The Washington Post

Roasted Cranberry Pie Filling

Roasted Cranberry Pie Filling 8.000

Mark Weinberg for The Washington Post; food styling by Erin Jeanne McDowell for The Washington Post

Nov 12, 2020

Thanksgiving's favorite berry shines in more than just sauce — it makes for a fine addition as a tart, zippy pie filling. Cookbook author Erin Jeanne McDowell likes to roast cranberries to make them extra-jammy before adding them to pie crusts.

Storage Notes: The cranberry filling can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Once baked into a pie, it will keep at room temperature, loosely covered, for up to 2 days.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 8 servings; makes enough filling for one 9-inch pie

  • 2 3/4 pounds (1248 grams) cranberries, thawed if frozen (may need to be drained)
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (106 grams) light brown sugar
  • Finely grated zest of 1 orange
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

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Position a baking rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees.

Spread the cranberries over a large, rimmed baking sheet in an even layer. In a small bowl, use your fingers to rub the sugars and orange zest together. Stir in the cinnamon, ginger, salt and cloves.

Sprinkle the sugar-spice mixture over the cranberries and toss to combine. Transfer to the oven and roast for about 10 minutes, or until the berries begin to soften. Stir the cranberries well to help distribute the sugar. Return to the oven and roast for 10 minutes more.

Remove from the oven and, using a potato masher or large fork, coarsely mash the cranberries. Add the orange juice and stir to combine. Return to the oven for 5 minutes more to thicken the mixture slightly.

Remove from the oven, stir in the cream and vanilla and let cool completely, then use or refrigerate until needed.

NOTE: To bake the filling in the pie, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Pour the cooled filling into a par-baked pie crust and spread into an even layer. Bake until the filling appears matte and set on the surface and the crust is deeply golden brown, 25 to 35 minutes. Cool completely before slicing and serving.

If using a Press-In Cookie Crust or a Nut Crust, pour the cooled filling into an unbaked crust, spread it in an even layer and proceed with the baking as instructed above.

Recipe Source

Adapted from a recipe by cookbook author and recipe developer Erin Jeanne McDowell.

Tested by G. Daniela Galarza.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving: 206

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 2g 3%

Saturated Fat: 1g 5%

Cholesterol: 5mg 2%

Sodium: 153mg 6%

Total Carbohydrates: 50g 17%

Dietary Fiber: 8g 32%

Sugar: 37g

Protein: 1g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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