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Cranberry Curd Tart with Wildcrafted Rose Hips | Sugar-free or Traditionally Sweetened

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cranberry curd tart

Cranberry Curd Tart with Wildcrafted Rose Hips | Sugar-free or Traditionally Sweetened

Devon No Comments

Do you want to enjoy all the season and wildcrafted flavors but are fighting a bulging waistline and stubborn scale?  This rose hip and cranberry curd tart in a nutty gluten free tart shell is just the dessert for your holiday table.  Sweetened with either cane sugar or all-natural erythritol, this tart can be as healthy or as sinful as you like!

Confession.

Writing, photographing, editing and launching two books in one year and finding myself positively swimming in work has hasn’t been kind to my waistline.

I am finding myself a good 15 or so pounds above my fighting weight.

Months were spent tied to a computer screen and relying, in part, on my husband, our kids (yep, our kids have real chores) and the occasional hired (gasp!) help to get tasks done around the farm and the endless list of home improvements.  Parts of my body that were once firm are a wee bit squishy and my Levi’s have been relegated to the dresser drawer for the rare “skinny” day.

Yeah.  Even herbalists get, ummm, husky. #TRUTH

We  fall victim to inactivity, indulgences and stress at the same rate as the general population.  Just because you know better, doesn’t mean you always do better.  And the fact is, once I signed my first book contract, gone were the days of milking a cow or cow(s) twice a day, hauling feed, tossing hay, pulling weeds, scraping paint, sanding floors, and generally maintaining the homestead.  Then, I hit the big 4-0 and my metabolism started playing hide and seek.   I developed and tested over 75 recipes to write The Herbalist’s Healing Kitchen (and being the frugal farm girl I am, they didn’t go to waste {wink, wink}, they went to my waist). The fact is, I went from an active everyday working farm girl to a fairly sedentary, middle aged writer — practically overnight.

the herbalist's healing kitchen book

Yeah, I am not blind to the irony of writing a book based on healthy food choices while my own waistline expanded a bit beyond my ideal weight range.  Being a bit vulnerable here in the hopes that I make others feel less guilty about letting “life” happen.  And inactivity HAPPENED to me.

So here I am today.  Squeezing long country walks and foraging hikes into my overloaded schedule and cutting calories and carbs like a hairdresser attacks split ends.  And the holidays are upon us now.  While I can out vegetable, healthy fats, and lean protein most folks any day of the week, a healthy, no added sugar, low carb dessert that doesn’t taste of chemicals has been sorely missed when my sweet tooth strikes.  Could I craft a dessert that was actually lick the plate good and even tick some of the “food as medicine” boxes.

Yes I could.  With the rose hip and cranberry curd tart (inspired by my friend Lindsey at All the Nourishing Things) in a nutty gluten-free tart shell .  This low carb and keto friendly recipe can also EASILY be converted to a traditional sweetener like cane sugar (I will have both variation in the recipe card below).

Rose Hip & Cranberry Curd | Making Sour Foods Sweet

Cranberries will make you pucker.  And sadly, too many folks reserve it only for Thanksgiving side dishes and the occasional UTI.  But, cranberries deserve a more regular role in our everyday meals (and I made a zingy fermented cranberry salsa for “Kitchen“) and a more prominent spot on the holiday table.  Rose hips are too often used only in jellies and teas — and while I truly enjoy those things, and I enjoyed marrying it with grapefruit for another yummy curd in “Kitchen“).  Which made me think…  How much more seasonal and festive can a rose hip and cranberry curd tart be?  And if I can manage to forgo the added sugar and a carb laden crust – maybe I could even make this dessert healthy!

FYI, if you don’t have dried rose hips on hand you can buy some here or omit them from the recipe altogether.

cranberries for cranberry curd tart

A concept thoroughly explored in Kitchen — sour foods offer a multitude of health benefits.  You may notice that sour foods make you salivate and a nice moist mouth is often a healthy mouth and one of our foremost defense against illness.  Sour foods encourage flow and movement.  Along with pungent foods (like fire cider or honey fermented garlic), sour foods are chief among those foods good for cardiovascular and immune system health.  Not only due they encourage circulation, they also support the body’s natural detoxification process.  And they are FULL of antioxidants.  Antioxidants promote cell health, offering protection from everything like cold and flu virus to the damaging effect of free radicals on our skin.  Sure you could eat an orange a day, but why not get celebratory with a rose hip and cranberry curd tart to make healthy look and taste amazing.

This rose hip and cranberry curd is easy to make and makes you look like a rock star in the kitchen.  If the word ever gets out that curds (like this lemon one and this Oregon grape one) are easy, all of us Great British Bake Off wannabe’s are done for.  No more looking like fancy French chef to less ambitious home cooks.  Everybody will be making curds.  But while the secret is still among us — rose hip and cranberry curd tart it is.  And if you are feeling a little extra fancy, you can pipe some meringue onto the tart for a little added “showy-offy-ness.”

Using Erythritol to Sweeten Baked Goods and Sweet Treats

You may be wondering how we are going to sweeten this sour cranberry curd tart if we are forgoing a traditional sweetener like cane sugar.  I abhor the flavor of artificial sweeteners and often find myself feeling like stevia is just too sweet for my taste buds.  Enter erythritol.

Erythritol belongs to a class of sweeteners called “sugar alcohols” along with xylitol and maltitol and sorbitol.  These sugar alcohols are a by-product of corn or wheat based ferments conducted by a specific yeast strain, and can be isolated and captured to produce alternative sweeteners.  All things are not created equal though.  While long term animal studies show no negative side effects regarding toxicity or changes to metabolism, many human users using sugar alcohols report bloating and gas from heavy consumption.

However erythritol is different.  Unlike the other sugar alcohols, 90% of erythritol is absorbed by the blood stream and excreted via urination without any side effects — whereas the other sugar alcohols pass through most of the digestive tract until they ferment in the colon (designating them as high FODMAP fiber).  Unpleasant to say the least.

erythritol or sugar

Now that it has been erythritol has been established as a low FODMAP sweetener — let’s get down the brass tacks.  What you really want to know.  How does erythritol compare to sugar?  Erythritol is about 70% as sweet as cane sugar, meaning that it can be substituted for sugar at a by multiplying the amount of sugar called for in a recipe by 1.3, i.e. if a recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar, 11/3 cups of erythritol would be needed to achieve the same level of sweetness.

But how does erythritol taste?  Far and away the closest thing to sugar in the realm of alternative sweeteners.  No bitter and metallic aftertaste.  I was pleasantly surprised when I tried it!

My assessment is that erythritol is a great sugar substitute for those on a low FODMAP, low carb, or keto diet (either temporarily or as a lifestyle).  I would refrain from using it where sugar is imperative to the structure of our treat such as with candies (like these horehound lozenges or elderberry lollipops) or in jams or jellies as I have no idea how this sweetener will hold up under those unique culinary conditions.

True to my all-natural form, I have found an organic, non-GMO erythritol option.  Also, it is important to note — sweetness is a slippery slope.  It is best to treat yourself to sweet treats only sporadically or on special occasion — instead of, you know, like, putting your pants on.  Sweet treats are fine — but they should remain a treat.

For a 1:1 alternative sweetener to sugar option, try this Dietz blend for Lindsey.

Nutty Gluten Free Tart Shell

I will tell you know that I do not have gluten free home and do not suffer from any gluten sensitivities or celiac.  Frankly, I am counting the days to when sourdough toasts and a shortbread with my tea can be reintroduced (overeating has never been my problem, rather this suddenly sedentary lifestyle has).  But for the purposed of resetting my internal wiring to burn fat more efficiently, low carb it is.  Which means that a quick short crust made with all purpose flour is not an option.

hazelnuts for gluten free tart shell

Instead I am opting for a nutty gluten free tart shell.  I toasted almond flour and hazelnuts to give this gluten free tart shell tons of flavor and deep, golden color.  This gluten free tart shell should be pressed into a tart tin with a removable bottom and blind baked before adding the curd.  The whole cranberry curd tart is then baked just until barely set to help it slice and present beautifully on your holiday table.

I think you will find this cranberry curd tart (the naughty OR nice version), a delicious and festive way to indulge your sweet tooth and holiday guests!

rose hip and cranberry curd tart in a gluten free tart shell

Rose Hip & Cranberry Curd Tart with a Nutty Gluten Free Tart Shell

This cranberry curd tart can be sweetened with either cane sugar or erythritol and baked into a nutty, golden, gluten free tart shell for a festive and alluring holiday dessert. Low carb and keto friendly when made with an alternative sweetener.
Prep Time40 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Dessert

Ingredients

Nutty Gluten Free Tart Shell

  • 11/2 cup blanched almond flour toasted
  • 1 cup coconut flour toasted
  • 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts toasted
  • 1/3 cup erythritol or 2 tablespoons cane sugar
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 large egg beaten

Rose Hip & Cranberry Curd

  • 12 ounces fresh or frozen whole cranberries
  • 1/2 cup dried rose hips optional
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 11/3 cup erythritol or 1 cup of cane sugar
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 egg yolks reserve whites for optional meringues
  • 1/2 cup butter cubed

Meringue

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup erythritol or 3 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Instructions

  • In a medium sized skillet over medium heat, add the almond and coconut flours and hazelnuts, then toast until golden, stirring constantly (about 5 minutes)
  • Transfer mixture to a food processor, and process on high for 30-40 seconds until the hazelnuts are well incorporated. Add the melted butter and blend until well combined. Add beaten egg and blend again until the mixture has an even moisture content.
  • Press firmly into a greased 14"x5.7" rectangular or 9" circular tart pan with a removable bottom. Press firmly up the sides using one finger to prevent the crumbs from spilling over the edges, while the other finger presses firmly against the sides. Sometimes using the underside of a spoon helps to get a smooth finish.
  • Chill tart shell in the freezer for 15-20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile preheat your oven to 350 degrees and start on the cranberry curd.
  • Add cranberries, rose hips, and water to a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring often and smashing up the cranberries as they burst. Once the berries are cooked, pass the mixture into a fine mesh sieve and strain the mixture in to a bowl.
  • Line the chilled tart shell with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or beans. Place tart pan on a large cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges of the tart shell start to take on color. Remove from oven and remove parchment and pie weights/beans.
  • Return the cooked cranberry mixture to a clean saucepan and add erythritol (or sugar), eggs, egg yolks, and cubed butter. Cook over medium low heat for about 7-10 minutes until the mixture is thickened (it should be thick enough that was you pass a spoon through the mixture it leaves a slight trace). Remove from heat and pass through a clean fine mesh sieve into a bowl or a large pyrex measuring cup with pouring spout.
  • Pout warm curd mix into the warm tart shell. Let the curd take its own level or very carefully coax it to the edges with a spatula (careful to not pull crumbs from the edges into the curd). Bake for 7-10 minutes, just until the edges are set and there is still a little jiggle to the center. Remove from oven and cool for one hour before transferring to the refrigerator for at least one hour before serving.
  • Before serving, add egg white, erythritol/sugar, and cream of tartar to a bowl and whip until stiff peaks form. Spoon or pipe meringue onto chilled tart and use a handheld torch to quickly brown the peaks slightly.
  • Slice and serve.

Notes

  • DON'T skip toasting the flours -- this deepens the flavor of the tart shell and assists in developing a golden color despite the relatively short oven bake time.
  • DON'T overcook the tart or the curd will tale on an unpleasant scrambled egg texture.

wildcrafted rose hip & cranberry curd tart pin

Resources:

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/erythritol#section2

Devon

Devon is a writer and author on subjects of holistic and sustainable living. She has a degree in Complementary and Alternative Medicine from the American College of Healthcare Sciences, and her first book, The Backyard Herbal Apothecary, was published by Page Street Publishing in Spring 2019. Devon's work outside of NittyGrittyLife.com can be seen at LearningHerbs.com, GrowForageCookFerment.com, AttainableSustainable.net, and in the magazine The Backwoods Home. Devon's second book, The Herbalist's Healing Kitchen, will be published Fall 2019.

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About Me

About Me

Meet the Nitty Gritty Mama, Devon!

I am an herbalist, farmer, cook, and forager. I get my hands dirty and am not afraid to do things the "hard way". Sharing my Nitty Gritty Life with you! Read More

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