Jar of cranberry curd on a wooden board with pine cones and Christmas greens.

Cranberry Curd

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!

Jar of cranberry curd on a wooden board with pine cones and Christmas greens.
Cranberry Curd

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!

A bowl of fresh cranberries on a grey table with pine cones and greens.

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 bowl of cranberries for making cranberry curd.

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.

Egg yolks in a bowl with ingredients for cranberry curd.

Straining cranberry curd into a glass bowl.

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.

Jars of cranberry curd made with fresh cranberries for the Christmas holidays.

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.

Not perfect.

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!

Jar of cranberry curd on a wooden board with pine cones and Christmas greens.

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.

Cranberry Curd

Transform fresh cranberries into Cranberry Curd for the holidays! This recipe only takes a few minutes to make and is delicious by the spoonful!
Course Condiments
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Chill Time 1 hour
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 16 servings
Calories 82kcal

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

Adapted from my Lemon Curd and Food.com's Cranberry Curd.
How to Store Cranberry Curd
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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1tablespoon | Calories: 82kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 6mg | Potassium: 19mg | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 160IU | Vitamin C: 1.9mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 0.2mg
Did you make this recipe?I'd love to see! Tag @kitchconfidante on Instagram and hashtag it #kitchenconfidante

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.

Comments

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  1. musicalmomma58

    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?

    Reply
    • Liren Baker

      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!

      Reply
  2. Erin

    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?

    Reply
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  5. Holly

    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!

    Reply
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