The holidays are swiftly approaching and many of us will be spending hours in the kitchen making a holiday dinner or figuring out that one wow-worthy dish to take to someone else’s house. Look no further. This White Chocolate Cranberry Pie uses simple ingredients and will star on the dessert table.
I’ve partnered with my favorite berry people, HBF International, to bring you this cranberry dessert.
We all know the infamous cranberry sauce that we wrestle out of a can because TRADITION. Now you can bring cranberry as an exciting new dish. This will be like the finale of a fireworks display. My family devours every crumb when I make it.
I’m not saying goodbye pumpkin pie, but I’m saying hello decadent white chocolate cranberry pie. It pairs well with the ever faithful pumpkin pie and offers a companion dessert you just won’t be able to buy premade at the grocery store, and it’s cheaper. Guaranteed.
White Chocolate Cranberry Pie
I know making a homemade pie can feel a little daunting so let’s break this pie down slice by slice. We’ll have you breezing through this recipe in no time.
The Pie Crust
Every pie starts with a good crust. I make my own pie crust and sometimes it doesn’t turn out perfectly but that’s what the “real” is in my blog name. Life isn’t about perfect. It’s about real, and as much as I wanted to make a new pie crust that looked “real perfect”, I knew real is just what you need.
You need to know that perfect isn’t always the name of the game. Made with love, with flavors that make you melt and your taste buds sing, with a pie crust that decides to do its own thing – sometimes that’s what you need most. It also means you might go with a premade pie crust for time’s sake. Just read the label to see what ingredients are in it.
I adore a good cranberry recipe and HBF International cranberries (also known as Hurst’s Berry Farm) is a well-known name, especially in the Northwest. They grow different varieties than East Coast cranberries but can be used interchangeably and dry harvest the berries so you can have the very best cranberries for baking. You’ll want to stock up on these so you can freeze them and have some for Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and any time of year baking, so check out how easy it is to freeze these gems in my cranberry resource.
Blended with water and cooked down with just a bit of sugar, the cranberry filling is the beautiful base for this pie. It adds the right amount of sweet tartness to dessert so you don’t feel overwhelmed with sugar, but pleasantly satisfies that sweet tooth.
The White Chocolate
If you are a die-hard chocolate fan you might be questioning the validity of white chocolate, but stay with me. White chocolate has the right smoothness and sweetness to pair with cranberries. They go together like magic. Plus the white and red layers are stunning when you cut into them.
This recipe has several steps. Don’t let that stop you from making it. It’s perfect if you are one of those people who doesn’t like to stand over a hot stove in the kitchen for hours because they’re fairly short steps. It also works great if you have bits and pieces of time broken up with making a major dinner (think TURKEY!) or other daily busy-ness. You will either want to make this dessert first thing in the morning, start it the night before then finish in the morning, or make the whole thing the day before serving.
Personally, making the first part the day before I need it works best for me. I can make the base and cover it to cool for the night then whip up the white chocolate in the morning, and put it in the refrigerator to set. This routine also makes it work perfectly with a big holiday meal as you can put it in the spot the turkey or roast was filling when you pull it out to roast.
Sweet white chocolate and tart red cranberries pair together well in this beautiful layered decadent pie. While the prep time seems long, much of it is hands off, making this dessert look like something you labored over for hours but really whipped together with little work.
- 1 – 9 inch pie crust, unbaked
- 12 ounces cranberries, washed and sorted
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
White Chocolate Filling:
- 1-1/2 cups heavy cream (divide: 1-1/4 cup and 1/4 cup)
- 6 ounces white baking chocolate
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Put the pie crust in a 9 or 9.5 inch pan and crimp the edges.*
- Blend cranberries and water together.
- Put into a frying pan or other wide bottomed pan over medium high heat.
- Add sugar and stir.
- Stir occasionally until mixture is hot then stir frequently so it doesn’t scorch to the bottom.
- Cook until thick and most of the liquid is cooked out.**
- Smooth into pie crust.
- Bake 15-20 minutes, until crust is lightly golden.
White Chocolate Filling:
- Break white chocolate into small piece and heat in a small sauce pan with 1/4 cup cream over medium heat, whisking constantly until just melted.
- Remove from heat and whisk in egg yolks.
- Put back on burner over low heat, whisking nonstop for 1 minute.
- Set aside to cool for 20 minutes.
- Just before 20 minutes is up, beat remaining cream and vanilla extract until stiff peaks form and stay standing when you stop beating. (See picture in post above if not sure on this part.)
- Fold whipped cream into white chocolate mixture until well incorporated.
- Smooth over completely cool cranberry filling and put in refrigerator to chill 4 hours or more.
- *Premade pie crusts come measured for 9 inch pies. If you get one and have a 9.5 inch pan, just lightly press the edges against the side of the pan for a pretty finish.
- **See quick video at bottom of post if not sure what this should look like.
- *** You can decorate the top with piped whipped cream and chopped cranberries that have been tossed in a bit of sugar.