CRANBERRY GINGERSNAP PIE
Posted on November 18, 2016
From The View from Great Island website
This Cranberry Pie with its spicy gingersnap crumb crust and silky cranberry curd filling brings a little va-va-voom to the traditional dessert table ~ this vibrant pie going to be everybody’s holiday favorite!
I’m all for tradition, and in my house, the tradition is that every year we bring something new to our holiday tables. This year it’s going to be Cranberry Gingersnap Pie. (Oh boy, is this one going to wow you.) I’m gaga over cranberries this year, I can’t stop playing with them ~ they’re my winter equivalent of lemons and they just seem to wake everything up. It’s all about how many bags I can cram in my freezer (12 at last count.)
This easy cranberry pie recipe is simply a crumb crust filled with a homemade curd, but it’s the glorious flavors that make it so special. For the crust I used my absolute favorite gingersnaps ~ Nyåkers ~ they come in a beautiful tin from Sweden, they’re super thin and crisp, and the flavor is bright and peppery. (These are the same cookies I used for the crust of my famous Lemon Crunch Bars, too) These gingersnaps in the pretty tin make a great gift if you can keep from eating the cookies first (we never can.) But don’t worry if you don’t have them, any gingersnap cookie will work.
What makes this crust stand out from the rest, apart from the spicy gingersnaps, is that it has an equal amount of walnuts processed right along with the cookies — so good!
As good as the crust is, the most thrilling part of this pie, if you ask me, is that crimson pool of glossy curd in the middle. The curd filling starts with tart fresh pureed cranberries that are mixed with eggs, extra yolks, sugar and lemon juice, and cooked until thick. You might recall I have a Microwave Cranberry Curd recipe on the blog, and that would work, too. The microwave recipe produces a fluffier, lighter curd, and either will be fantastic.
After the curd is cooked, and while it’s still warm, I whisk in some room temperature butter which helps to make it extra glossy. Don’t you just want to dive right in??
Curd recipes often call for slow cooking over a double boiler…I never bother with that and cook my curds either in the microwave, (have you tried my insanely Easy Microwave Citrus Curd or on the stove top. The secret to a perfect curd without all that fuss is medium heat, constant stirring, and a final straining to remove any lumps.
I garnished the pie with sugared cranberries for a festive look. I used thyme for a touch of green, but small mint leaves would be great too.
I sugar my cranberries the easy way, there’s no need for the beaten egg whites or a boiled sugar syrup. I just take damp cranberries and roll them in granulated sugar. The sugar sticks just fine.
Cranberry Gingersnap Pie
5 ounces gingersnaps
1 cup walnuts
3 Tbsp brown sugar
4 Tbsp butter, melted
12-ounce bag of fresh cranberries
1 1/2 cups sugar, DIVIDED
3 large eggs
2 egg yolks
pinch of salt
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 stick (4 Tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temp and cut in pieces
fresh thyme sprigs or mint leaves
1. Set oven to 350F
2. Put the gingersnaps in a food processor and process until they are fine crumbs. (this should be a heaping cup) Add the walnuts, and sugar and process again until everything is finely ground. Add the butter and process briefly to combine.
3. Pat the crust into a 9-inch pie plate, and up the sides. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Set aside to cool.
4. Put the cranberries, 1 cup of the sugar, and 1/4 cup water to a simmer in a saucepan. Lower the heat and simmer the cranberries, uncovered, for about 15 minutes until they’ve popped, and the mixture is quite thick. Let cool slightly and then puree until completely smooth.
5. Whisk the puree, the eggs, yolks, salt, lemon juice and 1/2 cup sugar together in a saucepan and set over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon, this will take about 10 minutes or so. Stay by the pan the whole time and stir!
6. Push the curd through a mesh strainer, using the back of a spoon to get it all through.
7. Let the curd cool for a few minutes and then drop the room temperature butter in, bit by bit, while you stir to melt it.
8. Pour the curd into the pie crust and smooth out evenly. Chill the pie until it is firm, about 2 hours or so.
9. Decorate with sugared cranberries if you like.
10. To make sugared cranberries, roll damp cranberries in granulated sugar and let dry.
Make it your own ~
Any firm curd will work in this pie, so feel free to experiment.