It’s pie season and this Cranberry Pie is the perfect dessert for fall and the holidays. A sweet and tart cranberry filling is packed into a flaky, buttery pie crust. Top this delicious pie with ice cream or whipped cream for an amazing treat at your Thanksgiving table.
- Ingredients You’ll Need for This Pie
- How to Make the Cranberry Pie
- How to Make the Cranberry Pie Filling
- How to Bake the Pie
- What to Serve This Pie
- How to Store The Pie
- Which Pie Dish to Use for This Pie
- Pro Tips for Making This Recipe
- Recipe - Frequently Asked Questions
- If You Like This Cranberry Recipe, Try These
- Cranberry Pie
I love cranberries, which is one of the reasons I love this time of year when fresh cranberries are in abundance. I’ve made multiple desserts using cranberries including Apple Cranberry Pie, Cranberry Meringue Tart, and Cranberry Linzer Cookies. Now I’m adding this pie to the mix.
This Cranberry Pie is one of the easiest recipes you can make for the holiday. Tart cranberries are combined with sugar, orange juice, and spices to create a delectable filling. The homemade pie crust is easier to make than you think and incredibly flaky and buttery.
Ingredients You’ll Need for This Pie
Here is what you’ll need for this delicious pie:
- Fresh Cranberries: If you can't get fresh cranberries, frozen cranberries work for this recipe. Cranberries should be hard. If a lot of the cranberries are soft, wrinkled, or have brown spots don’t use them.
- Orange Juice: Orange and cranberry are a natural pairing and the orange juice adds a nice citrus note to the pie.
- Orange Zest: The zest adds a nice citrusy and floral note to the pie.
- Granulated Sugar: The granulated sugar adds sweetness and when cooked with the cranberries helps them to thicken. This recipe has a lot of sugar because of the tartness of the cranberries.
- Kosher Salt: The salt makes the cranberry filling less tart.
- Ground Cinnamon: Ground cinnamon pairs perfectly with apples. It's one of my favorite combinations.
- Ground Ginger: Adds a warm, slightly spicy note to the cranberry filling
- Cornstarch: Cornstarch helps thicken the filling.
- Prepared Pie Crust: Homemade Pie Crust will work a lot better than store-bought crust as store-bought will brown easier and become drier when baked at this temperature and length of time. Keep the pie dough for the crust chilled before you roll it out and while you are making the filling.
How to Make the Cranberry Pie
This delicious pie has two components: the pie crust and the cranberry pie filling. Start by using this recipe for all-butter pie crust recipe to make the pie dough.
Homemade crust is easier to make than you think. You can make it by hand or use a food processor, but I think making it by hand will give you the best results. Divide the dough into two equal pieces, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for at least 45 minutes and for up to two days.
You'll only need one-half of the dough for this pie recipe. Once the dough is made, start on the cranberry pie filling.
How to Make the Cranberry Pie Filling
If using fresh cranberries rinse them to remove small leaves. Check the cranberries for any berries that appear spoiled.
Place the cranberries in a large saucepan (at least 4-quart in size). Add the sugar, kosher salt, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, and a portion of the orange juice. Zest the orange directly into the saucepan.
Place the cornstarch in a small bowl, add the remaining orange juice, and whisk together until the mixture is fluid. Please note that anytime you mix cornstarch with a liquid, that liquid should be cold or at room temperature. If you add cornstarch to a hot liquid, lumps will form.
Cook the cranberry mixture until the cranberries are soft and the liquid has started to thicken. Add the cornstarch slurry, stir it in and cook just until the cranberry mixture has noticeably thickened.
We cook the cranberries first because cranberries are hard and cooking them in advance ensures a nice soft filling. I tested the recipe by roughly chopping the cranberries first and adding them to the unbaked pie shell. The berries cookies however the overall texture wasn't as nice as cooking the whole berries first.
Remove the pot from the heat, pour the cranberry filling into a large bowl, and allow it to cool to room temperature. The cranberry mixture can also be made a day in advance and stored at room temperature until the next day.
How to Bake the Pie
When you are ready to bake the pie, roll out the pie dough on a lightly-floured work surface to a 14-inch wide circle. Place the pie dough in the pie dish. Press the dough into the sides and bottom.
Trim the dough so there is about a 1-inch overhang all around. Fold the dough under and crimp the edges. Make sure the edge of the dough rests on the edge of the pie plate. Chill the dough in the pie plate for 60 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 425F. Place a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil in the oven so that it gets hot before you place the pie in the oven. Fill the chilled pie shell with the cranberry pie filling and bake the pie for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350F and bake for another 30-40 minutes until the cranberry filling is bubbly. The baking time may vary based on your oven. Depending on your oven you made need to cover the pie crust with a pie shield to keep the crust from getting too dark
Remove the pie from the oven, place it on a wire rack and let it cool to room temperature before serving it.
What to Serve This Pie
If you love tart desserts you’ll definitely love this tart cranberry pie. This pie can be eaten plain or served with your favorite ice cream, such as vanilla ice cream or eggnog ice cream. Or you can serve it with sweetened whipped cream.
How to Store The Pie
The pie can sit at room temperature for up to 2 days because this is a fruit pie and the filling doesn’t contain egg, cream, or milk. If the climate is hot or humid, then refrigerate the pie immediately.
Which Pie Dish to Use for This Pie
This pie is made with the Emile Henry ceramic pie dish from Kitchen Kaboodle. I normally bake with a metal pie dish, but I chose this ceramic dish because of the beautiful red and festive color, which is perfect for the holidays. I chose Emile Henry because of the quality of the dish.
Ceramic pie dishes take longer to heat up, which is why the starting temperature is 425F. If you are using a metal pan, start with a temperature of 400F and then reduce the temperature to 350F.
Pro Tips for Making This Recipe
- Cook the cranberry filling before baking it in the pie. Whole berries, even when baked, can be hard and chewy.
- When making your pie dough, weigh the flour and the better for the best results. Too much flour will result in a dry dough, that easily cracks.
- When you’re working with the dough keep it as cold as possible. If the dough gets too soft and hard to handle while rolling it out, stick it back in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
- To ensure the pie slices hold their shape when the pie is first cut, refrigerate the pie overnight after it has cooled. Refrigeration will help the fruit filling finish setting.
Recipe - Frequently Asked Questions
Frozen cranberries work just as well as fresh cranberries in this recipe.
Yes, you can add walnuts or pecans to the cranberry filling. Stir in the nuts after the filling has cooled.
If You Like This Cranberry Recipe, Try These
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- 10 cups (1000 grams) fresh or frozen cranberries
- 2-1/2 cups (500 grams) granulated sugar
- Zest from one large orange about 2 teaspoons
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1-1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 3 tablespoons (35 grams) cornstarch
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- Use my recipe for All-Butter Pie Dough and make it up to 2 days in advance and store it in the refrigerator.
- If using fresh cranberries, wash the cranberries under a spray of water to remove the tiny leaves and any small twigs.
- Place the cranberries in a large saucepan, at least 4 quarts, and add the sugar, kosher salt, cinnamon, and ginger. Zest the orange directly on top of the sugar. Add 1/4 cup of the orange juice.
- Place the cornstarch in a small bowl and add the remaining orange juice and stir together until the mixture is smooth. This mixture is your cornstarch slurry.
- Bring the cranberry mixture to a boil then reduce the heat to medium and cook until the cranberries are soft, about 10-12 minutes. Add the cornstarch slurry and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly, until the cranberry pie filling is noticeably thicker.
- Pour the cranberry filling into a large bowl and let it cool to room temperature. It will take about 2 hours to cool.
- Remove the pie dough from the refrigerator and place it on a well-floured surface. Roll the dough out to 14-inches round. As you roll out the dough, roll it out from the center to the edge and then rotate the dough a quarter turn and roll it out from the center. Repeat these steps until the dough is 14-inches across.
- Fold the dough in half and then half again so that you have a quarter. Place the dough in the pie plate do the corner of the dough is centered. Gently unfold the dough so the pie plate is completely covered, and the dough is overhanging the plate.
- Trim the dough so that there is about a 1-inch overhang all the way around. Fold the dough under so that it rests on the edge of the pie plate. Crimp the dough using a fork or create your own design.
- Refrigerate the prepared dough for at least 60 minutes.
Assemble the Pie
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Place a half baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper in the oven while the oven is preheating. The baking sheet is used to catch any of the fruit juices that bubble over and baking the pie on a hot baking sheet also helps ensure that the bottom of the pie browns.
- Spoon the cooled cranberry filling into the prepared pie dough. Place the pie on the hot baking sheet and bake at 425°F for 25 minutes.
- Without opening the oven door, reduce the temperature to 350°F and bake the pie for another 30-40 minutes until the cranberry filling starts to bubble. You’ll see small bubbles breaking through the top of the cranberry filling.
- If the dough is getting too dark after the first 30 minutes cover the edges of the pie dough with a pie shield to prevent the dough from getting too brown.
- Remove the pie from the oven, place it on a wire rack and let it cool to room temperate. Of course, there is nothing to stop you from digging into a hot pie, but the pie needs time cool and set up so the filling doesn’t run everywhere when you cut into it.
- Serve the pie with ice cream or whipped cream.
- Store the pie at room temperature for up to 2 days and then refrigerate it for up to 1 week.