This Cranberry Meringue Pie will be your new favorite holiday pie! If you’re a lemon meringue pie fan, you’ll love this festive pie! A dreamy pie with a flaky pie crust, tart cranberry filling and a fluffy meringue topping.
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!
This cranberry meringue pie post has been a long time in the making. You may think, ‘It’s just a pie!”. This Cranberry Meringue Pie is an incredible and memorable pie!
Cranberry Meringue Pie
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. I typically make my cranberry sauce at least twice a week in the season.
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. Since it’s the beginning of November and Thanksgiving is around the corner, there will be some more pies and recipes on the way for the big holiday!!
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 then proceeded to slice 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.
Nonna Marta 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 (which I still don’t have the recipe to), she did want to finish it off. I felt quite satisfied, because this is not an easy nonna to please!
Some essential pie baking tips:
How to blind bake a pie crust?
1. Place your crust in the pan, and crimp the edge.
2. Add pie weights, dried beans or even dry wheat berries, enough to fill the pan 2/3 full.
3. Bake in a preheated 375°F oven for 20 minutes.
4. Remove the pie from the oven, and carefully lift out the paper and weights.
How to avoid overbrowning your pie crust?
1. Cut circle in a large piece of aluminum foil. Make sure it’s large enough to place the outer edges (the ring)of the foil on your pie crust to protect them from over browning while baking. Make sure you only place this foil ring on your crust after it has browned, otherwise you’ll have an under baked outer pie crust.
2. If you aren’t super crafty in cutting foil, you could buy a pie shield which is an aluminum disk (or silicone). Same concept as the foil ring, it should be placed once the crust has started to brown. It protects the pie crust from too much heat from the oven and from over browning.
How to make a meringue topping for pie?
1. Place the egg whites, cream of tartar, and vanilla in a glass or metal bowl.
2. Slowly add sugar while beating.
3. Immediately spread meringue over hot pie filling, carefully
sealing to edge of pastry to prevent shrinkage.
4. Make swirls in the topping.
5. 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.
PIN for later!
Some more pie inspirations for the pie lovers:
slightly updated from 11/2018
Originally published on November 2019 and republished on November 2021.
Cranberry Meringue Pie
- 2 ½ cups all purpose flour plus extra for rolling (this makes two crusts)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- ¾ cup a stick and a half unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
- ½ 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 Tablespoon cornstarch
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
- 3 egg whites
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ 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 1 cup water to a boil (sugar should be fully dissolved). Add the cranberries, orange zest and juice 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, cream of tartar and vanilla 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.