Monday, November 8, 2010

the many incarnations of cranberry curd

last year i was obsessed with lemon curd. i made it for fourth of july, spreading it between layers of pound cake topped with whipped cream and berries. i ate it with blueberry scones and devonshire cream at my dad's house. i made the best shortbread cookies in the world and baked lemon curd on top of them. when i ran across this recipe for cranberry curd in nigella lawson's book, how to be a domestic goddess, i was swooning. cranberry curd is pure genius.
fresh cranberries, waiting to turn into something yummy.

look at that cranberry curd! what a pretty pink!

keep reading for the recipe!

this morning for breakfast i had vanilla yogurt with a big spoonful of cranberry curd topped with slivered almonds. is a healthy(ish) breakfast not your cup of tea? how about cranberry curd butter bars?

these are buttery shortbread cookies baked with cranberry curd on the top. i'd like to mention that the shortbread cookies have more butter than flour! cranberry curd is slightly tart and it cuts right through the buttery cookie flavor. a perfect pair!

Cranberry Curd
adapted from Nigella Lawson's How to be a Domestic Goddess, as posted here
this recipe is halved for a smaller batch of 2.5 cups
  • 1 pint of cranberries (about 16 oz)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tbl butter
  • 2/3 cups sugar (i used slightly less than this because i don't like overly sweet curds)
  • dash of salt
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
In a medium saucepan, place the cranberries and water over low heat. Cook until the berries have *popped* and they are tender. It will sound like you are making popcorn!
Puree the cranberries in a food processor put them through a food mill. Put the puree back into the pan. Add the butter, salt, vanilla and sugar. Lightly beat the eggs in a separate bowl then add them to the cranberry mixture. Cook slowly stirring continuously so the eggs don’t curdle. Once thickened, pass through a fine sieve to make sure there are no curdled egg pieces. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the curd to prevent a skin from forming. Cool.
Keep in the fridge.
Makes about 2.5 cups.

Cranberry Curd Shortbread Cookies
adapted from Epicurious' Ultimate Lemon Butter Bars. I use cranberry curd instead of lemon curd.

  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter (cold) (5 ounces = 142 grams
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar (0.5 ounce = 14 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (0.75 ounce = 25 grams)
  • 1 1/4 cups bleached all-purpose flour (dip and sweep method) (6.25 ounces = 180 grams)

Cut the butter into 1-inch cubes. In a food processor with the metal blade, process the sugars for 1 minute or so, until the sugar is very fine. Add the butter and pulse in until the sugar disappears. Add the flour and pulse in until there are a lot of little moist crumbly pieces and no dry flour particles remain. Dump the mixture into a plastic bag and press it together. Remove the dough from the plastic bag and knead it lightly, until it holds together.

Press mixture into a square 8X8" pan. Prick the top with a fork.

Bake at 325 for 30-40 minutes or until the top is light golden brown. Remove the shortbread from the oven, and pour the cranberry curd over the top. Bake at 300 for another 10 minutes. Let it cool for about 30 minutes, then cut into squares. Dust with powdered sugar in a sieve if you'd like!