Friday, December 30, 2011

Cranberry Curd

I'll make this short and sweet :) I consider a good white cake to be a blank canvas for pretty much any flavors you desire. I recently created a delicious dessert I called "Not Carrot Cake," filling a white cake with carrot curd and topping with cinnamon-cream cheese frosting. The popularity of this cake led me to try another variation. This time I made a delicious cranberry curd inspired by one that Joanne at Eats Well With Others served a few months ago at a brunch she hosted. I used it to fill the fluffy white cake, and topped it off with a rich fudge frosting.

The cranberry curd reminds me of crack in its addictiveness. It not only boasts a vibrant color, but its tart-sweetness is absolute perfection, well-balanced, velvety smooth, and insatiably delicious. This quantity is just right for filling a 4-layer cake. It also uses exactly one 12-ounce bag of cranberries, which means you don't need to weigh, measure, or buy extra. One bag is the perfect amount.

You can follow the cake recipe and assembly instructions for my Not Carrot Cake if you want to use this curd as a filling, or simply make it on its own to spread on biscuits and brioche, or eat it by the spoonful. No judgement.

Spread on homemade brioche...

Cranberry Curd
Makes 3 cups

12 oz fresh cranberries
3/4 cup + 1 1/2 T. water
5 T. unsalted butter
1 1/4 cup sugar
5 large eggs

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 or press through a fine-mesh sieve. 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 and then add them to the cranberry mixture, stirring/whisking continuously so the eggs don't scramble. The curd is thick enough when it 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. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly against the curd to keep a skin from forming. Cool completely in the refrigerator before serving.


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