Cranberries always make me think of Christmas, because that’s usually when I cook with them. I have a lovely cranberry chocolate chip bread that is one of my seasonal favorites. But that post is for another day. Fresh cranberries are actually available all winter and you can get frozen ones year round (which could easily be substituted in this recipe). I love those tangy little things so I’m trying to take advantage of them a little more often.
This recipe was actually called Cranberry Curd, but whenever I hear the word “curd” my gag reflex immediately reacts. Not a big fan of curds of any kind. They make me think of things that are sour and gross. Which admittedly, is not always the case. But seriously, I never even knew what a curd was in this context. I’ve heard of lemon curd but I always avoided it, picturing some cottage cheese-infested lemony concoction. I was wrong. A curd is simply a creamy fruit spread made with eggs. It can be used in place of jam, on toast, on yogurt, for filling in cake…you get the idea. It was sweet, tangy and wonderful!
I made up a bunch of this during the holidays. It was the perfect item to finish off a gift basket, present to a hostess, or offer as a token gift or thank you. And we managed to keep and eat quite a bit of it ourselves. I loved it on toast, but my favorite way to eat it was swirled into greek yogurt.
I packaged it in small jam jars, which were great to put in the freezer and take out as needed. The only drawback to this particular item is that it doesn’t last long! With an expiration date of 2 weeks or so, you can’t stash it in the fridge and forget about it. So cook some, and eat up!
Cranberry Bliss Creme
(from Cooking Light. Recipe makes about 2 1/2 cups, but can be easily doubled. Allow a little extra time for the curd to thicken)
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 (12 oz) package of fresh cranberries
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
2 large egg yoks
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp. cornstarch
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. Grand Marnier (optional)
Combine water, lemon juice and cranberries in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes or until cranberries pop. Place cranberry mixture in a blender or food processor. Process until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve over a bowl and discard solids.
Combine sugars and butter in a bowl. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until well combined. Add egg yolks and egg, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in cranberry mixture, cornstarch, and salt. Place mixture in the top of a double boiler. Cook over simmering water until a thermometer registers 160˚ and mixture thickens (about 10 minutes), stirring frequently. Remove from heat, let stand 5 minutes. Stir in liqueur. Cover and refrigerate. Use within 2 weeks.