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
I’ve made this pie once before and it was delicious! I’m making it again tonight but for some reason cant process–after the cranberries “pop” and become thick, am I supposed to puree in a vitamix/processor and then transfer back to make the curd?
My family is still talking about this pie a year later! They can’t wait to have it at Thanksgiving this year!
I took out the walnuts in the crust and it was still perfect. It’s a surprisingly welcome addition to accompany the traditional pumpkin and apple pies of Thanksgiving.
This pie might just overtake pumpkin as America’s favorite!
Is it possible to make the crust and filling separately and freeze?
Curds can be frozen, so I don’t see why not.
Hi there! I am so excited to try this. In the crust, do you think it would be okay to leave out the walnuts? I have some people with allergies.
Yes, lots of readers have done that successfully…it will just be a plain gingersnap crust. I would add a bit more crumbs to compensate for the lack of nuts.
this pie tastes absolutely amazing. I was a little hesitant to make it at first because I’ve never been a fan of gingersnap cookies nor cranberries but I figured I’d give it a shot. Follow the recipe even if the amount of sugar and butter seems a little much because it does really pull it all together at the end. I will most likely be making this pie for christmas as well. Highly recommended
Thanks so much, I’m looking forward to making this again myself this season 🙂
I made this pie for my collegiate triathlon team– it was devoured in minutes at our Friendsgiving celebration. Still getting rave reviews, three months later! Thanks for a great recipe.
Oh thanks for coming back to let me know Alex, that’s always great when the raves keep coming in so long after 🙂
I just made this for our annual New Years Eve/Friendsgiving celebration and I’m so excited to try it! I tasted the leftover curd and it was fabulous! Thank you!
Enjoy Lindsay and Happy New Year 🙂
Love, love, love this recipe. It’s a showstopper on the dessert table. The brightness and color really pop. Trader Joe’s has amazing, really thin ginger snaps that work perfect for the crust. Will make it again for Christmas. Thank you for this!
I was wondering how long this pie keeps and how it should be stored. Have you tried freezing it. Thanks so much! It’s gorgeous.
I haven’t tried freezing it, but I have kept it in the fridge for a couple of days. Crumb crusts do tend to get soggy over time, so it’s best, if possible, to make it the same day. You can make all the elements ahead and assemble later, though.
This looks delicious! I’m wondering if there’s a nut free alternative that would still allow you to use the ginger snaps for a crust??
I recommend leaving them out and adding a bit more crumbs, so you’ll have a basic gingersnap crust.