This Pomegranate Cranberry Custard Pie is a bright and tart counterpoint for any Thanksgiving or holiday spread! Made with a gingersnap crust and topped with fluffy coconut cream, it’s a festive treat that’s totally vegan. Feel free to use fresh or frozen cranberries!
What is Cranberry Custard Pie?
Cranberry custard pie is a colorful dessert made with a gingersnap cookie crust and filled with a creamy sweet/tart filling made from cranberry sauce, coconut milk, pomegranate juice, sugar, and aquafaba.
How can you set a custard without eggs?
To set a custard without eggs, substitute aquafaba (the liquid from a can of chickpeas). This can be added in a one to one ratio for swapping, making it very versatile when used to bind vegan recipes.
Ingredients Needed for Cranberry Custard Pie
To make the gingersnap crust:
- 2 cups of gingersnap cookie crumbs
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 TBS sugar
- 4 TBS melted butter
To make the cranberry mousse filling:
- Zest of one small orange
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon or one cinnamon stick
- 2 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1 cup water
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 TBS pomegranate juice or pomegranate arils (seeds)
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1/3 cup aquafaba (liquid from a can of chickpeas)
- 3 TBS cornstarch + 2 TBS water, mixed together and set aside
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
Tools and Equipment Needed for this Recipe
There are a few tools that will help make this process easier. These include a food processor (optional but recommended if you are making the crust), a fine mesh sieve for straining the cranberry sauce, a standard-size (9-inch) pie plate, a medium saucepan to prepare the cranberry sauce, and a hand mixer for beating the mousse.
How Do I Make a Gingersnap Crust?
1. First, combine gingersnaps in a food processor to get a “sandy” texture. However, if you do not have a food processor, the cookies can be crushed in a sealed bag.
2. Next, add melted butter, sugar, and salt to the cookie crumbs.
3.Finally, add the crust mixture to a pie dish and bake for 15 minutes, until set.
Gingersnap cookies are readily available at grocery stores this time of year. However, if you are not able to find these, any “snappy” cookie (meaning, a hard texture that breaks when bitten into) will work. Some alternatives include vanilla wafers or even graham crackers.
As evidenced by the many cranberry posts on this site, I love incorporating it’s sweet/tart flavor in a variety of meals, most specifically during the holiday season (see this cranberry gin cocktail, this cranberry sauce, and this leftover cornbread cranberry crumble) . Cranberries are a great counterpoint to heavier Thanksgiving fare and offer a festive pop of color. When I decided I wanted to celebrate this in a pie, I knew there were some crucial points to remember when baking.
How to Make Pomegranate Cranberry Custard Pie
1. While crust is baking, begin making your cranberry filling. Combine orange zest, cinnamon, cranberries, water, salt, sugar, and pomegranate to a medium skillet and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and listen for the cranberry “pop.” Feel free to help the cranberries along by pressing on them with the back of your spoon. If your mixture is cooking too quickly, add a bit more water. Once cranberries are all popped and the mixture looks like cranberry sauce, remove from heat and let cool slightly.
2. Strain your cranberry compote over a fine sieve into a large bowl, pressing on the fruit to extract as much liquid as possible. This may take a few minutes, but you should be able to get a lot of out of it. Reserve the solids for another use (like stirring into oatmeal!)
3. Add coconut milk, aquafaba, and cornstarch mixture to the bowl and beat on medium to combine. The mixture should increase in volume slightly. Fold in powdered sugar. Pour cranberry mixture into prepared pie crust and bake for 45-50 minutes.
4. To check the pie for doneness, tap the top and see if the curd has set. Keep in mind it will firm up much more once cool!
5. Remove the pie from the oven when there is not much wobble to the filling and the mousse seems stable. Chill for at least 2 hours, until totally cold and set up. Serve with coconut whipped cream and sugar-coated cranberries.
More Tips for Making Cranberry Pie Filling
To make this cranberry pie filling, it is important to cook your cranberries down into a sauce first, and then strain the sauce while it’s still fairly liquid/warm. Using a fine mesh sieve ensures that the smoothest parts of the mixture are added, while tougher pulp is left behind.
Since this pie is technically a custard/curd base, it’s important to add enough binding agent so that it fully sets while baking. Typically egg whites are used for this, but today we’re implementing corn starch and aquafaba (the liquid from a can of chickpeas).
Finally, it is important to curt the tartness of cranberries by adding bit of sweetener! I love pomegranate for is flavor and color, so that plays a role in this flavor game alongside maple syrup, cinnamon, and orange zest and juice.
I hope you enjoy this cranberry custard pie recipe! If you’re looking for more pie ideas, try one of these next:Print