Cranberry pie is so underrated but yet so easy to make! It is tart yet sweet and flavored with orange and brown sugar. Topped with whipped cream, this may become a new family Thanksgiving recipe tradition!
Forget the pumpkin pie (ok maybe don’t) but let’s introduce a new pie for your Thanksgiving table.
Why you should make this 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!
How to make this recipe:
You’ll need two crusts for this recipe if you want to decorate the top of the pie.
Step one: Making the crust
Make your crust or use a store bought one!I have a great recipe for a flaky pie crust that you can make dairy or dairy free! It’s really not as scary as it seems!
Again, NO judgements if you want to use storebought. It’s what I used alllll the time until I came up with my own pie crust recipe.
Thanksgiving is a crazy busy time and if you are not 10000% set on making your own then totally simplify your life and make a trip to the store instead!
Start by defrosting the homemade or store bought pie crusts on the counter. If using store bought, you have two options:
- Choose to 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.
If you’re using homemade– you will still need two pie crusts. I like to bake pies in a pan with diagonal sides instead of straight sides because its easier to line!
Line the pie plate with your pie crust and trim the edges. Set aside!
Step two: 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.
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.
Why do we use corn starch?
We use corn starch because it acts as a thickener in pies that especially have runny fruit fillings. Fun fact- it can only be dissolved in cold liquids. If you mix it right into a hot liquid it will not dissolve, 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.
Step 3: Fill the pie:
When the filling is cool, fill the pie crust with the cranberry orange mixture. Grab the scraps from the fridge and make the pie crust decorations.
How to make pie decorations:
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. This ensures that the crust comes out all nice and shiny. Bake the pie for 20-25 minutes on 350° F until the crust is golden brown.
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!
Tips for recipe success:
- To prevent a soggy bottom crust, dust the bottom of your pie plate with a mixture of 1 tsp sugar and 1 tsp flour. Place the pie crust on top.
- If the pie crust starts to burn, line the rim of the pie plate with tin foil and place back in the oven. An easy way to do this is to cut a large piece of tin foil and place the entire pie over it, then curl up the foil around the edges.
Want more Thanksgiving recipes? Check these out:
- Flaky pie crust recipe
- Salted Caramel Apple Pie
- Apple Pie Bars
- Cranberry Cheesecake Bars
- Pumpkin Bars with Chocolate Chunks
- Apple Bundt Cake
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Easy Cranberry Pie Recipe
- 2 store-bought pie crust or handmade, 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
- whipped cream
- Preheat your oven to 350° F and defrost two store bought or hand made 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 store bought crusts from the tins and combine them together. You will need both for the bottom crust. (Save scraps for decorations). If using homemade you need one for the bottom and one for decorations.
- Roll the crust 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.
Continue to make the filling:
- To make the filling, add the 12 oz cranberries, 2 tsp orange zest, and 1/2 cup brown sugar into a a medium sized pot over medium high heat and stir. In a small cup add the 2 tbsp orange juice and 1 tbsp 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. Cool.
- 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 20-25 minutes on lowest oven rack.
- Cool and serve with whipped cream!