This fun pie takes the classic holiday flavors of cranberry, but presents them as a stunning, creamy showstopper of a dessert that is so easy to make thanks to a secret ingredient.
All Buttah Pie Dough
1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
½ tsp fine sea salt
½ cup cold Tillamook Extra Creamy Unsalted Butter, cut into ½ inch cubes
¼ cup cold water, plus more as needed
Pie weights or dried beans (enough to fill the pie plate to the top edge)
Cranberry Cream Pie
1 cup Tillamook Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, set at room temperature until melted
1 cup cranberry sauce, jam, or preserves
Zest of 1 orange (optional)
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
a few drops red food coloring (optional)
6 oz Tillamook Original Cream Cheese Spread, at room temperature
1 cup cold heavy cream
½ tsp fine sea salt
The cooled, fully baked pie crust (above)
Sweetened whipped cream, for finishing (optional)
Candied cranberries, for finishing (optional - see tip)
Make the dough
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour and salt to combine. Add the cubed butter, tossing the cubes through the flour until each individual piece is well coated. ‘Cut’ the butter into the flour by pressing the pieces between your fingers, flattening the cubes into big shards. As you work, continue to toss the butter through the flour, recoating the shingled pieces.
Continue cutting the butter into the flour just until the pieces of butter range in size from walnut halves to the size of peas. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add the amount of ice water listed in the recipe to the well, but have more on hand. Use a tossing motion with your hands to start to mix the two together. As it begins to become hydrated, you can start to use more of a kneading motion, just until the dough comes together.
Add more water about 1 tbsp at a time until the dough is properly hydrated: it should be uniformly combined and hold together easily, but it won’t look totally smooth. Dough that is too dry may have sort of a “dusty” appearance, or pockets of un-hydrated flour. It will not hold together and will appear crumbly. Dough that is too wet will feel sticky or tacky to the touch, and is often smoother and/or lighter in color.
Form the dough into an even disk (or into another shape if directed by the recipe – or if you are multiplying the recipe to make multiple crusts, divide the dough appropriately). Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes - 1 hour.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to about ½ inch thick - the exact shape and size doesn’t matter here, just the thickness. Fold the dough in half, then in half again (fold the dough in quarters). Tuck the ends under the dough to make it round again, then wrap tightly and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.
Roll out the dough: on a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to ¼ inch thick, rotating it as you work to help prevent it from sticking. To transfer the dough to the pan, gently roll it up, wrapping it around the pin, then unfurl it into the pie plate.
Use scissors to trim away the excess dough, leaving about ½ inch excess all the way around the outside edge of the pie plate. Tuck this excess dough under, pressing gently to make it flush with the edge of the pie plate. Crimp the pie as desired. Dock the base and sides of the dough all over with a fork, and refrigerate while you preheat the oven.
Preheat the oven to 425°F with an oven rack in the center. Cut a square of parchment paper slightly larger than the diameter of a pie plate, and press it into the base of the pie plate. Fill with pie weights/dried beans to the top inner rim of the pie plate. Place on a baking sheet to catch any drips, and bake until the edges begin to lightly brown, 15-17 minutes. Remove the parchment paper and pie weights, and return to the oven until the lower portion of the crust appears fully baked, evenly golden brown, 5-7 minutes more. Cool completely before filling.
Make the cranberry cream pie
Transfer the melted ice cream, cranberry sauce, orange zest, cinnamon, and nutmeg to a blender (or you can use a handheld blender and do this in a large bowl). Blend until the mixture is smooth and well combined. If using, add the food coloring and blend to combine. If you used a blender, transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, mix the cream cheese on medium-high speed until slightly fluffy, 1 minute. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl well, then add the heavy cream and salt. Whip on medium speed until the mixture forms medium peaks, 3-4 minutes.
Add about half the whipped cream mixture to the bowl containing the cranberry-ice cream mixture, and use a whisk to combine. Whisk until smooth.
Pour the mixture into the cooled baked pie shell. Cover directly with plastic wrap and place in the freezer until well set and firm, 4 hours. Transfer to the refrigerator until ready to finish and serve. It can stay in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before finishing and serving.
To serve, remove the plastic wrap and top the pie with the rest of the whipped cream, if using. Decorate with candied cranberries (see tip below), if desired. Keep the pie chilled until ready to serve.
TIP: For a shimmering finishing touch, try making candied cranberries! Many people make these by simply tossing thawed frozen cranberries in sugar. It works ok, but they don’t taste that good! My version cooks the cranberries briefly in a sugar syrup, which candies them inside, before they’re tossed in sugar, giving them a sweet coating outside!
In a medium pot, bring ½ cup (99 g) granulated sugar and ½ cup (115 g) water to a boil over medium heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar.
Add 1 ¾ cups (226 g) fresh cranberries and reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 6-8 minutes. The cranberries should remain whole, and should not burst.
Drain the cranberries well (you can save the syrup to add to cocktails or other drinks).
Toss the cranberries in 1 cup (198 g) granulated sugar until they are well coated. Store the candied cranberries and any extra sugar in an airtight container until ready to use - they will keep up to 3 days.
Shop the recipe
Tillamook Extra Creamy Unsalted Butter
Tillamook Vanilla Bean
Meet the chef
Erin Jeanne McDowell
Erin Jeanne McDowell is an author and video host specializing in all things baking. Her first book, The Fearless Baker, was named one of the best baking books of the year (2017) by The New York Times. Her second, The Book on Pie, is a New York Times Bestseller. Her newest book, Savory Baking, is all about translating a love of baking to every meal of the day - not just dessert! She hosts the award-winning series Bake it Up a Notch for Food52, where she teaches in-depth baking lessons and troubleshoots common issues. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Food Network, Bon Appetit, and more.