When you think of desserts for the Holiday season, it’s all too easy to fall back on old favorites. For us, that tends to mean pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving and Christmas pudding for Christmas. Both of them are delicious, but it has to be said, they are pretty heavy. We also almost always end up with way more than we need. While I like them as leftovers, it does mean I don’t make them often as a result. This cranberry lemon curd tart is the perfect individual serving, making it ideal to avoid leftovers. They’re also easy to make, no bake and gluten free, if you need any more reasons to try them.
A family love of lemon curd
Lemon curd is something my mum makes and I still love enjoying it on some toasted fruit bread when I visit. For whatever reason, I don’t make it that often myself but it brings back memories when I do. I like making use of it in baking as well, like the lemon almond cupcakes I shared. Recently, however, I was reminded of a lemon curd tart which I knew I needed to make a version of. While lemon curd is relatively easy to make, lemon curd tart does have a few steps with baking the base, making the filling and then baking in the curd to set. None of it hard, but it does take time.
I decided to try a no-bake, seasonal version with this cranberry lemon curd tart. And while I was at it, I decided to make them individual-sized and gluten-free. Not that I needed to make it gluten-free, but I knew nuts like pecans would pair well with the cranberry-lemon filing. Using a nutty base that’s just pressed into the moulds, it definitely speeds up making these as well.
How it’s made
As a result of my adaptations, this cranberry lemon curd tart is really easy to make. You make the cranberry lemon curd much like a regular lemon curd except you warm the cranberries, lemon juice and sugar together first. Strain it then continue as a normal curd adding the butter then egg. Cover with cling wrap as it cools to avoid it forming a skin. Meanwhile make the base by grinding the walnuts to crumbs then mixing them with the sugar, melted butter and ground almonds. Press into mini tart tins then fill with the curd once it has cooled.
This cranberry lemon curd tart may not exactly be low calorie, but it’s not terrible either. But it does taste fresher and lighter than your typical Holiday dessert with a delicious citrus zing. It’s a dessert that shouldn’t be left to once a year. And with that tasty fresh zestiness, it would fit in any time of year. Try it and you’ll see what I mean.
- For the curd -
- ¼cup/27g cranberries (fresh or frozen)
- zest of 1 lemon plus ¼cup juice
- 2tbsp sugar
- 3tbsp butter
- 1 egg plus 1 yolk
- For the base -
- ½cup/55g pecans
- 1tbsp butter
- 2tbsp ground almonds/almond flour
- 1tbsp brown sugar
- Place the cranberries, lemon zest and juice and sugar in a small pan and cook over a medium-low heat until the cranberries pop and mash down. Remove from the heat then press the mixture through a sieve into a small bowl. Dice the butter into small pieces and add it to the bowl.
- Put the bowl over hot water in a pan so that the water comes up the sides of the bowl but doesn't come in, and the bowl is not touching the bottom of the pan.
- Stir regularly as the butter melts then add the egg and egg yolk. Mix well so the eggs break up and mix through then stir constantly as the mixture starts to thicken.
- It's ready when thick enough to stick to the back of a spoon, around 5min. Set aside with cling wrap/film over the surface as it cools so that a skin doesn't form.
- Meanwhile, pulse the pecans in a food processor to fine breadcrumb texture. Melt the 1tbsp butter and mix this in with the ground pecans along with the ground almonds and sugar.
- Press the mixture into two small tartlet moulds (2¾-3in diameter) - it will be pretty thin but try to make it cover the base and come up slightly at the sides.
- Once the curd is cool, spoon it in to the moulds on top of the nut-crumb base. They will keep chilled and covered overnight, if needed but the curd will dry out a bit if kept longer.
Welcome to #CranberryWeek, hosted by Caroline’s Cooking and A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures. We’ll be sharing cranberry-inspired creations all week long in celebration of national cranberry day. Search #CranberryWeek to keep up to date and follow the #CranberryWeek Pinterest board for more cranberry inspiration. But first, see all the other cranberry recipes being shared today:
- Braised Short Ribs with Hoisin-Cranberry Sauce and Asian Coleslaw from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Cranberry & Cornbread Stuffed Pork Chops from Books n’ Cooks
- Cranberry Borscht from Palatable Pastime
- Cranberry Glazed Pork Loin from Sew You Think You Can Cook
- Cranberry Lemon Curd Tart (No Bake, GF) from Caroline’s Cooking
- Cranberry London Broil from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Cranberry Mustard from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Cranberry Smoothie from The Chef Next Door
- Cranberry Vanilla Bean Donuts from Hostess At Heart
- Grilled Brie with Cranberries from Full Belly Sisters
- Honey Roasted Orange Ricotta Crostini from Take Two Tapas
- Mixed Berry Sorbet from A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Orange Cranberry Turnovers by The Bitter Side of Sweet
- Panko Crusted Chicken with Maple Cranberry Sauce from Family Around The Table
- Sweet Heat Cranberry Spread from Cooking With Carlee