Between fall and Christmas, there is a surplus of cranberries at the grocery store. Other than making cranberry sauce, I wanted a way to try and use these tartly bitter berries from the Northeast to create a less common dish. Having never had a cranberry pie, I thought I would try my hand at making one. The result was surprisingly easy and delicious at the same time. Anyone looking for a pie that is less sweet has come to the right place.
This pie tastes like tart cranberry juice that has taken solid form and put on a pie crust jacket. While I enjoyed the tartness of the pie, if you like things a little sweeter, I suggest upping the sugar in the recipe to 1.5 cups instead of just one cup. You could also swap the white sugar for brown sugar for a variation. No matter what, this easy recipe will provide a dessert that is different than many of the cloyingly sweet treats so many of us have on the holidays.
Makes one pie with 2710 calories total or 8 servings at about 339 calories each.
- 24 oz. of fresh whole cranberries (about 360 calories)
- 1 cup of granulated white sugar for a tart pie or 1.5 cups for a sweeter pie (720 calories)
- 1 tablespoon of cornstarch (30 calories)
- 2 sheets of thawed pre-made or homemade pie crust (about 1600 calories)
- 1/4 cup of water
- Optional: 1/8 teaspoon of orange zest though not necessary
- Large pot
- Cup and measurement tools
- Wooden stirring spoon or rubber spatula
- Potato masher
- Pie dish
- Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Place all of the cranberries in a large pot on the stove and set the heat to medium high.
- Stir the pot everyone minute or so to keep any cranberries from burning. The cranberries should start to burst and release some juice as they heat up. You may even hear some popping. Keep doing this until you see a little bit of moisture in the pot.
- Add in the sugar and immediately stir the cranberries again until the sugar is well incorporated. If you wanted to add orange zest, now would be the time.
- Measure out 1/4 cup of cool water and mix one tablespoon of cornstarch in the water thoroughly so that there are no clumps. Then pour that mixture into the cranberries. Mix everything well and keep heating the cranberries. The cornstarch will thicken the pie filling later on when the pie cools.
- When the cranberries are a little softer and there is noticeable moisture in the pot, use a potato masher to smash the cranberries. It’s ok and preferable to leave a few larger pieces of cranberry because that adds texture, so don’t overdo it.
- With the pie filling complete, move it off the heat and get to work on the pie crust. Lay down one layer of pie crust over the pie dish. Press down gently so that the crust touches the bottom of the pie dish, but make sure not to tear the crust. Let the dough overhang the pie dish. Then pour the cranberry pie filling into the pie dish over the pie crust.
- Carefully lay the other sheet of pie crust over the top of the pie dish and filling. Tuck the edges of the top layer of dough underneath the overhanging edges of the bottom layer of pie dough. Pinch them lightly to seal them shut around the edges. Feel free to crimp and make a design if you like or just keep it simple.
- One the top layer of pie crust is on, use a sharp knife to lightly cut some vents in the top of the pie. Anywhere from 4 – 6 slits is good. Try not to put them too close to the center like I did.
- Bake the pie in the oven for 50 – 60 minutes until the pie crust is a nice golden brown.
- When the pie is done, take it out of the oven and let it cool for at least 2 hours before serving or covering with plastic wrap.
- Serve a slice plain, with whipped cream, or even with some powdered sugar over the top.