Cranberry Cream Pie

This is the most asked for pie at Thanksgiving.  Prepare the crust, filling and topping ahead of time and assemble the pie the day of serving for best flavor and texture.

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One baked Flaky Pie Crust, graham cracker crust or vanilla cookie crust

4 ounces whipped cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
One 12 ounce package fresh or frozen cranberries, rinsed
One cup sugar
A pinch of salt
1/3 cup water
1 strip of fresh orange peel (no pith)
3 tablespoons Raspberry or Strawberry Jam (seedless), stirred


 Start with the topping:

1.  Bring the sugar, salt and water to a boil in a sauce pan.

2.  Add the cranberries and orange peel.  Once the cranberries start to pop- remove 24 whole cranberries and set aside to use as garnish.

3.  Once all cranberries are popped, set heat to low and cook for an additional two minutes, stirring occasionally.

4.  Strain the hot cranberry mixture and mix the jam in until incorporated.

5.  Set aside to cool.

The Filling:

1.  Whip the cream just until soft peaks form, set aside.

2.  Whip the cream cheese until smooth (with no lumps), then add butter and whip again until very smooth.  Add the confectioner's sugar and vanilla extract and whip until smooth.

3.  At a low speed fold in the whipped cream until uniform.

Assemble the pie:

1.  Pour the filling into a cooled pie crust and spread evenly.

2.  Stir the cranberry glaze to make it more spreadable and spread on the top of the pie.

3.  Garnish with whole cranberries, additional whipped cream and mint leaves (if desired).

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