Transform fresh cranberries into Cranberry Curd for the holidays! This recipe only takes a few minutes to make and is delicious drizzled over pancakes, spread over scones, swirled in yogurt, baked in tarts, or by the spoonful. It’s even wonderful for gift-giving!
A few minutes and a handful of ingredients is all it takes to transform fresh cranberries into a luscious Cranberry Curd. It’s irresistible by the spoonful, perfect for tarts and delicious drizzled over pancakes. It even makes a great holiday gift!
Note: This recipe for Cranberry Curd was originally published on December 4, 2011 as part of the Simple Sundays series here on Kitchen Confidante. It has been updated with improved kitchen notes, recipe annotation, and photography. I hope you enjoy this favorite from my kitchen!
Walking in circles amongst rows and rows of firs and pines, we breathed in the heavenly scent of fresh evergreen. This one! No, this one! My family pounced on a majestic pine, one that would clearly (at least it was obvious to me) never even fit through our front door. Um, you guys, that is department store size. How about this one? I pointed in the direction of the shorter, more suitable trees. Each specimen was considered. Too scraggly, too full. The branches are too weak. The needles too spiny. We were in search of the perfect Christmas tree.
We found the one. It didn’t seem perfect, but it was one we could all agree on. A short ride home and the decorating was underway.
A quick check of the equipment revealed that we had gotten rid of our yards and yards of tree lights last season. While my husband and kids ran off to the store to pick up some new strands, I took some of the beautiful fresh cranberries that I was not able to cook for Thanskgiving and set them to bubble into a luxurious Cranberry Curd. By the time they returned, my curd was setting in the refrigerator.
I found myself sneaking spoonfuls of the vivid curd – my goodness, if you love Lemon Curd, then I just know you will love this Cranberry Curd. Dare I say it’s even better? I just couldn’t stop myself! So good plain, I tell you. But I know it’ll be amazing to play around with. This morning, I tried some with pancakes. I was in heaven.
When the tree was all trimmed and it was time to admire our handiwork, we all stood back to admire it. The tree that seemed about right in the Christmas tree lot turned out to be perfect. We all agreed, it was the best tree we’ve ever had – the height was perfect, the shape was perfect, the needles were soft, the branches were sturdy. Our ornaments filled it perfectly. And then it was time for the big lighting.
And our hearts sank.
Two shades of white. Cool on the top. Warm on the bottom.
We were so disappointed. And tired. And then we decided, you know what, nothing is ever perfect. The kids loved it, two-toned and all. My husband and I decided to love it too. At least we know we’ll never forget this tree. And one day, we’ll laugh…and be more careful to check the lights!
How to Use Cranberry Curd
Wondering how to use cranberry curd? Besides slathering it on top of scones or drizzling over pancakes, be sure to check out these recipes that use cranberry curd:
Cranberry Curd Parfaits
Cranberry Curd and Hazelnut Shortbread Bars
Cranberry Curd as a Gift
A jar of cranberry curd would be a delicious, thoughtful homemade gift for the holidays! While fruit curds may not have the acidity necessary for long-term canning shelf-life, just be sure to let your recipient know that they can store the curd in the refrigerator for one week or longer in the freezer.
- 1/2 pound fresh cranberries a little over 2 cups
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 whole egg
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into small cubes
- In a small saucepan, combine the cranberries and water, cover, and place over medium heat. Cook until the cranberries pop and the liquid bubbles. Pass the cranberries through a strainer, pressing well with a spoon. Be sure to scrape all the lovely red puree on the underside of the strainer into the bowl to use. Pour the cranberry puree back into the saucepan and set aside. Let it cool a tad.
- Whisk together the egg yolks and egg until combined. While whisking, pour in sugar and whisk until a light yellow color. Add the egg mixture to the cranberry puree in the sauce pan, and continue whisking until creamy and well incorporated, about one minute. Place over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the custard thickens and can coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 8-10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the butter, one cube at a time. Strain into a bowl or jar, cover surface with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
While fruit curds may not have the acidity necessary for long-term canning shelf-life, you can store the cranberry curd tightly covered in the refrigerator for one week or longer in the freezer. To defrost, let it thaw in the refrigerator before serving.
Note: This recipe for Cranberry Curd was originally published on December 4, 2011 as part of the Simple Sundays series here on Kitchen Confidante. Photography was updated on November 29, 2018. The original photo is seen below.
This sounds good!!!
Trying this site
I made a double batch and was in too much of a hurry. I don’t think I got either the sugar or butter incorporated well enough, the sugar burnt to the bottom of the pot and the butter separated as it was cooling, but it tasted delicious so I tried again. I ordered a double boiler insert. While the cranberries were cooking, I creamed the butter and sugar until smooth, then added eggs and beat the #=(( out of them. I put the cooked cranberries in my vitamin and ran until smooth then slowly drizzled into egg mixture until combined. I put it in the double boiler and cooked until thickened. It is in the frig cooling, but takes excellent and looks very good. If it sets stiff enough I will pipe on mini rosemary scones for a brunch.
Glad you gave it another go, Tanya! I know hurrying can cause issues, especially when making a curd or custard. I hope you enjoyed your second batch.
can youprint this twice?
Stephanie, you can print this as many times as you need! Enjoy the recipe!
This looks absolutely amazing. Could you possibly give me ideas of what to put it on?
Thank you, Anna! Cranberry curd is delicious on biscuits, scones, English muffins, in tarts, swirled in oatmeal or yogurt, and so much more! I have a recipe for Cranberry Curd and Hazelnut Shortbread Bars that is delicious!!
For less sugar would it work if the amount of sugar was split in two parts- one half sugar and one half stevia powder?
That should work, Edie. I have not personally tested those proportions, but please let me know how it works out for you. Thanks!
I have frozen cranberries. Will they work?
Hi Linda, while I have not tested the recipe with frozen cranberries, I know that others make fruit curds using frozen fruit, so it should work! If you give it a try, please let me know, I would love to hear your feedback! Thanks :)
I hope you enjoy it!
I’ve been making this curd pretty regularly for a couple years now. I use it on English muffins. I whip it into Italian meringue buttercream to use as a macaron filling. My kiddo went through a phase in preschool where she only wanted a sourdough sandwich with cranberry curd and sun butter for lunch every day. It’s great!
Hi Chrysee! This just makes my day, thank you! The cranberry curd is super versatile, but this is the first time I’m hearing of cranberry curd and sun butter sandwiches, and I LOVE that so much!
Oh my word this is good! I’ll be piping it into French Macarons as an additional dessert for Thanksgiving. I’ll likely make them for Christmas too! Might become an annual staple. Thanks for a great recipe!
You’re so very welcome, Sarah! I love how versatile this cranberry curd is, too!! I love how you’ll use it in macarons!
OMG. THIS is incredible. I think I ate 4 tablespoons while straining it at the end-this is a Thanksgiving game changer. Thank you!!
Yay! Thanks, Michele! I’m thrilled you love the cranberry curd, it really is irresistible :)
So gorgeous, Liren! The color is stunning!
This looks delicious and would love to make to give as gifts for Christmas. Is it possible and how would I can it so that it will keep?
Hi! It really does make a good homemade gift! The thing with canning curds is that when there’s dairy, the shelf life isn’t long. What I would do is gift it but with the instruction to keep in the refrigerator, it should last a couple of months stored this way. But once open, it should be eaten with a week or two, which is easy to do :) I hope that helps!
how much does this make? I made the purée, but I think I may have cooked it too long (I got caught up doing laundry) and it doesn’t seem like there’s much purée. How much am I supposed to have?
Good blog you’ve got here.. It’s difficult to find high-quality writing like
yours these days. I truly appreciate people like you! Take
I’ve seen this with my own eyes time and time again.
Then say goodbye to Facebook, Twitter and other social networking
sites for a while. Reconciliation between you two can only begin once
youve accepted the break up.
Side note, I only had three eggs in the fridge so I used two egg yolks and one whole egg…. Seems to be fine so far!
Huge pop of flavor. I subbed tangerine juice for the water and added about a 1/4 tsp of tangerine rind peels to the cooking liquid for the cranberries (rinds then were strained out) I served along side a Tangerine Pound Cake I made.
I meant to say about 4 strips of tangerine rind went into my cranberry cooking liquid