If you already have your holiday desserts set in stone, I’m sorry to complicate things for you but I really think you need to consider including this cranberry streusel pie in the mix. Cranberries are surely one of the best seasonal foods at this time of year, at least in my opinion. I expect they are gracing your Thanksgiving table in one form or another, be it an appetizer, sauce, one cocktail or another. Rarely do they play a starring role in dessert and it is obvious why – their natural tartness can be a bit too much and outweighs their vibrant red color and excellent consistency when cooked. This pie manages to highlight their beauty, take advantage of their texture, and balance out their tart side with just enough sweet and a rocking toasty warm pecan streusel.

I love how this is unique from most traditional seasonal pies, though it also isn’t such a radical departure from them. While I do like streusel on many baked goods, I tend to prefer double crust pies over streusel any day. This pie is definitely an exception in my book. The streusel adds both a textural and flavor contrast that pretty pie crust never could. Another plus is that this is pretty quick to make. I had the whole thing made and in the oven in under an hour. Prep the crust and while it chills, make the filling and topping – both are simple and straightforward. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by this victory for the underdog!

Ingredients

For the crust: 

  • 1¼ cups (155 grams) all purpose flour
  • 1½ tsp. (6 grams) granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 8 tbsp. (115 grams) butter, cold and cut into small chunks
  • 3 tbsp. very cold water
  • 1 tbsp. vodka

For the filling: 

  • 4½ cups (18 oz.) fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, plus 1-2 more tbsp. if desired, to taste
  • A few gratings of orange zest
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch

For the topping: 

  • ¾ cup pecans
  • 2/3 cup rolled oats (or ½ cups oat flour)
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • 6 tbsp. butter, melted

Directions

  • 01

    To make the crust, combine the flour, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Stir together with a fork. Add in the butter and use a pastry blender or two forks to cut the butter into the dry ingredients. Continue until the mixture resembles a coarse meal and the smallest butter pieces are the size of peas. Add in the water and the vodka and stir until the mixture comes together into a shaggy dough. Knead gently until the dough is cohesive and no dry ingredients remain. Form into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate to chill while you prep the filling and topping.

  • 02

    In a large skillet or saucepan, combine the cranberries, sugar, orange zest, salt and cornstarch. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally. After about 5 minutes, the berries will begin to release their juices. Continue to cook about 5 more minutes so the berries continue to soften and the mixture thickens slightly. Remove from the heat and set aside to let cool.

  • 03

    In a medium skillet over medium-low heat, toast the pecans about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until lightly browned. Set aside to let cool. If using rolled oats, grind them in a food processor until finely ground to a powder. To make the topping, combine the oat flour, all-purpose flour, sugars, cinnamon and salt. Add the pecans to a food processor and pulse until coarsely ground. Add the pecans to the bowl with the other dry ingredients. Add in the melted butter and stir together with a fork until it forms a crumbly mixture.

  • 04

    To blind-bake the pie shell, preheat the oven to 400˚ F.  Roll pie dough out on a lightly floured surface to a 12-inch disc.  Place it in a 9-inch pie plate, trimming away the excess and creating decorative edges as desired.  Prick the bottom and sides of the crust with the tines of a fork.  Line the crust with a piece of aluminum foil or parchment paper and fill with baking beads.  (If you don’t have baking beads, dried beans or rice also work.)  Bake for 20 minutes.  Remove the baking beads and foil and bake about 5-10 minutes more, until light golden.  Transfer to a wire rack. Reduce the oven temperature to 375˚ F.

  • 05

    Add the cranberry filling to the pie shell and top with the streusel mixture. (This is a very thick layer of streusel. You may opt not to use all of it. I used about three quarters of it.) Bake 40-50 minutes, rotating halfway through the baking time, until the filling is bubbling and the topping is browned. If the topping is browning too quickly, cover loosely with a piece of foil. Transfer to a wire rack to cool before slicing.

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  • Rima

    From where did you buy the pie pan??

  • Karen

    Would you recommend this pie or the blueberry cranberry pie?

  • Annie

    Both are great! You can’t go wrong either way.

  • Annie

    This is from Suite One Studio.

  • Deanna

    Yay! Already planned to make this after seeing it on Smitten Kitchen! Looks awesome and glad you already approved it!

  • Robin Chedister

    I love this pie and I love your blueberry cranberry pie. Last year, i made a hybrid, blue/cran filling with the streusel topping. That one ended up being my favorite and it making the list again this year. YUM!

  • Shari

    Hey Annie,

    Have you ever thought of doing a churro cheesecake? I guess kind of similar to the churro cake you did but in cheesecake form.

  • Amber

    This pie sounds so good! Is it kind of almost like your cranberry sauce with streusel on top? Praying you can find peace and a few moments to relax amidst these chaotic times and for the first time in years enjoy a Thanksgiving with your friend coming!

  • Definitely need to try this for Thanksgiving!!

  • Annie

    Yes, very similar to that!

    Thank you so much.

  • Annie

    I haven’t but now I probably won’t be able to stop thinking about it! Great idea!

  • Susanne

    I’ll be making this one!!!

  • Shari

    Do it do it! Lol this would be great for your thanksgiving. Churro base crust, chocolate cinnamon sauce on top of the crust. Mmhhhmmm

  • Susanne

    This was a big hit at our Thanksgiving dinner today!

  • Mary

    Do you always weigh the flour/sugar? I did it this week when making cookies and the difference between my measured and my weighed ingredients was huge! Who knew….

  • This pie is delicious! The crust is so good, flaky and flavorful and easy to work with. Then the filling, tart, bright, and just enough sugar. (I used lemon zest instead of orange because I’m odd and just don’t like orange zest with my cranberries). I don’t know if it’s because I let the filling come to room temperature before putting it in the crust, but the baked pie was not at all soggy (I could hold slices in my hand, which I can’t usually do with fruit pie).

    Now for the streusel I had to modify because I can’t have nuts. I decided to brown the butter to add that nutty flavor (used an extra tablespoon or two and compensated for the evaporated water by spritzing with a spray bottle of water as needed). I didn’t grind the oats as long so that some texture remained. But the big change, I crushed speculoos/biscoff cookies (~3/4 cups of crumbs) and used those in place of the nuts. For anyone looking for a nut-free streusel option, I highly recommend doing this.

    This is my kind of pie. Festive, slightly different, and perfectly balanced. Thanks for another great recipe!

  • Ruth

    This pie was deemed the best at our Thanksgiving table!

  • Annie

    Yay! So happy to hear that!

  • Annie

    I do whenever weight measurements are provided. It makes quite a difference!

  • Annie

    I’m so happy to hear that!

  • Annie

    Wonderful! So glad to hear it. And thanks for the suggestion for the streusel modification. I just included that advice in my most recent post. Thanks for sharing!