Perfect for Thanksgiving, this cranberry pie is a nice change from all the orange colored pies!
Forget the pumpkin pie (ok maybe don’t) but let’s introduce a new pie for your Thanksgiving table.
Introducing This Cranberry Pie
I think cranberries are so underrated during the holiday season.
YES we all have some form of cranberry sauce on our tables- be it homemade, or the canned version (no judgements here)- but I feel like I never see baking recipes that use cranberries as the main ingredient.
So today we are changing that!
This cranberry pie is tart yet sweet in all the right places. It is flavored with orange- a classic combination- and sweetened lightly with brown sugar. Topped with whipped cream, this may become a new family Thanksgiving recipe tradition!
How To Easily Make This Pie
Use a store bought pie crust!
I KNOW, I KNOW.
But Thanksgiving is a crazy busy time and if you are not 10000% set on making your own homemade pie crust, then I think its okay to skip it and go with the store-bought. Remember this is a no judgment zone.
Start by defrosting the pie crusts on the counter. At this point you have two options:
- Bake in the store pan- Use one crust as the base for your filling and use the other for decoration.
- Bake in your own pan- Take the pie crusts out of the tins and combine both crusts together. Then roll them out into one crust to bake in your own pie pan. One crust will not fit, you will need two. Then use the scraps for decoration! I like this way better because then it is less obvious you bought the pie crust. MUHAHAHA.
Make The Cranberry Pie Filling:
Combine the cranberries, orange zest, and brown sugar in a medium size pot over medium high heat. In a small cup combine the orange juice with the corn starch and mix until the corn starch is dissolved.
Fun Fact About Corn Starch:
Corn starch is used as a thickener and can only be dissolved in cold liquids. If you mix it right into a hot liquid it will not dissolve completely and may clump up instead. Resulting in a clumpy mess and not a thick filling.
HOWEVER- once the corn starch is dissolved in something cold and then heated up, it will activate it’s thickening super powers which will make your filling super thick in no time.
Add the corn starch and orange juice mixture to the pot, bring the cranberries to a boil for 1 minute. Lower to a simmer, mix, and cook until the cranberries release their juices, about 5-7 minutes. You can mash them up as small as you like or leave plump.
Cool the filling and decide wether or not you want to either just fill and bake the pie or if you want to blind bake the crust.
Blind baking is where you bake the pie crust without the filling first. This is useful for pies that don’t have a baked filling, like mousse. It can also be used as a pre-bake option to prevent a soggy crust bottom. It ensures the bottom of your crust stays crisp even after you fill it.
How To Blind Bake A Crust:
Fill the pie shell with parchment paper with enough overhang for the sides. Then add pie weights, dried beans, or uncooked rice to weigh the parchment down. Bake for 15 minutes, until just lightly golden brown.
Then remove the weights and parchment paper and prick the bottom of the pie with a fork to prevent the middle from puffing up. Bake for 5 more minutes.
Remove the pie crust from the oven and let it cool for just 5 minutes. Then fill with the cranberry filling. It’s ok if the crust is still warm! Next add your pie decorations if you want but its ok to bake without any crust.
How to decorate this cranberry pie:
Let us count the ways! Using your pie scraps you can decorate the pie using:
- cookie cutters to make shapes and add it as a border
- roll out the dough into thin strips to make braids
- make a lattice crust
- Completely cover the top and crimp the edges. Just make sure to cut some slits so steam can escape!
Brush the pie dough decorations with a little bit of a beaten egg and put it back in the oven on the lowest rack to bake for 15 minutes.
How To Serve:
The best part about this pie is that it can be served warm, at room temperature or even cold. Top with a dollop of whipped cream and extra crunchy turbinado sugar to garnish.
Store it in the fridge for up to 5 days if it will last that long!
Check out these posts for more Thanksgiving recipes:
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Easy Cranberry Pie
- 2 store-bought pie crust defrosted
- ⅓ cup all purpose flour for rolling dough
- 12 oz fresh or frozen cranberries about 3 cups
- 2 teaspoons orange zest half a large orange
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons orange juice fresh or from carton
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 1 egg beaten
- Turbinado sugar
- Preheat your oven to 350° F and defrost two store bought pie crusts on your counter for 15 minutes. You can make this pie in the store bought pan but if you want to bake it in your own pan then remove both crusts from the tins and combine them together. You will need both for the bottom crust.
- Roll the dough out onto a floured surface and place in your pie pan. Trim the edges, and place the scraps in the fridge to save for decorations. You can now either blind bake your crust or choose to make the filling and bake it together.
To blind bake:
- Line your pie crust with parchment paper then fill with pie weights, dried beans, or dried rice. Bake for 15 minutes then remove the weights, prick the bottom of the pie crust with a fork and continue to bake uncovered for 5 more minutes until dry and the edges are golden brown.
Continue to make the filling:
- To make the filling, add the cranberries, orange zest, and brown sugar into a a medium sized pot over medium high heat and stir. In a small cup add the orange juice and cornstarch and mix well until the cornstarch dissolves completely and the mixture has a cloudy look to it. Add to the cranberry mixture. Bring the cranberries to a boil for 1 minute then lower to a simmer and cook until the cranberries release their juices, about 5-7 minutes. You can mash them up or leave them more plump.
- Pour the filling into the pie crust. Decorate with the extra scraps of dough (see post for ideas). Brush the dough decorations and edges of pie with the beaten egg and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake for another 15 minutes on lowest oven rack.
If you skip the blind baking:
- If you chose not to blind bake, make the filling, add it to the crust and bake the pie for 15-20 minutes on the middle rack of your oven. Cool and serve with whipped cream!