike other fruit, cranberries can be used either fresh or frozen without any adjustment to your cooking methods. With a lower moisture content compared to other berries, cranberries freeze well. Frozen cranberries can even be candied without issue in this recipe!

Gingersnap Crust

The crust that we’ve made for this tart is ridiculously delicious. It’s made with ginger snap cookies. The addition of this spicy flavor totally transforms the cranberries in this recipe, making it truly special.

Pro tip: Make sure to hang on to the leftover egg whites. Because the tart is decorated with meringues, it’s the perfect way to use them up!

Cranberry Curd Tart Recipe with Candied Cranberries & Ginger Snap Crust perfect for thanksgiving as an alternative to pie.

Cranberry Curd Tart Recipe with Candied Cranberries & Ginger Snap Crust

Tart and sweet all at once, this new dessert is sure to delight you for holidays to come!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8 people
Calories 4338 kcal

Equipment

  • Food processor
  • 9' Tart Pan with removable bottom
  • Fine Mesh Strainer
  • Parchment
  • dried beans for pie weights
  • Kitchen Blow Torch
  • plastic Wrap
  • Whisk
  • Stand Mixer

Ingredients
  

Ginger Snap Crust

  • 3 Cups Gingersnap cookies crumbled in a food processor
  • 8 tbs Butter cold, cubed
  • 1 tbsp Cinnamon

Cranberry Curd

  • 12 oz Cranberries Fresh or frozen
  • 1/2 cup Fresh orange juice
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Egg yolks (save the whites)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 8 tbsp Butter melted and cooled

Meringue

  • 4 Egg whites Reserved from eggs used in curd
  • 2 cups Powdered sugar

Instructions
 

Ginger Snap Tart Shell

  • In a food processor, pulse gingersnaps until an even crumb. You will need 3 cups total of crumbs. Add the cubed butter and pulse until it just comes together.
  • Lightly butter the sides of your tart pan and prepare pie weights (I prefer dry beans) and a square of parchment. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • Starting from the middle, press the crumbs evenly along the bottom and up the sides. Line the inside of the tart with parchment and then fill with pie weights or beans. Chill in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  • Once chilled place on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

Cranberry Curd Filling

  • On the stovetop, combine cranberries and orange juice and cook over medium heat until the cranberries begin to burst. Remove from heat and strain the cranberries through mesh strainer and return to the pot.
  • Combine the eggs and sugar until thoroughly mixed and add to the cranberries, whisking continuously. Add melted butter, whisking in, and cook until the sauce thickens. Cover the top with plastic wrap, making sure the wrap touches the top of the curd to prevent a skin from forming. Allow to cool completely.

Meringue

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer beat the egg whites with the whisk attachment on medium speed until foamy. Once foamy, increase speed to high and gradually add the powdered sugar until stiff peaks form.

Assembly

  • After the tart shell and curd have cooled completely, pour the curd into the shell and smooth out.
  • Either scoop and spread the meringue over the top or put it in a piping bag and make a decorative pattern. Lightly toast the top with a kitchen blow torch and serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 4338kcalCarbohydrates: 775gProtein: 53gFat: 234gSaturated Fat: 130gPolyunsaturated Fat: 15gMonounsaturated Fat: 73gTrans Fat: 7gCholesterol: 1200mgSodium: 3650mgPotassium: 2165mgFiber: 28gSugar: 293gVitamin A: 7075IUVitamin C: 108mgCalcium: 542mgIron: 26mg
Keyword cranberry, curd, dessert, tart
Tried this recipe?Tag @jojotastic on Instagram & tag #jojotastic!
Cranberry Curd Tart Recipe with Candied Cranberries & Ginger Snap Crust perfect for thanksgiving as an alternative to pie.

Here’s hoping this cranberry curd tart will be the only one bringing drama to the Thanksgiving table this year!

Cranberry Curd Tart Recipe with Candied Cranberries & Ginger Snap Crust perfect for thanksgiving as an alternative to pie.

So what do you think of this cranberry curd tart recipe? We hope you love it! If you make this recipe, be sure to let us know.

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Photography, styling, & recipe by Josh Borden of Wanderlust & Piecrust

Behind The Blog

Joanna Hawley-McBride is a Pacific Northwest digital influencer and former textile designer with an eye for beautiful things. Jojotastic is a lifestyle blog focused on Joanna’s work-in-progress home, interior styling, finding the best pair of underwear through #UnderwearThesis, and empowering women to explore nature — all in her signature unfiltered style.

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