When I first saw NYT Food's Instagram post featuring a cranberry curd tart I knew I needed to make it if only because of how gorgeous it was. But each time I made it I couldn't figure out how to photograph it so that the picture would do it justice. Which meant I just kept making it over and over again. Awful, I know. Then this last time I got a pomegranate in my Boston Organics delivery and decided to try sprinkling some on top of the tart for some contrast, and it finally looked as good as it tasted! They also give the tart a little crunch and freshness to cut all the richness.
For the crust, instead of the using the hazelnut crust in the original recipe, I used Smitten Kitchen's "great unshrinkable sweet tart shell" because hazelnuts are expensive and it's pretty much a no-fail recipe. To save time and effort, I usually end up just pressing the dough into the tart pan right after making it (starting with the edges), docking it, and then freezing it for 30 minutes before blind baking it with the buttered aluminum foil on top. Feel free to use whatever tart crust you prefer, though, as long as it's blind baked beforehand. I can see Thomas Keller's pine crust tart crust being amazing for this recipe.
For the cranberry curd, make sure that you don't overcook it after adding the eggs, because the egg whites curdle really easily if the mixture gets too hot. Since it's kind of hard to tell when it starts to thicken, the sign I look for is when steam starts rising off the top. You definitely don't want the mixture to start bubbling, and it helps to keep stirring to distribute the heat.
Your favorite 9" sweet tart crust, blind baked
12 oz. cranberries
1 cup sugar
Juice and zest from 1 orange
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 eggs plus 2 egg yolk
Pomegranate arils, for garnishing (optional)
Heat the cranberries, sugar, orange juice, and zest in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the cranberries have popped and softened, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a food mill or sieve and push the cooking liquid into a medium bowl. Place butter in the saucepan and pour the liquid back into the saucepan.
Whisk the eggs and egg yolks in the bowl, then add a couple of ladlefuls of the liquid into the bowl and whisk to temper the eggs. Pour everything back into the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened and steam just starts coming off. Cool to room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Pour the cooled curd into the blind-baked tart crust. Bake for 10 minutes to set the curd. Allow to cool completely before garnishing with pomegranate arils.