If there's anything that'll put you in a holiday mood, it's this delicious Cranberry Curd recipe. With its vibrant color, sweet and tart taste, and a cooking time of just 30 minutes, it will become your favorite holiday treat!
Perfect for a holiday dessert, there are so many ways to use this cranberry curd once it's prepped and in your fridge. I like to make parfaits with some of the curd and my no-churn-vanilla-bean ice cream; or a holiday trifle with some cake, curd, mascarpone, and fresh fruit.
Another option I love is to pour the cranberry curd into my sweet-tart-crust recipe, bake it for 10 minutes at 350 degrees till it sets, chill it, and serve it with some whipped cream. The options are limitless.
Why you'll love this recipe
- Perfect for a seasonal dessert - Nothing says "holidays" like cranberries. So many different desserts can be made just with this cranberry curd, in addition to the ones mentioned above. Filling for cakes, cookies, cream puffs, and cheesecake bars are just a few ideas to get you started.
- Great to give as a gift - Make a large batch and give jars to family, friends, and neighbors as holiday gifts. Attach a note with suggestions for using it over the holidays, and I promise they'll love you for it!
- Light and delicious - I love that the curd is light and fruity. It makes a refreshing change from all the other heavier holiday desserts.
- Great to make ahead - With an extended freezer life, this is a great recipe to have on hand for the holidays. Make it a few weeks ahead, and then assemble your final dessert the day you need to serve it.
- Cranberries - Use fresh or frozen cranberries for this recipe. Since cranberry season is so short-lived, I often buy a few bags and freeze them to use as needed.
- Eggs - Whole eggs and egg yolks are both needed in this recipe. Yolks add density and richness, but the little bit of white in the 2 whole eggs keeps the curd from getting too firm.
- Butter - This helps make the cranberry curd creamy.
- Sugar - Sugar helps provide the fruit curd with much-needed structure.
- Pomegranate juice - I like adding some juice for extra flavor and color.
- Cornstarch slurry - Cornstarch, while not essential, helps add a nice gloss to the cranberry curd.
Please see the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the complete list of ingredients with measurements plus recipe instructions.
Substitutions & variations
- Try a different fruit curd - Lemon, mango, orange, passion fruit, the possibilities are limitless. Any slightly acidic fruit will make a delicious fruit curd.
- Add some orange zest - Add a little orange zest to the cranberry curd for aroma.
- Add some aromatics - Other aromatics like mint, ginger, vanilla, cardamom, and even pepper can elevate the flavor of the curd.
Boiling the berries
First step - Add the cranberries to a large stainless steel cooking pot. It's recommended not to use a metal utensil to cook the berries in as this gives the curd a metallic taste. However, I find that as long as I stay away from aluminum, my curd tastes okay. If your cranberries are frozen, add them directly to the pot. They're so tiny they defrost within minutes of cooking.
Second step - Add all of the sugar, 1 cup of water, and the pomegranate juice and stir to mix. Turn the flame on high and bring the mixture to a boil.
Third step - You'll soon see foam forming in the pot and hear a few of the berries begin to pop. Turn the flame to medium at this point and cook uncovered for 5-10 minutes to allow the pectin in the berries to release.
Fourth step - As the pectin is released, the mixture will start to thicken. At this point, use an immersion blender to puree the mixture.
Thickening the curd
Fifth step - If you want to shorten the cooking time and don't mind a little texture in your cranberry curd, you can puree it to a fine texture and skip the straining. The curd pictured here is not strained.
Sixth step - Next, it's time to add in the eggs. This part is key to a perfect consistency to the curd. The first thing to remember is to turn the stove off and let the curd cool down a little bit so the eggs won't cook and scramble when they're added to it. The next important thing is to pour them into the curd in a gentle stream and whisk vigorously and constantly. This ensures that they don't curdle and the cranberry curd is smooth and creamy.
Seventh step - The cornstarch slurry is not essential, and you will find that many recipes don't have it in their list of ingredients. However, I like to add it as it gives the curd a nice glossy finish. For this, you may need to warm the curd a little if it's cooled down too much. Prepare a slurry with the cornstarch and remaining ½ cup of water, pour into the curd, and stir constantly till the curd thickens and becomes glossy. Turn the stove off immediately to prevent the curd from curdling.
Eighth step - At this point, add in the butter 2 tablespoons at a time, till it completely melts. Place the cranberry curd in sterilized jars, cool, and store or gift!
- Don't overheat the curd - Maintaining the correct temperature while cooking your curd is important to it's taste and texture. Medium to low after the initial boil is what I recommend to prevent the fruit and sugar from burning.
- Use the right pans - Aluminum pans are an absolute no, and some professionals even go so far as to recommend no metal pans at all when making fruit curd, as this leads to a metallic taste.
- Curds are a great way to use up egg yolks - Next time you make something with egg whites, use those extra egg yolks and some seasonal fruit to make a batch of curd.
Yes, the curd will thicken as it cools, so keep that in mind when you prepare it.
Store the curd in sterilized glass canning jars and store it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Store the curd in an airtight container in the freezer for up to a year and defrost it in the fridge overnight when you're ready to use it.
Other recipes you may like
For more Pakistani recipes like this, check out 20 popular Pakistani recipes. If you decide to try this recipe, Please don't forget to leave a rating and comment below! If you take a picture then tag me on Instagram! Thank You!
- 24 oz cranberries (see notes)
- 2 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup pomegranate juice (see notes)
- 1 ½ cup water
- 5 egg yolks
- 3 whole eggs
- 2 ¼ tbsp cornstarch
- 12 tbsp butter
- Add the cranberries, sugar, pomegranate juice, and 1 cup of water to a cooking pot and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Once the cranberry mixture starts boiling, reduce the heat and cook for 5-10 minutes till the mixture thickens.
- Turn the stove off and use an immersion blender to puree the mixture. (See notes)
- Beat the egg yolks and eggs and start trickling this into the pureed berries while whisking constantly. (see notes)
- As soon as the mixture thickens, add the butter, two tablespoons at a time, till it's all incorporated. (see notes)
- Finally, make a slurry of the cornflour and ½ cup of water and add it to the cooked curd, constantly stirring, till the mixture becomes glossy. (see notes)