Looking for a pie that is different from the traditional pumpkin pie for the holidays? Here you have a Cranberry Custard Pie with Cream Cheese Crust that promises to be the star of the desserts on the table.
The Delights of This Recipe
Cranberries...I love them! I always thought that we should have fresh cranberries available all year round and not only during the Thanksgiving season.
They are versatile and great in so many recipes. I personally use dried cranberries in all kinds of salads and dishes I cook.
However, I would love to have more fresh cranberries though. There are so many recipes I could make, but I do not have enough time during the short season when cranberries are available.
Recipes with cranberries
As you can see, from salads to stuffing to chocolate fudge and cookies, the possibilities are endless.
Getting back to our recipe for today, this Cranberry Custard Pie is out of this world. I love the tartness of the cranberries with the custard inside.
However, the crust is my favorite. It is made with cream cheese and tastes divine! You might be surprised to hear that a crust can be made with cream cheese. I also made pastries using Farmer cheese instead of cream cheese.
I have to say that this type of pastry is my favorite. While growing up, pastry dough made with cheese was popular among the bakers. The pastries come up tender and extremely delicious.
In Eastern Europe, farmer cheese is widely used in pastries, especially in old recipes. The fat in the butter and cheese together helps create layers of goodness, making the pastry taste divine.
We all know what fat does to a pastry, so our grandmothers knew that very well.
For years, I was kind of resistant to making pies at home. I did not grow up with them, and my first attempt to make an American apple pie from scratch was an absolute disaster.
I am not sure what went wrong with that recipe, but I ended up with a soggy crust (top AND bottom), a pile of sad apples in the middle that collapsed when I took the pie out of the oven, and a bunch of juice that looked like soup. It was almost inedible.
Because of that experience, I gave up on making pies completely. For Thanksgiving, I came up with other desserts that were more European.
We tend to entertain also on Friday after Thanksgiving, and I knew that people would look forward to trying these desserts instead of eating pumpkin pie again.
However, in the last few years, I started again to think about pies and expanding my repertoire with some of the traditional American desserts out there.
This cranberry custard pie, though, is delicious. Even if you are not a great baker, you can still make it.
You can even cheat and go for a bought pie crust if my recipe feels intimidating. However, I truly encourage you to try to make the crust at home, especially if you have a food processor. It takes only a few minutes to put it together.
I guarantee that this pie will be the attraction on the Thanksgiving table, and you will make your family and friends happy.
How To Make The Cranberry Custard Pie:
This recipe is easy if you follow it correctly. The dough needs to be refrigerated for at least an hour before you use it.
That could be made with the day before. On the day of baking, take the dough out of the fridge, roll it out on a floured surface in a 12-inch round, then slide it into a 9-inch baking dish.
Put the pie dish with the crust in the fridge again for about 30 minutes. You are going to bake the crust a little bit before you add the filling.
Line the crust with aluminum foil, then fill it with pie weights or dried beans.
Bake the crust according to the instructions on the bottom of this article, remove it from the oven, and let it cool completely. Meanwhile, don't play Candy Crush on your phone! Make the filling! Which is easy to make.
Roughly chop the cranberries and combine them with sugar and lemon zest. Separately, grab another bowl and beat eggs together with heavy cream and flour and make sure the mixture is smooth. Pour that over the cranberries.
Now, take that filling and pour it over the baked crust. Return the pie to the oven and bake for another 50 minutes to an hour or until the filling is set.
Your oven might be different than mine, so please keep an eye on that pie.
Transfer the pie to a rack and let it cool completely. I tried the pie cold from the fridge, and I did not like it.
I think it is better to warm up and dust it with a little bit of powdered sugar. Yum! Perfect for the end of a delicious Thanksgiving meal with a cup of coffee!
- Refrigeration: After allowing the pie to cool completely on a cooling rack, it is best to refrigerate the pie if you're not planning to eat it immediately. Cover the pie with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and store it in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.
- Freezing: If you'd like to store the pie for an extended period, you can freeze it. Once the pie has completely cooled, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and then place it inside a freezer-safe zip-top bag. The pie can be stored in the freezer for up to 2 months. To serve, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and then allow it to come to room temperature or warm it slightly in the oven.
Absolutely! Fresh cranberries can be used in place of frozen. If using fresh, just ensure they're washed and any stems or blemished berries are removed.
Yes, you can use a traditional butter or shortening-based pie crust if you don't have cream cheese on hand. The cream cheese crust offers a tangy and rich flavor, but a regular pie crust will work just as well in terms of texture.
Definitely! While lemon zest adds a bright, tangy flavor, you can also use orange or lime zest for a slightly different but equally delicious citrus note. The zest from one medium orange or two limes should suffice as a substitute for the zest of one lemon.
More recipes to love:
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Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
Cranberry Custard Pie With Cream Cheese Crust
- 1 ½ cups all purpose flour plus more for dusting
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter cold, cut into small cubes
- 6 ounces cream cheese cold, cut into small cubes
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar or lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon ice water
- 1 large egg lightly beaten
- 12 ounces bag of cranberries, slightly thawed if frozen
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 lemon (use the zest)
- ⅔ cup heavy cream
Prepare the crust:
- Place flour and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine.
- Add butter and pulse a few times until the mixture resembles pea-size pieces.
- Add the cream cheese and pulse a few more times until the dough comes together.
- Add the vinegar(or the lemon juice), and ice water. Pulse a few more times until the dough is moist.
- Shape the dough into a disk, wrap and refrigerate until firm for at least one hour or overnight.
- Roll out the dough into a 12-inch round. Ease into a 9-inch pie dish. Fold the overhanging dough under itself and crimp with a fork or just your fingers.
- Brush the edge of the dough with egg and refrigerate again until firm, for about 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line the crust with aluminum foil and place on top pie weights or dried beans.
- Bake until golden around the edge, about 15 minutes. Remove foil and weights and continue baking until the bottom of the crust is dry, 5 more minutes.
- Cool completely before adding the filling.
Make the filling:
- Chop the cranberries and combine them with sugar and lemon zest.
- Whisk the eggs with heavy cream and flour in a bowl until smooth. Pour over the cranberries.
- Add the filling mixture to the crust and bake until the filling is set, 50 minutes to an hour approximately.
- Transfer the pie to a cooling rack and allow it to cool completely.