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This Cranberry Curd Tart is a beautiful show stopping dessert that has a velvety sweet and tart curd filling inside a macadamia nut and graham cracker crust.
Cranberries are underrated as a holiday fruit. They usually get relegated to a sauce or jelly used for Thanksgiving or dried up and used as a snack or topping on a salad. I’m here to change that perception.
I started experimenting first by making a cranberry curd so that I have an extra condiment for the breakfast and brunch table. I got asked how else can the curd be used besides to smear on toast. This got my creative juices flowing and I decided to experiment with a tart.
I love most fruit pies but I feel they’re usually loaded with sugar and the fruit doesn’t stand out as much. It becomes more about the pastry and the sugary filling rather than keeping true to the fruit. The best part about this cranberry tart is that is offers a bit of tangy, citrusy flavor along with the beautiful color that attracts you towards it instantly. To build on this flavor, I did add a little hint of orange juice to balance the sharp flavors of the cranberry so that it can stand out and shine.
As for the tart, well, I wanted a nutty flavor to balance fruity notes. Along with the graham crackers, the macadamia nuts bring an earthy and creamy flavor to the tart. It’s the perfect shell that keeps the integrity of a curd filling. Combining the curd with the tart, each forkful is a bite of bliss.
As for the garnishing, I chose to sugar a few cranberries in the spirit of winter holidays. The orange slices reiterate the subtle brightness it’s juice gives the curd. And the rosemary, well, it just screams holidays to me. Trust me, this will be a jaw-dropping dessert on the holiday table and one that you will be extremely proud of. Of course, the tart is just so beautiful, I had a very hard time slicing into it. I made my cousin do the honors. But then I had to control myself from eating the whole tart.
For the curd filling:
For the Macadamia Nut Crust:
- 9 sheets graham crackers
- 1/2 c macadamia nuts, unsalted
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 5 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
For the sugared cranberries:
- 1/2 c water
- 1 1/2 c sugar, divided
- 3 c fresh cranberries, washed and dried
For the Garnish:
- 1 orange, sliced
- handful of rosemary sprigs
For the sugared cranberries:
- In a medium saucepan, combine water with 1/2 cup sugar. Bring to a boil and let it simmer on low heat for 3 minutes.
- Stir in the cranberries to fully coat in the syrup then remove from heat and stir 1 minute.
- Remove cranberries with a slotted spoon and transfer to a parchment or silicone mat lined baking sheet to let cranberries dry out for 1 hour.
- Roll cranberries in batches in the remaining 1 cup sugar to coat.
- While the cranberries are cooling, make the curd filling.
For the crust:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Using a food processor, pulse the graham crackers and macadamia nuts together into fine crumbs.
- Add in the sugar and pulse 2-3 times to incorporate.
- Now add in the melted butter and mix until well combined.
- Remove from processor and transfer to pie pan.
- Press tightly into the bottom and up the sides of tart pan.
- Place in freezer for 30 minutes.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Bake crust for 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven and fill with cranberry curd.
- Return to the oven for another 10 minutes.
- Remove tart from oven and let cool completely.
- Garnish with orange slices, sugared cranberries, and rosemary sprigs.
You can make the filling ahead of time and store it in a jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Premake the tart crust and store it in the freezer for up to 2 days to save time.
If you want to make the whole tart ahead of time, bake the tart with the curd filling, the wrap with plastic wrap and store in fridge for up to 2 days. Garnish right before serving.
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