I printed this off from Bon Appétit in 2018…and finally got to it this past holiday because we were all house-bound. I’ve re-written it slightly to make the recipe easier to follow…so please read carefully before beginning. A perfect fiddley dessert to take to a party, and to up it a notch, I’d use Ginger Snaps instead of store-bought ginger cookies. Think about this as a fancy (time-involved!) cranberry key-lime pie – enjoy!
4 to 5 oz. (~143 g) very crunchy gingersnap cookies AND 1 c. pecans
4 T. butter, melted AND 3 T. brown sugar
1 bag (12 oz/350 g) fresh cranberries
1 c. sugar AND 1/4 c. water
3 eggs AND 2 egg yolks
1 t. EACH lemon zest AND lime zest
1/2 c. freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 c. sugar AND a pinch of kosher salt
3/4 c. butter, room temperature, cut into chunks
1/2 c. EACH sugar AND water AND 1 c. fresh cranberries
1/2 c. sugar AND 1 t. lime zest – mixed together
Garnish – whipping cream is suggested, but we didn’t feel it was necessary!
For the crust – preheat the oven to 350 and pulse the cookies in your food processor until finely ground. Add the pecans and pulse again until the nuts are finely ground, then pour in the butter and brown sugar and pulse until all is well combined. Scrape the crust mix into a deep 9-inch pie plate and then use a measuring cup to press the mix evenly and firmly across the bottom and up the sides. Bake for 10 minutes and then leave on a rack to cool completely. I did this right when I got up in the morning.
For the filling – put the bag of cranberries, sugar and water into a medium saucepan (I used a non-stick skillet) and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes until the cranberries burst and most of the liquid evaporates. Remove the pot from the heat, leave this mix to cool, then purée in a blender until very smooth.
Next, either place a heat-proof bowl over a pot of simmering water (as recommended) – or – do as I did and use your same (unwashed) non-stick skillet and make a plan to not walk away from it. Add in the purée, eggs, egg yolks, lemon and lime zest, lime juice, half cup of sugar and salt. Using a whisk or spatula, cook and stir this mix on low heat for about 10 minutes until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon – for myself, this was very similar to making the curd from my Lemon Tarts. Once thickened, remove from the heat and leave to cool until just warm – it needs to be slightly warm to help the butter get well mixed in.
Scrape all of the barely warm filling into the bowl of your electric mixer. Beat the curd and add in the butter slowly, one chunk at a time, and beat well in between. Continue to beat until all of the butter has been added and the curd looks lighter in color and texture – this will take at least 5 minutes and you’ll need to scrape down the bowl frequently. Scrape the filling into your prepared crust and chill the pie in the fridge until the filling is firm – at least 2 hours.
For the topping – bring the sugar and water to a boil in a small pot and stir until the sugar has completely dissolved. Add in the cranberries and cook until they just barely begin to soften – about 1 minute. Remove the pot from the heat and use a slotted spoon to remove the berries to a wire rack over a baking sheet (to contain the mess) and then carefully put this set-up into the fridge to chill for about a half hour until the berries are no longer sticky.
Once the cranberries have chilled, roll them around in the sugar/lime zest mix until well coated and then top the firmly chilled pie with your artistic cranberry creation. The pie will be tasty no matter how it ends up being presented so be sure to take a photo of your hard work and appreciate every bite!