I initially made this pie for Christmas because the color and flavors seemed Christmas-y to me. Thing is, once we tried it, we fell in love with the flavor! It’s tangy and refreshing and rich-yet-light, making it perfect for so many things. The color also works for Valentine’s Day or Canada Day – if you’re thinking about holiday desserts. Orange and cranberry may seem to be Christmas flavors but I’m thinking they also scream Springtime.
You can make this pie the night before you plan to serve it, or the day of, you just want to let it sit for at least 4 hours or so to let it set completely. It will last for a couple of days in the fridge before your crust will start to be a little soggy. I topped it with fresh cranberries and orange slices but you may want to warn your guests NOT to eat the cranberries. Raw, fresh cranberries, while totally safe, are very bitter/sour. You could sugar them, if you wanted to, but I always just tell people not to eat them unless they want to give their taste buds a shock!
Orange Cranberry Pie
1 baked, 9 inch pie shell
2 3/4 cup fresh cranberries
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
2 egg yolks
2 tsp grated orange rind
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 cup whipping cream (heavy cream)
2 Tbsp instant vanilla pudding powder
Prepare filling – In a medium saucepan over medium heat, cook, stirring often, the cranberries, sugar and water. Boil about 10 – 15 minutes, until moisture is gone and cranberries have broken down.
Remove from heat and let cool 10 minutes. Puree until smooth, about 3 – 4 minutes.
Add the puree to a double boiler. Add in the eggs, egg yolks, orange rind and juice, salt, and sugar. Cook in a double boiler (or in a bowl over gently simmering water – see pic below), stirring often, until thickened, about 10 minutes.
Strain the thickened curd through a strainer into a bowl. Beat the warm curd, adding a little of the butter at a time. Beat until lighter in color, about 5 minutes.
Pour into the baked pie shell.
Let cool completely.
Prepare the whipped cream – whip the cream with the vanilla pudding powder until stiff peaks form. Pipe onto the top of the pie as desired. (Can also just be spread on top.)
Top with oranges slices and cranberries to decorate, if desired.
Chill until ready to serve – at least 4 hours.
The lighting is Sue’s house is a little odd so the color does not appear as bright in these photos as it really is!
The texture is a little like a lemon meringue….. but thicker and not quite as smooth.
A refreshing option after a heavy meal.
If you don’t have a double boiler then you can use a bowl over a pot – as I did in the photo up above. It works just as well – just make sure you use precautions when lifting the bowl out; it will get fairly warm over the simmering water.
Also, the vanilla pudding powder in the whipping cream helps to stabilize it. If you want to leave it out and just use plain, sweetened whipping cream, that will work too.