This cranberry meringue pie post has been a long time in the making. What is going on in the blogging world? You may think, 'It's just a pie!". But it's not really: JUST A PIE! It's an incredible pie and it's a memorable pie.
I won't lie, it is time consuming to make! If you love the texture and flavor of a homemade pie crust, you must make your own crust for this pie. If you adore cranberries as much as we do, bookmark this for your next showstopper holiday recipe! What, you can't wait and are craving a slice like today? Guess what!?! I saw cranberries at my local market. If your local market ran out of fresh cranberries, check your freezer! You may be a cranberry hoarder like me and may find about 3-4 bags just waiting to be ripped open and baked.
You may even have more than 3-4 bags. And honestly, I think this gorgeous cranberry meringue pie is way more exciting than cranberry sauce or a cranberry quick bread.
When I mentioned at the beginning of the post that it was a long time in the making, I forgot to finish my story. I always am the official baker on Thanksgiving no matter where we are going. I do like to bake homemade pumpkin pies, but I always try to add something a little different and maybe not expected. A few years ago, I baked this grape and apple pie. Grape and apples? Yes, it was wonderful!! A year later, I delved into cranberry baking exploration with this cranberry-apple pie, also another wonderful pie!!
This year I decided on a spin of my beloved lemon meringue pie and made a cranberry version. Same concept from start to finish, but you are working with a cranberry curd instead of a lemon curd. So for those decadent pie lovers, try both pies! One for the lemon lovers and one for the cranberry lovers. I honestly can't say which pie I love more.
Now, here's the story...I did make this pie on Thanksgiving and brought it to our dear neighbor's house. There was an incredible feast, and this was one of the desserts I shared with the friends and family. My neighbor's mother is quite a foodie and some may even call her a little bit of a food snob. I am not offended by her comments. I know that no matter what fruit cake I make, I have not added enough lemon rind to the batter. With this pie, I thought there could be nothing to be improved. She did take a bite and liked it. I made it again at Christmas time and we were all reunited on Christmas Eve. The mother of my neighbor asked me if I baked the pie and took a portion out to try. She didn't commit to an actual slice, it was sort of a sliver.
She tried it and told me in Italian that she has a better cranberry recipe for me to bake the next time I want to bake with cranberries. I tried to defend my pie that I slaved over and explained that this is not an Italian crust...it's not a pasta frolla recipe. This is an American pie crust and it is perfect for so many recipes. She continued on with her story of her cranberry dessert and I look forward to seeing what she has that is better than this! Just to let you know how it ended: she took the entire leftovers of this pie home to her house!! Even though it wasn't as great as her cranberry dessert, she did want to finish it off. I felt quite satisfied, because she is not easy to please!
Some more pie inspirations for the pie lovers:
apple with oat streusel toppping
salted caramel apple pie
grape and apple pie
key lime pie with meringue topping
lemon meringue pie
blueberry limoncello pie with sourdough crust
sweet cherry pie
olive-oil graham cracker crust
Some wonderful pie tips:
Here is a great post on how to blind bake a pie crust.
Tips on how to avoid overbrowning your pie crust.
15 tips for making perfect pies.
The Art of Pie’s pie dough making tips.
Food52′s pie crust tips (for making by hand)
Cranberry Meringue Pie
Prep Time: 10 minutes prep + chill at lea
Cook Time: 15-20 minutes
Ingredients (1 9-inch pie)
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for rolling (this makes two crusts)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 3/4 cup (a stick and a half) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
- 1/2 cup of all-vegetable shortening (8 Tbsp)
- 6-8 Tablespoons ice water
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 cups fresh cranberries (about 16oz or 425g)
- zest of 1 orange, plus 2 TB juice
- 3 large egg yolks, at room temperature
- 1 TB cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 TB unsalted butter
- 3 egg whites
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 6 tablespoons sugar
make the pie crust:
Combine flour, salt and sugar in a food processor; pulse it one time to mix. Add the butter pieces and pulse 4 times. Add shortening one tablespoon at a time and pulse each time you add a tablespoon. The mixture should resemble coarse cornmeal, with butter bits no bigger than peas. Sprinkle 6 tablespoons of ice water over flour mixture one tablespoon at a time. Pulse once after you add each tablespoon of water. If you pinch some of the crumbly dough and it holds together, it’s ready. If the dough doesn’t hold together, keep adding water, a teaspoon at a time, pulsing once after each addition, until the mixture just begins to clump together.
Clean off your counter really well or use a pastry board or a nice cutting board. Flour your hands generously. Take the dough out of the food processor. Tilt the rolling pin and sprinkle it with flour as you rotate the rolling pin. Divide the dough into two balls and flatten each into a 4-inch wide disks. Sprinkle a little bit of flour on each disk and then wrap both separately in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour before rolling. When you are flattening the disks, you are not working the dough. You are just simply flattening the shape into a disk. If you are making the pie that day,
make sure you refrigerate for at least an hour. Reserve the second disk for your next pie in the fridge. It can stay for up to 2 days in the refrigerator.
When it is time to roll the dough out to make my pie, I take it out of the refrigerator and I usually let my dough sit out for about 5 minutes before rolling. It’s hot here in Florida. Doesn’t take more than 5 minutes to get to the perfect rolling temperature.
On a lightly floured surface using a rolling pin, form pastry into a ball; shape into a flattened round. Apply light pressure while rolling outwards from the center of the dough. Every once in a while you may need to gently lift under the dough You have a big enough piece of dough when you place the pie tin or pie dish upside down on the dough and the dough extends by at least 2 inches all around.
When the dough has reached the right size, gently fold it in half. Lift up the dough and place it so that the folded edge is along the center line of the pie dish. Gently unfold and be sure to not stretch the dough to fit. Fold pastry into quarter folds and ease into plate, pressing firmly against bottom and side.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place dough in pie plate and crimp edges as desired. Prick dough several times with a fork. Place a piece of aluminum foil (or parchment paper)onto the dough and pour in about a cup of dried beans (this stops the crust from bulging while it bakes); bake for 7 minutes.
Remove foil and beans and continue baking for 5-10 more minutes. Blind-bake the pie crust until it is completely baked. Set aside to cool. Place crust on wire rack to cool. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degree.
While crust is blind-baking, prep the cranberry filling.
In a medium sized saucepan, bring the sugar and water to a boil (sugar should be fully dissolved). Add the cranberries and lower the heat to medium. Let the cranberries cook until they are completely popped, stirring occasionally.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, cornstarch and salt until smooth. Slowly stir in a 1/4 cup of the cranberry filling into the egg yolk bowl, stirring constantly. Add small bowl of yolk mixture to the saucepan with the rest of the cranberry sauce. Whisk the whole time you are adding it in. Lower the heat and simmer for about 5-7 minutes; the mixture should be thickened.
Remove saucepan from heat and add the vanilla and the butter.
make meringue topping:
Mix egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until very frothy, about a minute. Slowly begin adding the sugar, a spoonful at a time. It should take you about 2 minutes to add all the sugar. Increase speed and continue beating until whites hold stiff peaks.
Pour filling into the pie shell.
Spoon dollops of meringue around the edge, making sure there it goes right to the edge of the crust (no gaps).
Pile the remaining meringue onto the filling. With the back of the spoon, create a few wisps.
Bake pie for 15 to 20 minutes, or until meringue is light brown. Keep an eye on the pie. You don’t want it to get too brown. Let pie cool completely on wire rack. Refrigerate and when ready to slice, dip a sharp knife in hot water.