First off, my apologies for the 3-month delay since my last post. Between moving to a new house, dropping my laptop (!) and having to get a new one, and now the holiday season, it’s just been impossible to find time to blog! BUT, I haven’t stopped with the projects, so now I’ve got a backlog of posts to clear– you’ve been warned!
So it’s pie season, and it’s cranberry season, which are pretty much the same thing. Right?
Since my family members aren’t huge fans of cooked fruit (something about the texture?), I decided to join the legions of bakers apparently making cranberry curd pie this year– I was inspired by my friends at The Pie Project (they made a different pie every week for a *whole year*!) to make this one, which features a gingersnap-walnut crust and a tangy layer of cranberry curd that’s perfectly puckery. I couln’t help gilding the lily a bit, so I added a fluffy wreath of meringue and some sugared cranberries– I think the meringue adds a nice contrast, while the cranberries are mostly decorative but still tasty.
Cranberry-Gingersnap Pie (adapted from Bon Appetit)
5 oz. gingersnaps
1 cup walnut pieces
2 tbs. brown sugar
4 tbs butter, melted
- Spray a pie pan with cooking spray and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a food processor, pulse gingersnaps until finely ground.
- Add walnuts and sugar and continue to process until nuts are ground in as well.
- Add melted butter and pulse until the crumbs start to stick damply to each other.
- Press crumbs into bottom and sides of your oiled pie pan, and bake for 10-12 minutes. Set aside to cool.
12 oz. fresh cranberries
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
1/4 cup water
3 eggs plus two extra yolks
1/2 cup fresh lemon or lime juice (I used lime)
4 tbs. butter, room temperature
- Combine cranberries and 1 cup of sugar with 1/4 cup water in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Continue to cook over medium-low heat for bout 12-15 minutes, until berries pop and mixture thickens to about the consistency of a thick jam.
- Remove from heat to cool for a minute or two, then puree until smooth.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs with remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Add to cranberry mixture with lemon/lime juice and salt, and return to medium-low heat.
- Continue cooking for about 10 minutes, whisking constantly until mixture thickens.
- Strain into a separate bowl– this step is what gives you a silky-smooth curd, since the cranberry skins are hard to puree completely.
- Working about a tablespoon at a time, stir in chunks of butter until completely melted.
- Pour curd into cooled crust and chill until firm.
2 egg whites
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup powdered sugar
- Beat egg whites with an electric mixer until foamy, about 2 minutes.
- Gradually add granulate sugar and whip to stiff peaks, about 5 minutes.
- Add powdered sugar (this is to stabilize the meringue) and beat another 2 minutes. Don’t worry if you meringue deflates a bit when you first add it– it’ll fluff up again.
- Pipe or dollop onto the surface of your pie. Torch if desired.
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup water
1 cup fresh cranberries
3/4 cup granulated sugar for rolling
- Combine 1/3 cup sugar and water and bring to a boil to make simple syrup.
- Dump cranberries into your hot syrup to thoroughly coat and stir for a minute or so. Spread onto a rack to dry for 1 hour.
- Roll cranberries (which should be slightly sticky by now) in additional sugar and let dry.
- Note: These cranberries are quite tart, since they haven’t really been soaked in sugar the way some recipes have you do. I like them, though, and they’re easy to make!
Use them to decorate your pie! Maybe add a little mint for extra festive color!