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
So just made this today and omitted the gingersnaps. I layered the curd with whip cream and praline Pecans into a jar like a parfait. The only thing I didn’t like was my accidentally burning the curd(dang washer!). UGH! LOL. Still ate it though but since I had had a taste before it burnt I’m definitely gonna do it again so I can have it better! So good despite the burnt flavor! ? Oh and I’m gonna definitely make this for Thanksgiving potlucks!
I’m confused about adding the butter into the curd. Recipe calls for 4Tbs (1/2 stick)…a 1/2 stick is 4oz. Is it 4 Tbsp or 4oz?
It’s 4 tablespoons, which is 1/2 of a stick of butter.
This pie, like said before is a wonderful palette cleanser. It is tart, refreshing, bright! Key lime pie lovers will love it! I added orange zest a pinch of clove and 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon to the curd and I am happy I did. I am thinking about adding an orange zest meringue but I don’t want to take away from the beauty of this pie! Maybe some dollops around the edge… I could see someone more inventive involving some chocolate covers pretzels to garnish in a tasteful way- to cater to those who may want some more sweetness. For now I am sticking to candied cranberries and slapped rosemary. Thank you for sharing this recipe!
Can pecans be substituted for the walnuts?
Yes, that sounds wonderful.
I made this pie for Thanksgiving last year and am back to make it again for this year. Delicious!
can this be made a day ahead?
It’s better when made a day ahead IMHO. I like it cold and the curd fully set. This pie is a fantastic palate cleanser. If you like keylime pie, you’ll love this.
Thank you for this recipe. I made it last weekend for an early Thanksgiving dinner. It was too tart for a couple of people, but I liked the flavor a lot. I did not care for the texture. I froze the leftovers, and that made it perfect–like a sorbet pie. Next time, I will use a pre-made graham cracker crust…and freeze the pie before serving.
Ummm. I might be eating this for breakfast with a big dollop of coconut chia seed pudding on it. I found the cranberry curd a bit cloying (never had curd before). IMO it needs whip cream with it and for desert I’d do a thinner layer of cranberry curd on the pie if I repeat it again and serve with whip cream. I will make it again to have as a fancy snack with coconut chia seed pudding. This combo is amazing. It’d be so pretty layered in a glass…just have to figure out how I’d do that with this yummy crust. Thanks for the recipe!
GASP!! YOU JUST GAVE ME AN IDEA!!
Sue — I made this recipe and really enjoyed it. Just wanted to mention that there’s a typo in step 4. The mixture is supposed to first be brought to a BOIL then the heat is lowered and simmered. I have no idea whether these recipes ever get revised?
Hey Glee, yes, I’m always watching over all my recipes and do edit when necessary. You can bring the cranberries to a boil in step 4, but a simmer is just fine, they will cook either way.
I made this for Thanksgiving and amazed everyone! I also shared the recipe with several people. One friend added a layer of dark chocolate underneath the curd and added dark chocolate shavings on top. Wow!!! Phenomenal!! I love it both ways.