Cranberry Pomegranate Tart

I love curds: lemon, lime, grapefruit and passion fruit all make great curds because they are sour. I recently came across cranberry curd tart recipes in The New York Times and the magazine ” Bake”. There are some differences in both those recipes and I also made some changes. the biggest difference is that I add the butter last, not first. This improves the texture of the cream.

This is a nice curd to do around the holidays. Both pomegranates and cranberries are in the stores fresh, from November-December which makes it a nice seasonal dessert.

CRANBERRY AND POMEGRANATE TARTS

  • 8 fully baked Pate Sucree 4″ tart shells or one 9″ tart shell ( see recipe on another page of my blog
  • 12 oz fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • Zest of one large naval orange
  • Juice of one large naval orange and enough lemon juice to make up a volume of 1/2 cup of liquid.
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 4oz unsalted butter cut in to 16 pieces
  • Salt

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  1. Rub the sugar and orange zest between your fingers to release the orange oil.
  2. Combine sugar, zest, orange juice, and cranberries in a 1 quart sauce pan and bring to a simmer.
  3. Simmer cranberries for between 5 and 8 minutes u til most of the cranberries have popped and released their liquid. Be careful not to overcook.
  4. Run cranberries through a food mill with the finest disc. Discard the skins that won’t push through.
  5. Crack eggs and combine the whole eggs and yolks, wisking until homogenous.
  6. Temper eggs with some of the hot cranberry mixture and combine the rest of the cranberries and eggs.
  7. Place cranberry/egg mixture in a clean 1 quart sauce pan and cook over low to medium heat depending on your comfort level, wisking constantly. I like to use medium heat because I’m impatient but I always have a an immersion blender and a cold, wet towel folded on the counter near the stove. If it looks like it’s going to curdle I remove the pan from the heat and place it on the cold towel and whisk like crazy or use the immersion blender to smooth out the mixture.
  8. Wisk until thickened. The mixture should reach about 170 degrees and your wisk should leave tracks in the curd.
  9. Run curd through a fine meshed sieve and let cool to about 140 F.
  10. Using an immersion blender, blend butter in to curd, 4 pieces at a time. Once butter is incorporated blend another 3 minutes. This aerates the cream and makes it light and smooth. It also lightens the color so if you want a deeper color, just wisk the butter in gently.
  11. Pour curd into pre baked tart shell and smooth it with an offset spatula.
  12. Now, you have the option of popping the filled tart into a 350 F degree oven for about 8 minutes to set the curd and make it easier to slice. I wouldn’t bother doing this with the small tarts but for a large tart that you have to cut into individual pieces, there’s an argument for baking. It does change the texture of the curd a bit, losing some of that unctuous creaminess. This curd is fairly stiff so you will be able to slice it without baking it, but if you need super clean edges, setting the curd in the oven is the way to go. If you bake it, let it cool before you put the pomegranate seeds on it.
  13. Decoratively place some pomegranate seeds around the perimeter of the tart and chill until service.
  14. To plate this, you could serve it with a dollop of whipped cream on the side, or you could buy extra cranberries, make a coulis and use the coulis do some decorative smears on the plate. For the coulis, I would buy extra cranberries and repeat the first three steps of this recipe, however, instead of running the mixture through a food mill and pushing it through a sieve, I would place the mixture in a medium sieve and let the juices drip through, pushing gently on the cranberries. The goal is to get s pretty clear sauce, not a purée.

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