4 ½tablespoons(64 grams) unsalted butterroom temperature
¼cup(50 grams) sugar
1large eggbeaten and divided in half
¾cup + 2 tablespoons(110 grams) all-purpose flourplus more for dusting
Cranberry Curd Filling:
12ounces(340 grams) fresh or frozen cranberries
5tablespoons(71 grams) unsalted butter
1 ¼cups(250 grams) sugar
To make the crust:
Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar, and salt together on medium speed until smooth. Mix in ½ the beaten egg (save the other ½ for later) and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the flour and mix on low speed until incorporated.
On a lightly floured surface, shape dough into a disk ½-inch thick. Wrap well in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour or overnight.
Place the disk of dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out ⅛-inch thick (about 11-inches in diameter), rolling from center to edge in all directions. Lift and rotate the dough occasionally, to make sure it doesn’t stick to the board, adding more flour if necessary. Lightly wrap the dough circle over the rolling pin and carefully unroll it over a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom.
When the dough has been lightly pressed into the proper shape, use the rolling pin to roll over all the metal edges, thus cutting the overhanging dough perfectly. Do not stretch the dough into the pan or else it will shrink when baking. If the dough tears at all, patch it with leftover bits of dough, pressing firmly. This is a very forgiving dough, unlike some others.
Additionally, you may re-roll your dough scraps and line a small 4-inch tartlet pan with more of the dough to make a BONUS cranberry curd tartlet!
Place the tart pan into the fridge for about 15 minutes or until firm. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 325°F.
Prick the insides of the shell with a fork. Line the shell with a piece of parchment and fill with pie weights or dry beans. Bake for about 10 minutes, then remove the parchment paper filled with the weights and set them asides. If the dough has slouched in the tart pan at all you can carefully use the back of a small spoon to try and right the edges a bit. Then, lightly brush the inside of the tart with a bit of the leftover ½ beaten egg.
Bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until the crust is set and the edges are faintly starting to brown. Let cool completely on a wire rack until ready to use. This baked shell will keep, well wrapped, in the refrigerator for 1 week, or in the freezer for 2 weeks.
To make the filling:
Add the cranberries and water to a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until the berries have popped and are tender. Pass the cranberries through a food mill fitted with the plate with the smallest holes (preferred method) or press through a fine-mesh sieve (this will take longer and require more effort). Return the puree back into the pan.
Add the butter and sugar and bring to medium heat. Lightly beat the eggs in a separate bowl. Add a couple spoons of the hot cranberry mixture to the eggs and beat together to help temper the eggs. Then add the tempered eggs to the saucepan stirring/whisking continuously so the eggs don’t scramble. The curd should thicken significantly and gently bubble in the saucepan. It’s thick enough when it easily coats the back of a wooden spoon and running your finger over it will leave a streak.
Once thickened to this point, pass through a fine-mesh sieve to make sure there are no scrambled egg remnants. Pour the thick cranberry curd into the prepared tart shell (and a small bit into the baked tartlet shell too if you made one). Press a piece of plastic wrap directly against the curd to keep a skin from forming.
Cool completely in the refrigerator for about 6 or more hours until the curd is completely set and cooled. The tart is still edible prior to that but the curd may be a bit loose and free-flowing if you cut it too soon.
Storage: Leftover cranberry curd tart will keep in the refrigerator in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic wrap for about 3 days after the day it's made.
To halve the egg for the dough: Break one large egg in a small bowl and beat it with a fork until smooth. You will need half the beaten egg for the dough and the other half for brushing on the crust. The most accurate way to measure this is to weigh the beaten egg and then weigh out half (grams are preferable), but you can also measure the volume of the beaten egg in a small measuring cup (or with measuring spoons) and measure out half.
Freezing: This dough can also be frozen in a freezer bag for and later defrosted in the fridge the night before use. The dough will keep well frozen for a few weeks.
Crust variation: Add a big pinch of ground cinnamon to the tart dough for a cinnamon-infused crust.
Cranberry curd variation: Use orange juice in place of the water to create a cranberry-orange curd filling!
Alternative uses for cranberry curd: This recipe will yield about 3 to 3 ¼ cups cranberry curd. Use chilled cranberry curd on its own spread on biscuits or scones. Pipe it into cream puffs, or use it as a cake filling for white layer cake. This quantity of cranberry curd is just right for filling a 4-layer cake (two 9-inch cakes each split in half to yield 4 total layers). I recommend chocolate frosting for the cake if you go that route. It’s a wonderful flavor combination!