This Cranberry Pie with a gingersnap crumb crust and silky cranberry curd filling is guaranteed to bring a little va-va-voom to your holiday dessert table this year; the recipe is easy to follow and the result is show-stopping!
change it up this year with cranberry pie for Thanksgiving or Christmas
Of course tradition rules the holidays. We make Libby’s Pumpkin Pie every year, also Maple Frangipane Pecan Pie, without fail. But In our house it’s also a tradition that every year we try something new on our holiday menus…enter this amazing cranberry pie. (Oh boy, is this one going to wow you.) I’m gaga over cranberries this year, I can’t stop playing with them ~ they’re my winter equivalent of lemons and they just seem to wake everything up. It’s all about how many bags I can cram in my freezer (12 at last count.)
what is cranberry pie?
This easy cranberry pie recipe is a gingersnap crumb crust filled with a brilliant homemade cranberry curd.
But it’s the glorious flavors (and color!) that make it so special. For the crust I used my absolute favorite gingersnaps ~ Nyåkers ~ they come in a beautiful tin from Sweden, they’re super thin and crisp, and the flavor is bright and peppery. (These are the same cookies I used for the crust of my famous Lemon Crunch Bars, too) These gingersnaps in the pretty tin make a great gift if you can keep from eating the cookies first (we never can.) But don’t worry if you don’t have them, any gingersnap cookie will work.
What makes this crust stand out from the rest, apart from the spicy gingersnaps, is that it has an equal amount of walnuts processed right along with the cookies — so good!
as good as the gingersnap crust is, cranberry pie is all about that glossy cranberry curd
The curd filling for cranberry pie starts with tart fresh pureed cranberries that are mixed with eggs, extra yolks, sugar and lemon juice, and cooked until thick. You might recall I have a Microwave Cranberry Curd recipe on the blog, and that would work, too. The microwave recipe produces a fluffier, lighter curd, and either will be fantastic.
After the curd is cooked, and while it’s still warm, I whisk in some room temperature butter which helps to make it extra glossy. Don’t you just want to dive right in??
the secret to a silky cranberry curd pie filling
Curd recipes often call for slow cooking over a double boiler…I never bother with that and cook my curds either in the microwave, (have you tried my insanely Easy Microwave Citrus Curd?) or on the stove top.
- The secret to a perfect curd without all that fuss is medium heat
- constant stirring
- and a final straining to remove any lumps
how to garnish a cranberry pie
I garnish this pie with sugared cranberries for a festive look. I used thyme for a touch of green contrast, but small mint leaves would be great too.
how to make sugared cranberries the easy way
Let’s be frank, no one is going to eat your sugared cranberries, they’re just for decoration. So I sugar my cranberries the easy way, there’s no need for messy beaten egg whites or a boiled sugar syrup.
- I take damp cranberries and roll them in granulated sugar. The sugar sticks just fine.
- Let them dry and then place them on your pie. Try not to handle them too much.
tvfgi recommends: Nyåkers Swedish Gingersnaps
Nyåkers comes in the pretty decorated tin, which I always re-use to give holiday cookies or store ornaments, etc. (I can’t bear to throw it away.) These Swedish spice cookies have a cult following, and they make a great gift, just send them straight from Amazon. I send a tin to my Dad every year.
Cranberry Gingersnap Pie
- 9 inch pie plate
- blender or food processor
- 5 ounces gingersnaps
- 1 cup walnuts
- 3 Tbsp brown sugar
- 4 Tbsp butter, melted
- 12 ounce bag of fresh cranberries
- 1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
- 3 large eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temp and cut in pieces
- sugared cranberries
- fresh thyme sprigs or mint leaves
- Set oven to 350F. Lightly spray a 9 inch pie plate with cooking spray.
- Put the gingersnaps in a food processor and process until they are fine crumbs. (this should be a heaping cup) Add the walnuts, and sugar and process again until everything is finely ground. Add the butter and process briefly to combine.
- Pat the crust into your pie plate, and up the sides. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Put the cranberries, 1 cup of the sugar, and 1/4 cup water to a simmer in a saucepan. Lower the heat and simmer the cranberries, uncovered, for about 15 minutes until they’ve popped and the mixture is quite thick. Let cool slightly and then puree until completely smooth.
- Whisk the puree, the eggs, yolks, salt, lemon juice and 1/2 cup sugar together in a saucepan and set over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon, this will take about 10 minutes or so. Stay by the pan the whole time and stir! Note: let the mixture just come up to a bubble, and then remove from heat.
- Push the curd through a mesh strainer, using the back of a spoon to get it all through.
- Let the curd cool for a few minutes and then drop the room temperature butter in, bit by bit, while you stir to melt it.
- Pour the curd into the pie crust and smooth out evenly. Chill the pie until it is firm, about 2 hours or so.
- Decorate with sugared cranberries if you like.
- Roll damp cranberries in granulated sugar and let dry.
- Any firm curd will work in this pie, so feel free to experiment.
- Use graham crackers or plain chocolate wafters in place of the gingersnaps for the crust.
- Leave out the walnuts for a nut free crust, just add more crumbs.
Questions and Reviews
Im new to baking so this may be a stupid question. 5 ounces of gingersnaps? as in a 5 ounce cup? that doesn’t seem like much or do you weigh them ?
Yes, the 5 ounces refers to weight. Since there are so many types of gingersnaps it seems like the best way to measure them for this recipe. You will want a heaping cup of crumbs for this crust, before adding the walnuts etc.
So, I have been wanting to make this again since prior to Thanksgiving. So today, I just had to make it, but when getting everything out, I found I had opened and used some of my cranberries, so not enough. I also had a bag of open frozen strawberries, so I added until I had 12 ounces total of both. ? cranberries and just from tasting the curd, it should be fantastic. Will know in an hour or so?. I also must not have followed directions as well as I should last time. This is thicker and creamier with that same beautiful color and I added less lemon this time. I’m thinking this curd could be a good topping or swirl in a cheescake.
It would be wonderful on cheesecake…yum!
Did you try it? I do lots of cheesecakes for holidays and dying to know!!
Forgot the stars!!
OMG… this pie is AMAZING!! It was fun to make and so delicious! Huge hit at my TG dessert table and so pretty!! Thank you! I have come to rely on all your recipes and this one was better than I hoped for!
Thanks Lynn, I’m especially happy that you found it fun to make 🙂
Sue, I’m not sure what I did wrong, but the pie did not firm up as much as I expected it to. It was in the refrigerator for more than 4 hours. Any idea what I might have done wrong?
Is it possible you didn’t get the curd quite thick enough on the stove Michelle? That’s the stage where the curd gets its structure. And it can sometimes take longer to firm up in the refrigerator, depending on how thick or warm it is when you put it in.
This was a huge hit! It got so many compliments on the taste AND how pretty it was (I used the thyme and sugared cranberries as pictured). My only question: the crust really stuck to my glass bottom pie dish. Should I have buttered or greased it first?
Hi Laura, I’m glad it was a hit. You might spray your pan lightly with cooking spray next time to avoid the occasional sticking. I’ll note that in the recipe.
Made today for Thanksgiving. It was fun to make, a beautiful presentation, delish and a hit at the dessert table. Thank you for the recipe!
My curd did not set up. Any ideas why?
Possibly it didn’t get cooked quite long enough, Deborah.
I made this last year and it was a huge hit! Making it again this year. Wondering though if I make this the night before?
A lot of folks have made it the night before, it’s fine. I would refrigerate it after cooling.
I just finished! That was more steps than i was expecting and I couldn’t get the curd to go through the mesh ?. But it looks pretty! And I have a feeling it’s going to be delicious! (Yes, I did quite a bit of tasting as I prepared… yumm!) Thank you!
You don’t absolutely have to strain the curd, but it helps to make a really silky texture. To get it through a strainer you need to press with the back of a spoon to push it through, but it should go through easily.