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
Keyword Christmas, cranberry, curd, dessert, holiday, homemade, vegetarian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Chill Time 1 hour
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 16 servings
Calories 82kcal
Author Liren Baker

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: 3.2% | Vitamin C: 2.3% | Calcium: 0.8% | Iron: 1%
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. Jan

    I can imagine this spread over crepes, or buttery toast. And I’d love to use this curd in a twist on lemon meringue pie. I think that’d be amazing. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

    Reply
  2. Tracey@Tangled Noodle

    The idea of a two-toned Christmas tree is delightful! I am missing a lot of the trappings of the holidays such as our own tree decorated with ornaments that I’ve collected over the years (now all in storage). And don’t even let me dream about fresh cranberries: Although bags of frozen ones are available, they cost as much as Christmas tree! But, oh! How I would love a taste of this cranberry curd… 8-)

    Reply
    • Liren

      Yikes, are they really that expensive over in Manila! Now I know what to bring you as pasalubong if I ever plan a trip :)

  3. The Blog Entourage

    Holy moly!!! I love cranberries, and I love jam, curd…anything to spread on toast and pastries. This looks soooooo amazing! Thanks so much for posting it!

    Reply
  4. Jennifer (Delicieux)

    Wow, this looks amazing!!! I love lemon curd, and I love your gorgeous pinkish red cranberry curd. And those cranberries look amazing!! So beautiful and shiny. I only wish I knew where I could get hold of fresh cranberries here :(

    Reply
  5. Anna

    At last, boring pancakes can now be exciting with help of your post! The pink-reddish color is so vibrant. I thought there was food color in there. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  6. Kathryn O

    Your photography is so gorgeous, I want to lick this right off the computer screen (I won’t, though, I promise). Definitely a must-try for the holidays!

    Reply
  7. Bonnie

    Such a funny story. I have never ever thought to make cranberry curd but this is just beautiful. Have it on my to-do list this week. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  8. Norma

    I have some frozen cranberries and I will try to do this over the weekend for the grandkids. They like my turning them on to different things.

    Reply
  9. Martha

    Delicious! Instead of straining the cooked cranberries, I used my immersion blender on them. Also, I substituted honey for the suger. Mmm… perfect for jazzing up our New Year’s Eve table!

    Reply
    • Liren

      Hi and Happy New Year, Martha! Loved that you used the immersion blender – that is such a time saver and surely added some thickness to the cranberry curd. Hope everyone enjoyed it :)

  10. marla

    I am obsessed with cranberries! The way they look + taste. Beautiful recipe that I MUST try!

    Reply
    • liren

      Thank you, Marla! It’s been too long since I last made this, I’m so excited cranberries are back!

  11. Alyssa

    Could a person can this? Or pressure can? Or would it do something funny to the texture? I would like to give these as gifts.

    Reply
  12. Tracy

    Ok, I just made this to give to my mom for Christmas and let me tell you… amazing! I was licking the spoon! I mean, I could just eat this on it’s own. I will say though, it’s really not very tart, which is fine, but if you like a really tart cranberry taste, I’d say use more cranberries or less sugar.

    But really, really yummy!

    Reply
  13. Michele

    I buy cranberries when in season, and finish out the season with at least 12-15 bags in the freezer so I can have some all year. This looks amazing! I’ll definitely be making it!

    Reply
  14. hanna

    oh jeez 2-toned lights. give me a BREAK. im totally going to make this recipe, but there are more important things going on that 2-toned lights.

    Reply
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  16. Holly

    i just made this lovely. URL and it is sitting in the fridge to chill. Like you, I keep sneaking spoonfuls. Thanks for the recipe… I will definitely be making this again for gifts!!

    Reply
    • Liren

      Holly, I’m so glad. It really would make a wonderful gift for the holidays, love that idea! Thanks for the notes on the eggs, great to know!

  17. 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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  19. 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
  20. 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!

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