I already spilled my guts about my love for curd (and eating it straight from the jar) when I shared my recipe for meyer lemon curd last winter, so I won't make you endure that love fest all over again. I'll just say that curds are the dreamiest of toast toppings - at the same time tart, sweet, and creamy.
When I got some 100% cranberry juice to experiment with from the fine folks at Starvation Alley, curd was of course at the top of my long list of recipes to develop! Bonus - naturally pink foods are always more fun!
Starvation Alley grows organic cranberries in their Long Beach, WA cranberry bog and cold presses 100% cranberry juice from their farm and other PNW farms which are organic or transitioning to organic. Growing cranberries requires pumping water from the neighboring watershed into the bog for harvest then returning it to the wild, meaning that the pesticides sprayed on conventional cranberries go straight back into our beloved watershed. I couldn't be more proud of the work Starvation Alley is doing to help more cranberry farms go organic!
I've said it before, but I'll say it again. When eating curd, it's easy to assume that it must be a fussy and difficult thing to make - but the reality is that just 15 minutes in front of the stove and a good fine mesh strainer will have you decadent curd in no time!
The biggest secrets lie in using a double boiler (aka a bowl over a pot with a little simmering water in the bottom), constantly stirring so it cooks evenly, and straining the mixture when you're finished to remove any little clumps of egg that might have cooked too much.
I've always been a big fan of curd on toast, for it's ease and simplicity. And the fact that I better be speedy if I want enough curd to remain for a more in depth project! That darn obsession with eating it by the spoonful be damned!
That said, curd makes a great filling for cake layers and this curd will sit beautifully in mini tart shells or puff pastry cups. It won't, however, be perfect for a full sized tart, for that requires a stiffer curd that will hold its shape when cut (aka, it needs way more butter!).
So make this curd, then let your imagination run wild - or eat it all by the spoonful like I prefer to do, the world of curd is your oyster!
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp unsweetened 100% cranberry juice (I used Starvation Alley!)
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
3 oz / 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into cubes
pinch sea salt
- Whisk together all ingredients in a small mixing bowl and place over a pot with a few inches of water in the bottom, being sure the bowl isn't touching the water.
- With the pot over medium heat, cook the mixture, whisking constantly. A few minutes after the butter melts, the mixture will start to thicken. When it does, pour the curd through a fine mesh strainer and into a jar. It will thicken more as it cools.
- Store curd, covered, in the refrigerator.
Disclaimer: I have received free product or money from businesses highlighted in this article - which helps me keep this blog alive. I take great pride in the advice I share here on Toot Sweet, and would never recommend a product to you that I'm not over-the-moon excited about, or that I wouldn't purchase for use in my own kitchen.