I know that cranberries are more of a Thanksgiving or Christmas type of thing, but when I first saw a recipe for cranberry curd, I thought that it had this absolutely amazing deep pink color, so why not make something with cranberries for Valentines Day, especially if you are overloaded on the chocolate? This has a nice tart but sweet bite and is the perfect plalate cleanser after a rich meal.
For the hazelnut crust
1 1/4 cups raw hazelnuts
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
For the cranberry curd
12 ounces cranberries (fresh or frozen will work)
1 cup sugar
Juice and peel (orange part only) of 1 orange
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2 eggs plus 2 egg yolks
For the garnish
3/4 cup mixed fresh berries (I used blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
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 350F. 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. Pour into a bowl through a fine mesh strainer to catch any unsightly seeds or bits of egg. 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 350F for 10 minutes to set curd. Cool on a rack.
To serve: mix fresh berries with sugar and lemon juice and let sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes. Garnish top of tart with the majority of the mixture. If you have left over, serve with individual slices.