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Easy Christmas Cranberry Pie is tart and fruity with a buttery biscuit crust which you can easily make with gluten-free biscuits and topped with whipped cream clouds.
Colourful Christmas Cranberry Pie is a joyful end to any celebratory meal round the holiday season.
It helps that this easy cranberry pie is not only the most stunning deep magenta but is also utterly delicious. This pie has it all, the looks and the personality. Zingy, creamy and crunchy.
What makes this Easy Cranberry Pie so good?
- This is a great make-ahead dessert as it tastes best chilled so there is no last minute prep required.
- It's an easy gluten-free festive dessert.
- The biscuit crust is thick and buttery rich, made from your favourite oat biscuits.
- The filling is so easy to pull together - just fruity fresh cranberries pureed and mixed with condensed milk, a spritz of lemon juice and egg yolks.
- Baked in the oven the filling turns into a creamy cranberry set custard. Think key lime pie or lemon meringue pie but with cranberries.
- A heavenly light cream is whipped into clouds to adorn this delicious dessert.
What do we need for our biscuit base?
1. Oat biscuits
Your pie and your choice of biscuit. I use gluten-free oat biscuits but you can use Hobnobs or plain digestives.
However, if you want a really special biscuit base then why not try making your own digestive biscuits which are made from oat flour and have an amazing buttery toasted flavour.
READ MORE >>> Gluten-Free Digestive Biscuits
Melt the butter and whizz up in the food processor with the oat biscuit crumbs to make a gorgeously buttery biscuit base. You can use salted or unsalted butter.
When you are melting the butter for the biscuit base leave it to cool for a few minutes just so the butter is warm rather than hot when you add it to your biscuit crumbs. This helps your biscuit base from becoming too greasy.
What do we need for our cranberry custard filling?
1. Fresh cranberries
If you are used to eating your cranberries from a jar then these tart little berries will be a revelation. They pop up in large UK supermarkets just before Thanksgiving at the end of November and you can usually find them next to the blueberries.
We heat the cranberries with a splash of water until they burst and thicken together. We then blend them to create a stunning deep pink puree.
- Using frozen cranberries is absolutely fine.
- Use an immersion blender straight into the saucepan to blend the cranberries. It saves on getting pink juice all over your kitchen if you don’t have to transfer it anywhere.
2. Lemon juice, egg yolks and condensed milk
When we mix these 3 ingredients together with the cranberry puree the most beautiful alchemy occurs. Poured into our biscuit base and baked in the oven they become a gorgeously creamy set custard with an ever-so-gentle wobble.
No sugar is needed as all the sweetness comes from the condensed milk. The tartness from the lemon juice and cranberries is the perfect contrast.
Whipped cream topping
The final light touch for our pie is a gorgeously light cream topping made with actual whipping cream. Whipped into billowing clouds this cream is a bit lighter than double cream and dissolves beautifully in your mouth. You can absolutely use double cream or heavy cream if that’s all you can find. Whipping cream doesn’t see as prevalent as it once was.
Can Easy Cranberry Pie be made ahead?
Yes - the pie can be made up to 2 days ahead of when you want to serve it. I recommend whipping the cream on the same day you serve though otherwise it can deflate a little in the fridge.
Can you freeze it?
Yes, you can freeze it with or without the cream. Remove from the freezer the night before you want to serve it and defrost thoroughly in the fridge. Although a slice of still frozen pie straight from the freezer is a real cheeky treat!
More holiday desserts you’ll love!
- The Best Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie
- Chestnut Brownies
- Chocolate Cranberry Clementine Cake
- Gingerbread Ice Cream
- Lemon Almond and Raspberry Trifle
- Chocolate Chip Clementine Christmas Pudding
- White Chocolate Ginger Cheesecake
If you make this Easy Christmas Cranberry Pie then please leave a comment below and give the recipe a rating which helps others find the recipe on Google. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own baking creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.
Easy Christmas Cranberry Pie
- 450 g cranberries + 3 tablespoons water
- 500 g oat biscuits*
- 200 g unsalted butter
- Juice ½ lemon
- 8 egg yolks
- 397 g condensed milk - 1 tin
- 400 ml whipping cream
- Pre-heat the oven to 170°C/ 150°C fan/gas mark 3.
- Place the cranberries in a medium sized saucepan with the water and cook on a low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the cranberries have broken down.
- Blend the cranberries until they are smooth then set aside in the fridge to cool completely.
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan and leave to cool for a few minutes just so the butter is warm rather than hot which helps your biscuit base from becoming too greasy.
- Whizz up the biscuits in a food processor then with the mixer still on pour in the melted butter until it combines with the biscuit to become a thick sandy texture.
- Press the biscuit crust into a 23cm pie dish using the back of a spoon and push the base up the sides of the dish.
- Bake the crust for 18 minutes then remove from the oven. Gently re-press and shape the biscuit crust which might have puffed up a bit and then leave to cool in the fridge to set whilst you make the filling.
- Turn the oven down to 160°C/140°C fan/gas mark 1.
- Mix the cranberries, lemon juice, egg yolks and condensed milk in a large mixing bowl.
- Pour the cranberry filling into pie crust, smoothing out the top.
- Bake the pie for 25 minutes, the cranberry filling should still be a little wobbly.
- Leave to cool and set in the fridge overnight.
- Whip the cream until thick and it can hold its shape then pipe over the top of the pie.
- Serve chilled.
- Oat Biscuits - I use gluten-free oat biscuits but you can use any. Hobnobs or digestive biscuits are also fine. If you like you could push the boat out and use Homemade Digestive Biscuits.
- Biscuit Base - When you are melting the butter for the biscuit base leave it to cool for a few minutes just so the butter is warm rather than hot when you add it to your biscuit crumbs. This helps your biscuit base from becoming too greasy.
- Fresh Cranberries - you can find these in the UK from November onwards. Usually in the berry aisle - next to the blueberries. Using frozen cranberries is absolutely fine too.
- Whipping Cream - you can use double cream or heavy cream.
- Make Ahead - The pie can be made up to 2 days ahead but whip and add the cream topping on the day you are serving.
- Freeze - This pie can be frozen. It might be easier to freeze and store without the cream but if you have leftovers then these can be frozen in slices or whole. Defrost overnight in the fridge. In fact this pie is delicious still a little bit frozen!!!
This post was originally published in December 2018 but updated in November 2020 with clearer instructions and more pro tips. The recipe remains the same.