This blackberry curd tart recipe was created for the reddit 52 weeks of baking challenge, week 48: curds and puddings. It turns frozen blackberries into an elegant dessert balanced between sweet and tart. Perfect for holiday get-togethers or festive dinners any time of the year.
The pecan crust and the blackberry tart as a whole are similar to my rainbow fruit tart, except that here the blackberry curd is the star of the show. That blackberry curd was inspired by and adapted from this New York Times cranberry curd tart with hazelnut crust.
Tips and tricks
The New York Times cranberry curd tart recipe uses a gluten-free hazelnut crust. Please feel free to refer to that one if you avoid gluten.
Most any nut or nut flour will work in this recipe. I’ve done pecan, almond, and hazelnuts in nut crusts for pies or tarts. I just find skinning hazelnuts to be one more fussy step.
If using pecans, toast and then grind the pecans in a food processor (Panel #1 below). Process with the flour, confectioners’ sugar, and salt (Panel #2).
Add the cold butter and egg yolk and pulse a few times until the dough starts to come together (Panel #3). Dump it out into a clean bowl or your countertop and combine gently by hand until it comes together as a ball. Flatten it into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap (Panel #4), and let it chill in the refrigerator for at least an our.
If you are planning to use the egg whites for something like macarons where it is important they are perfectly clean, separate each egg over a small, clean bowl. If you get a clean separation, save that egg white into your egg white container and repeat. If you don’t – even if there’s just a tiny bit of yolk in your whites – either toss the white or save it for something where the white doesn’t need to be perfectly clean, like this granola. Separate the next egg over a new small, clean bowl.
I think it’s easiest to roll out nut tart crusts between two pieces of wax paper. To transfer it to the ungreased tart pan, remove the top piece of wax paper and invert the dough onto the pan. Carefully remove the other piece of wax paper and settle the tart crust into the pan, using any extra to cover any holes or tears. Pre-bake per the recipe and allow to cool.
Making the blackberry purée and removing the blackberry seeds is the fussiest part of this recipe. But it’s something you have to do if you want a smooth, creamy blackberry curd.
If you are using frozen blackberries, let them come to room temperature. Put all of the blackberries into your food processor or blender. Blitz and then pass through a fine mesh sieve or chinois, scraping all of the liquid with a clean spatula into your pot.
It’s the repeated squashing the berries in the sieve and then using the clean spatula to scrape down the seed-free purée that takes all the time and energy. You should end up with about 1 1/4 cups of blackberry purée.
It’s easiest to make curd in a pan with a sloped side, if you have one. That way you don’t have to worry constantly about scraping out where the side meets the bottom of the pan.
Note that the time listed here refers to the time until you take the crust and curd out of the oven for the last time. It will need an additional few hours to cool and firm up before you slice it. But I promise that it absolutely is possible to make this blackberry curd tart on the day that you want to serve it.
The final baked tart may have some condensation on it as it cools. Some recipes suggest that you can blot it off with a paper towel if you are careful. I didn’t want to risk it!
Custard is a generic term for a mixture thickened with eggs. Pastry cream (crème pâtissière) is a subset of custards that contain milk or cream and are thickened with a starch (e.g. cornstarch). Curd is another subset of custards that prominently features fruit juice and/or zest.
No, you don’t *have* to do anything. But there is so much variation in how people measure that you are much more likely to get a reliable result if you weigh your ingredients. This is the easy-to-use kitchen scale I have used for years.
I put a piece of parchment paper in the pan, fill it completely with dried beans, and push the beans to the edges of the crust. These beans can be re-used as pie weights multiple times.
Yes. It is a bit of a pain, but it’s worth it. While my blackberry apple pie can stand a bit of crunch from blackberry seeds, this blackberry curd tart is so smooth that the seeds would really impact the taste.
Sure, you could make the cranberry curd from the NY Times, or sub in raspberries and follow the recipe as is.
You can make the tart dough as far in advance as you need. Leave the wrapped disk in the fridge for a day or two or the freezer for 3 to 6 months. The curd can be made the night before you are planning to serve the tart. Then prebake the tart dough the next morning and assemble the tart. This blackberry curd tart is best on the day it is assembled, but it will keep in the refrigerator for a few days.
Like curds and custards? Try my lemon apple curd next.
Blackberry Curd Tart Recipe
- Food processor
- Fine mesh sieve
- 9 inch tart pan
- ½ cup pecans or other nut
- 1 ¼ cup (125 grams or 4.4 ounces) bleached, all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, cold
- 1 egg yolk
- 12 ounces (about 3 1/2 cups) blackberries defrosted if frozen
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 cup (200 grams or 7.1 ounces) granulated sugar
- ½ cup lemon juice (from 2-3 lemons)
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 1 pinch salt
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Ready a rack in the middle of the oven.
- Toast the nuts until they are fragrant. Then let cool slightly and blitz in your food processor until they are finely chopped.½ cup pecans or other nut
- Add the flour, sugar, and salt and blitz until mixed.1 ¼ cup (125 grams or 4.4 ounces) bleached, all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar, ¼ teaspoon salt
- Add the cold butter and pulse about 10 times until the butter is the size of small peas.8 tablespoons (1 stick or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, cold
- Add the egg yolk and pulse about another 10 times until the mixture just starts to come together.1 egg yolk
- Dump the mixture out into a bowl or your clean countertop and work it lightly with your hands until it comes together into a ball. Flatten it into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap, and let chill for 30 minutes.
- Roll the dough between two sheets of plastic wrap and transfer it to the ungreased tart pan. Patch any rips or holes.
- Chill the tart pan for 15 minutes in the freezer before baking.
- Line the pan with parchment and fill with pie weights. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the edge of the crust has browned. Carefully remove the parchment and pie weights, prick the crust with a fork, and continue baking about another 10 to 15 minutes, until the crust has browned.
- Remove and let cool.
- Wipe out your food processor if you haven't already, and add the blackberries. Blitz until they are a thick liquid.12 ounces (about 3 1/2 cups) blackberries
- Pass the blackberries through a fine mesh sieve or chinois. To do this, smash the berries against the side of the sieve using a spoon. Use a different, clean spatula or spoon to scrape the strained liquid on the outside of the sieve into a small to medium sized sauce pot. Repeat as many times as necessary. You will have about 1 1/4 cups of liquid.
- Crack the eggs and egg yolks into a medium sized bowl and beat lightly.2 eggs, 2 egg yolks
- Add the sugar, lemon juice, butter, and salt to the pot with the blackberry puree and heat over low heat until the butter melts.1 cup (200 grams or 7.1 ounces) granulated sugar, ½ cup lemon juice (from 2-3 lemons), 8 tablespoons (1 stick or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into cubes, 1 pinch salt
- Take about 1/4 cup of the warm blackberry mixture and whisk it into the eggs to temper them. Repeat with another 1/4 cup of the blackberry mixture, and then add the egg mixture to the pot and whisk in.
- Turn the heat up just a bit to medium low and heat, stirring, until the mixture has thickened, about 10-15 minutes. Please consider this time only as a guide, as it will depend on the pot you use and your cooktop. You should have a thickened mixture with tiny bubbles just starting to form. The classic test of doneness is if you can draw a line with your finger through the curd on the back of your spoon or spatula.
- Let the curd cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally to prevent a skin from forming.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F if not already pre-heated.
- When both crust and curd are cool to touch, add the blackberry curd to the crust and carefully move it to the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
- Let cool to room temperature. If the tart is made prior to the day of serving, it should be stored in the refrigerator and brought to room temperature before serving.
If you make this blackberry curd tart, please leave a rating or comment here. Or share a pic with me on Instagram!
Looking for inspiration?
Week 1: New Year new recipe – blueberry galette
Week 2: seasonal – Smitten Kitchen’s grapefruit pound cake
Week 3: Great British Bake Off – Kate’s sticky toffee apple caramel cake
Week 4: Australia – sausage rolls
Week 5: bite sized – cookies
Week 6: Chinese New Year – mushroom bao
Week 7: new tool – baguette baker
Week 8: chocolate – chocolate peanut butter bonbons
Week 9: timed bake – under 1 hour! chocolate chip scones
Week 10: allergy/diet restriction – macarons
Week 11: quick breads – kale and cheese quick bread
Week 12: signature bake – purple cow bread
Week 13: enriched breads (kale and cheese babka fail)
Week 14: childhood favorite –fudgy triple layer chocolate cake with chocolate ganache frosting
Week 15: decorating challenge – purple velvet cake
Week 16: crispy crunchy – bacon cheddar popcorn
Week 17: p52 of a favorite cookbook, or your favorite blog – chocolate peanut butter drip cake
Week 18: pâte à choux – bacon cheese puffs
Week 19: veggies turned sweet – red velvet beet waffles
Week 20: plating – chocolate chip cookie (butter challenge)
Week 21: Birthday Party! – chocolate orange cake
Weed 22: Scandinavian – Swedish apple cake (plus a bonus sourdough discard apple cake)
Week 23: Layers – Pecan apple oat bars (post is pending)
Week 24: Tarts – rainbow fruit tart
Week 25: Bagels and donuts – maple donut cake
Week 26: Surprise inside – surprise heart yeast bread (pending)
Week 27: Local favorite – Rainier cherry crisp
Week 28: Seasonal ingredients – blackberry lemon bread
Week 29: French dessert – peanut butter banana clafoutis (a classic with non-classic flavors!)
Week 30: Savory baking – pizza
Week 31: Unusual ingredient – juniper lime drizzle cake
Week 32: Gelatin (homemade marshmallows) and 33: Picnic – peanut butter Rice Krispie treats
Week 34: Brunch – spinach and feta muffins
Week 35: Laminated dough – puff pastry cinnamon twists
Week 36: Friendship challenge – chocolate chip marshmallow cookie bars
Week 37: Sweet and salty – salted caramel chip chocolate cookies
Week 38: Decoration challenge – royal icing
Week 39: Buns and biscuits – challah buns
Week 40: West Indies – mini banana muffins with coconut
Week 41: Pantry challenge – chocolate chip pound cake
Week 42: Celebrity or tread – ube crinkle cookies
Week 43: No oven – salted caramel pudding
Week 44: Diwali – rose syrup for burfi and a French 75
Week 45: Fairy tale, novel, or TV – Miracle Max’s Miracle pill (aka coffee truffle)
Week 46: Alternative sweetener – pretzel bread (barley malt syrup and honey)
Week 47: Pie – apple and blackberry pie
Next week: Russia