This recipe for Cranberry Orange Pie with Gingersnap Crust is luscious, sweet, and decadent to the extreme. Enjoy a slice for any occasion!
Adapted from Bon Appétit's Cranberry Lime Pie
Preheat oven to 350°F. Pulse the cookies in a blender or food processor until ground into very fine crumbs. Add the melted butter and brown sugar and pulse to combine. It should be mostly dry, the grounds barely held together by the butter when pressed.
Transfer the mixture to a deep 9” pie dish and press it firmly across the bottom and up the sides. Bon Appétit suggests using a measuring cup to do this, but I find I have better luck just using my fingers and taking a little bit of time to make sure everything is evenly spread.
Bake until firm but not overly browned, 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool.
Combine 12 ounces of cranberries, 1 cup sugar, and ¼ cup water in a saucepan and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until cranberries start to burst and most liquid evaporates, approximately 15 minutes. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes, and then puree in a blender until smooth.
While the cranberry puree is cooling, combine the three whole eggs with the two egg yolks in a bowl, and whisk until just combined (See my note below regarding eggs in fruit curds). Set up your double boiler, filling the lower pot with enough water so that the surface is 2-3 inches below the upper pot. Bring water to a gentle simmer (not too hot, or the eggs may scramble before cooking into the curd). Cook the puree, egg mixture, lime zest, half (1 tablespoon) of the orange zest, orange juice, lime juice, and pinch of salt in the upper pot of the double boiler, stirring occasionally with a spatula. Simmer on low 10-12 minutes until the curd thickens and coats the back of the spatula. Transfer to large bowl and allow to cool until just warm.
Using an electric hand-mixer on medium-high speed, beat the curd while adding the butter one piece at a time to incorporate, about 5 minutes. The curd will become lighter in color and texture. Fill the prepared crust and chill the pie in the fridge until firm, about 2 hours.
To make the topping, combine ½ cup granulated sugar and ½ cup water in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-heat. Set a wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet and put aside. Add the remaining 4 ounces of cranberries and cook briefly until just soft, about 1 minute. Use a slotted spoon the transfer the cranberries to the wire rack, and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
When the pie is ready to serve, toss the remaining ½ cup granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon orange zest in a small bowl, and toss the chilled cranberries in the sugar to coat. Top the pie with the sugar-coated cranberries and serve with whipped cream if you’d like.
Double Boiler Alternatives: If you don’t have a double-boiler, you can make the curd in a heat-proof bowl fit safely into medium-sized sauce pan. Just be careful if you use this method – I have done this in the past and while completely functional, it can be a little tricky if the pieces don’t fit well enough together. The last thing I want is for you to scald yourself with the water!
Straining the Eggs: If you’d like to be precise, many fruit curd recipes suggest that you strain the eggs through a fine mesh sieve to remove any large bits of egg protein that might not break down during cooking. I usually skip this step, but as a result I’ve had to fish out bits of cooked eggs from my curd on occasion, so I leave it to you to decide which you prefer. You can even leave in the eggs if you don’t have the patience – having a few pieces of egg in the mix does not affect flavor or safety, but may keep the curd from having a perfectly smooth texture.
Making Ahead: The crust can be made a day before and kept at room temperature covered in cling wrap. The assembled pie (without the sugar-coated cranberry topping) can be made two days ahead and chilled in the fridge. To prevent a film from forming on the curd, once the pie is firm cover with cling wrap directly touching the surface.