If you are a fan of lemon curd or the classic French tarte au citron, you will love this cranberry version. To minimize kitchen time, make it in stages, preparing the crust and curd a day or two in advance. The finished tart keeps well for a couple of days too. The wheat-free hazelnut crust is adapted from a cookie recipe from the pastry chef and writer David Lebovitz’s popular website.
For the hazelnut crust:
- 1 ¼cups/180 grams raw hazelnuts
- 1cup/125 grams rice flour
- ¼teaspoon salt
- ½cup/112 grams sugar
- 6tablespoons/100 grams softened butter, more as necessary
For the cranberry curd:
- 12ounces/340 grams cranberries
- 1cup/225 grams sugar
- Juice and peel (orange part only) of 1 orange
- 4ounces/113 grams softened butter (1 stick)
- 2eggs plus 2 egg yolks
- Make the crust: Heat oven to 325 degrees. Put hazelnuts on a baking sheet and roast for 10 to 15 minutes, until skins darken and crack. Put roasted nuts in a clean towel and rub off skins. Discard skins and let nuts cool.
- In a food processor, grind nuts with half the rice flour until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Add remaining rice flour and salt and pulse briefly.
- Cream sugar and butter in a mixing bowl with a wooden spoon for a minute or two until pale and thick. Add nut mixture and combine until dough comes together. If it seems crumbly, add 1 to 2 tablespoons softened butter or a little cold water.
- Press dough evenly into a 10-inch French tart pan; use half the dough for the sides and half for the bottom. Prick bottom with a fork and freeze for 30 minutes (or several days if desired).
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Bake chilled tart shell about 15 minutes until lightly brown. Cool.
- Make the cranberry curd: Put cranberries, sugar and orange juice and peel in a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer until cranberries have popped and softened, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a food mill or medium mesh sieve and press cooking liquid into a bowl. Whisk the butter into the warm liquid.
- Put eggs and egg yolks into a bowl and beat lightly. Slowly whisk a cup of warm cranberry liquid into the eggs to temper, then combine both and whisk together. Wipe out pot if necessary, return liquid to pot and cook over low heat until nearly bubbling and thickened, about 10 minutes. If using immediately, let cool to room temperature. If working ahead, cool to room temperature, cover with plastic wrap (press wrap against curd) and refrigerate. (Curd may be cooked up to 1 day ahead.)
- Pour cooled cranberry curd into the cooled prebaked tart shell and smooth top with a spatula. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes to set curd. Cool on a rack. Store at room temperature for up to 2 days.