What’s better than a traditional cranberry pie for the holidays? An even more festive twist! This Nantucket Christmas cranberry pie, inspired by Barefeet in the Kitchen, features a crunchy sugar crust on the bottom, a juicy-sweet fresh cranberry filling, and a flaky cake layer on top.
Cranberries are the iconic holiday berry, bursting with deep red color and an unmistakable tartness that begs to be balanced with the sweetness of sugar. This festive pie not only features a sweet-tart cranberry filling, it also showcases sugared cranberries as a gorgeous garnish for the finished dessert.
Though cranberries are often associated with sugary desserts, this lip-puckering, brilliantly-colored berry is actually jampacked with nutrition. These phytonutrient-rich berries are high in antioxidants, vitamin C, and fiber. Cranberries may be the expected berry during the holiday season, but they can deliver their bright color and healthfulness to your diet all year round. Get creative and give them a regular place in your everyday snacks, desserts, and meals.
To be or not to be gluten-free? Our Nantucket Christmas cranberry pie recipe is made with gluten-free dry ingredients — brown rice flour and tapioca starch or arrowroot flour — but it can easily be adapted for dessert-lovers who eat gluten. Simply swap in 1 cup of all-purpose flour for the brown rice flour and tapioca starch or arrowroot flour.
How to make sugared cranberries: Sugared cranberries are a gorgeous must-have garnish for Christmas desserts and even a fun festive snack while you’re wrapping holiday gifts.
To make sugared cranberries, combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup water in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add 12 ounces of fresh cranberries, stirring to coat. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cranberries to a fine-mesh wire rack to dry for 1 hour. Roll the cranberries in granulated sugar to coat. Let the sugared cranberries set for 1 hour, then let the garnishing or snacking begin.
Combine cranberries, sugar, and pecans
In a medium bowl, stir together 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and chopped pecans. Set aside.
Make the batter
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and remaining 1 cup granulated sugar. Beat until smooth. Add the eggs and beat until the mixture is fluffy. Add the brown rice flour, tapioca starch or arrowroot powder, and almond extract, beating until well-combined. Set aside.
Put the pie together
Generously butter a 10-inch pie plate. Pour the fresh cranberry mixture into the plate.
Add batter to pie
Scoop batter over the top of the pie, and spread evenly.
Bake the pie and decorate
Bake at 350F for 35 to 42 minutes. Test the topping for doneness with a cake tester or toothpick. Arrange the sugared cranberries on the pie in any design you desire. Garnish with fresh mint leaves.