A Cranberry Curd Tart that is out of this world! This is truly the best cranberry curd tart out there. The combination of a toasty, full-flavored crust and a luscious, vibrant, sweet-tart cranberry curd creates a certain kind of harmony that truly makes taste buds sing.

For as stunning and vibrant as this tart is, it’s not overly complicated—my kind of dessert! It’s made with a simple press-in crust which means most of the “work” will be making the cranberry curd.

Curds certainly aren’t the simplest thing to make but they also aren’t the most difficult. Which means out of all the desserts you could bring to Thanksgiving, this is likely one of the easier. 

a piece or tart with a vibrant red filling and topped with candied cranberries, rosemary, and candied oranges


  • Whole-wheat pastry flour: this recipe uses a whole-wheat press in crust. First of all, it’s easy to make. And secondly, the nutty flavor of the crust pairs perfectly with the sweet-tart cranberry curd. Whole-wheat pastry flour is also great for making Healthy Blueberry Muffins.
  • Granulated sugar: If you want to keep the entire dessert naturally sweetened, use coconut sugar instead. Just be sure to grind it into a powder first.
  • Minced rosemary (optional): For an added layer of fall flavor, we add a bit of rosemary to the crust. Not a fan? Skip it.
  • Olive Oil: the crust is made only of olive oil which results in a melt-in-your-mouth texture. So good!
  • Cranberries: fresh or frozen work here—use whatever you can find.
  • Oranges: fresh orange juice and zest are used in the cranberry curd. It adds both sweetness and a bit of tang, and it’s a natural pairing for cranberries.
  • Pink peppercorns (optional): another optional ingredient is pink peppercorns. Only use them if you’ve got ’em—no need to go out and buy them. They add a mild floral flavor to the curd that pairs well with the honey.
  • Honey: the cranberry curd is flavored with honey. You can use granulated sugar, but we like the floral flavor of honey.
  • Butter: use unsalted butter so you can control the salt level.
  • Eggs: to ensure you have enough filling to fill the pie crust, use eggs labeled as large. One egg, without the shell, should weigh 50 grams.
  • Orange Liqueur: a splash of orange liqueur is added to the cranberry curd right after cooking. This adds a bit more depth of flavor. Skip it if you want.

How to Make the Tart Crust

For our cranberry curd tart recipe, we turned to my go-to whole-wheat olive oil crust that we also use for our fruit tart. Here’s how to make it:

  1. Whisk together the dry ingredients
  2. Add the oil and water to the flour mixture and stir until a dough comes together. If it still is a bit crumbly and won’t come together, drizzle in another half tablespoon of water.
  3. Press the dough into the bottom of the pan and up the sides. This is one reason we love this crust recipe so much—you don’t have to get flour all over your counter, you don’t need to pull out the rolling pin, and you don’t have to freeze the crust!
  4. tart crust on a baking sheet
  5. Bake the crust until it’s a deep golden brown color and dry to touch. Let the crust cool completely before filling.

If you want something a bit more classic, try our classic tart crust recipe. You’ll need to blind bake it with foil and baking weights (also called pie weights—you can also use dried beans).

golden brown tart crust filled with a vibrant red filling and topped with candied cranberries, rosemary, and candied oranges

How to Make Cranberry Curd 

It’s no secret that we prefer to bake and cook with natural sweeteners so it won’t come as a surprise that our cranberry curd (and lemon curd) are sweetened with honey instead of white sugar. We like to cook with natural sweeteners for a variety of reasons, but one is because it’s more flavorful. Here’s how to make it.

    cooked cranberry mixture in a gray saucepan with a wooden spoon.
  1. Cook down the fresh cranberries with orange juice, orange zest and pink peppercorns (they add a fruitiness! If you don’t have them, skip them!) until the cranberries burst and the mixture is jammy.
  2. Purée the cranberry mixture until smooth. You can do this in a food processor or a high powdered.
  3. cranberry curd being strained through a fine mesh strainer.
  4. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve back into the saucepan. Add the honey, butter and salt and cook until the mixture reaches 130ºF, this will take about 5 minutes.
  5. Temper the cranberry mixture and eggs by gradually whisking the hot cranberry mixture into the beaten eggs. The key is to do this slowly to avoid scrambling the eggs!
  6. cranberry curd cooking in a saucepan with a whisk.
  7. Place the cranberry mixture back over the heat and cook until it’s thickened and registers 170ºF, this will take about 8 minutes.
  8. glass bowl filled with cranberry curd.
  9. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the orange liqueur then strain it one more time before using.

Bake the Tart

Spread the cooled cranberry curd into the cooled tart crust and bake it just until the filling is set, this will take 12 to 15 minutes.

Let the tart cool completely in the tart pan (set on a wire rack) before removing it and decorating.

How to Decorate

We love to top this tart with candied cranberries, candied oranges, fresh rosemary and a sprinkling of pearl sugar. You could also top the tart with a mix of segmented citrus fruit including clementines, oranges, and grapefruit. Candied slivered almonds or pistachios would also be delicious on top!

a piece or tart with a vibrant red filling and topped with candied cranberries, rosemary, and candied oranges

Can This Be Made Ahead of Time?

You can make this cranberry curd tart up to 1 day ahead of time though the crust will not be quite as crunchy. If you do make it ahead, cover it loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Bring it to room temperature before serving. 
If you want to get ahead, I recommend making the components ahead of time and baking it the day you plan to serve it. (Instead of making the entire tart ahead of time.)

The curd can be made and refrigerated up to 4 days ahead of time and the crust can be made and baked up to 1 day ahead of time. Wrap the baked crust (still in the pan) in plastic wrap and store at room temperature.

Can You Freeze Leftover Curd?

Since cranberry curd is egg-based, we don’t recommend freezing leftover curd. Instead, transfer it to a glass container, press a piece of plastic wrap over the surface of the curd (to keep it from drying out) and secure a tight-fitting lid. Use the curd within 1 week of making.

Does This Curd Need Any Cornstarch?

No, this cranberry curd is thickened by tempering eggs. Slowly cooking the curd until it reaches 170ºF will adequately thicken it.

Our pumpkin butter does, however, use cornstarch to thicken it!

Other Desserts to Try

Cranberry Curd Tart Recipe

4.48 from 17 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Chilling time 4 hours
Total Time 5 hours
Yield 1 (9-inch) tart (8 servings)
Category Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Lauren Grant


A toasty, herby crust holds a creamy sweet-tart filling that is just sweet enough. This cranberry curd tart is a must-make!



  • 1 ¾ cups (215g) whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 5 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons minced rosemary, optional
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon cold water

Cranberry Curd

  • 1 (12-ounce) bag fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 3 large oranges
  • 1 teaspoon pink peppercorns, optional
  • ½ cup honey
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter cubed, chilled
  • 2 large egg yolks (37g)
  • 2 large eggs (100g)
  • 1 tablespoon orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier or brandy



  • Heat oven to 350ºF (176ºC) with rack set in middle position.


  • Whisk together flour, sugar, rosemary, and salt in a medium bowl. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, mix oil and 1 tablespoon water into flour until combined and mixture looks slightly crumbly. If it still very dry and crumbly, mix in ½ tablespoon water.
  • Crumble three quarters of dough into bottom of a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Press dough into an even thickness lining bottom of pan. Crumble and scatter remaining dough around edge of pan; firmly press dough up and into edge into an even thickness.
  • Bake crust, on a rimmed baking sheet, until deep golden brown and firm to touch, 30–35 minutes, rotating halfway through. Transfer sheet to a wire rack and let crust cool completely.

Cranberry Curd

  • Zest one orange and juice all three oranges. Combine cranberries, ¾ cup orange juice, 1 teaspoon grated zest, and peppercorns in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until cranberries burst and mixture becomes thick and jammy, about 10 minutes.
  • Transfer cranberry mixture to a food processor and purée.
  • Strain cranberry mixture through a fine-mesh sieve back into saucepan; press on solids using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to extract purée. Discard solids. Stir honey, butter and salt into saucepan with purée. 
  • Cook mixture over medium heat until butter is melted and mixture registers 130ºF (54ºC) on an instant-read thermometer, about 5 minutes.
  • Whisk together eggs and egg yolks in a large bowl. Very gradually whisk cranberry mixture into egg mixture; transfer mixture back to saucepan over low heat and cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is thickened, coats back of a spoon, and registers 170ºF (77ºC) on an instant-read thermometer, about 8 minutes.
  • Off heat, stir in liqueur then strain through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl. Press a piece of plastic wrap on surface of curd and refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 4 hours (or up to 4 days).
  • Heat oven to 350ºF (176ºC) with rack set in middle position. Spread cooled curd into cooled crust and smooth. Bake tart until filling is set; 12–15 minutes.
  • Transfer tart to a wire rack to cool completely. Remove tart from pan by placing on an inverted cup and pressing pan edges down. Set tart on a flat surface, then slide a thin metal spatula between tart and pan bottom; carefully slide tart onto a serving platter. Garnish with desired toppings and serve.



You can use coconut sugar in the tart crust (instead of granulated), if you do, be sure to grind it into a powder using a spice grinder before mixing it with the flour.
Make Ahead Tips:
  • The tart crust can be baked up to 1 day ahead of time. Let it cool completely then wrap it in plastic wrap and store it at room temperature. 
  • The cranberry curd can be made up to 4 days ahead of time. Transfer it to a glass bowl or jar and press a piece of plastic wrap onto the surface of the curd. Store it in the refrigerator. 
Optional Ingredients: Rosemary, pink peppercorns and orange liqueur are all optional ingredients. They each add a hit of flavor, but if you don’t have them, feel free to skip them!


Serving: 1/8 of the recipeCalories: 380kcalCarbohydrates: 51gProtein: 5gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 5.5gCholesterol: 119mgSodium: 239mgFiber: 4.5gSugar: 28g
Like this? Leave a comment below!I love hearing from you and I want to hear how it went with this recipe! Leave a comment and rating below, then share on social media @zestfulkitchen and #zestfulkitchen!
golden brown tart crust filled with a vibrant red filling and topped with candied cranberries, rosemary, and candied oranges

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine, EatingWell.com, AmericasTestKitchen.com, and more.

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  1. 5 stars
    What a stand out dessert!!!! The color is so brilliant. My friends literally gasped when I brought it to the table. Thank you for this amazing recipe.