When my sister Natasha mentions that she has a recipe that she wants to try out, I pounce on the opportunity to get in the kitchen and bake with her. See, Natasha has a knack for picking out just really great recipes. So when the new issue of Martha Stewart Living came out and she came across this recipe for Cranberry Curd Tartlets she told me she wanted to make them so today, we find ourselves listening to Christmas music, navigating the dog i.e. our four legged sous chef who is always underfoot, loving the fall weather (which finally made it’s way to California by the way!) and celebrating the season of giving thanks.
A quick word on these little guys – simply amazing. Well, that’s two words but you know what I mean. I have to say (Natasha made me promise to) that you have to commit to these little guys. The curd requires some extra care in tempering, refining in the sieve and so on. However, with that said these little tarts are amazing and would be a great addition to your holiday baking repertoire.
Start with the cranberries, zest and orange juice.
The first sieving. Very messy as you can see.
Cooking with the butter and sugar. Next step is the tempering of the eggs. We didn’t get any pictures because it was literally all hands on deck – I definitely didn’t want to curdle my eggs.
The final sieve.
Toasty pecans. Delicious.
Pecan mixture just about ready to chill in the fridge.
The final product.
Our little helper Shorty. He’s a handsome boy.
Cranberry Orange Curd Tartlets
Adapted from Martha Stewart
1 12 oz bag fresh or unthawed frozen cranberries
1/2 cup water
juice of one orange juice
2 teaspoons orange zest
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 3/4 cups sugar
Pinch of coarse salt
3 large egg yolks plus 1 large whole egg
24 pecan pastry cups
Whipped cream, for serving
Pecan Pastry Cups
3/4 cup pecan halves, toasted
1 cup mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon coarse salt
Vegetable-oil nonstick cooking spray
For the curd, in a medium sauce pan place the cranberries, water, orange zest and juice over medium high heat for 15 minutes or until cranberries begin to burst. In a separate bowl and sieve, gently press the hot cranberry mixture through, discarding the skin remnants. In the same sauce pan (cleaned), add the cranberry mixture, sugar, butter and salt over medium high head. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs. Slowly, one spoonful at a time, temper the eggs with the cranberry mixture. Once combined add back into the saucepan and heat until thick about 5 – 8 minutes. Sieve once more into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap directly on top of the curd so no skin forms.
For the pecan cups, take the toasted pecan halves and pulse them in the food processor until they are in fine crumbs. Place in the pecans, butter and mascarpone cheese in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and combine being careful to not over mix. Then add in the flour salt and combine.
Using a small cookie baller, scoop out mixture into balls and chill. Once firm, press into buttered muffin tins to form cups. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. Let cool before filling with the curd. Top with whipped cream and serve.