This gorgeous Cranberry Meyer Lemon Pie with gingersnap crust is a show-stopping holiday dessert that's perfect for Thanksgiving. It's like Key Lime Pie, but better. It's intensely creamy, perfectly tart and so, soo festive. After indulging in a huge meal, I can't think of anything that would be more welcome and refreshing to eat. It's so rich and strongly flavored that just a skinny slice will do the trick!
Why this recipe works
This Cranberry Meyer Lemon Pie is a festive twist on key lime pie that will not only stand out on the table, it will completely steal the show at your holiday event.
This recipe is not difficult, but it does require some time and attention. For a quicker and easier, but just as impressive cranberry dessert, try my Easy Cranberry Almond Tart! I also have a an easy recipe to make the pretty little shimmery Sugared Cranberries for garnish as well.
There is a video tutorial on how to make this pie saved to my Instagram story highlights, which you can find. If you plan on making this recipe I highly recommend watching this video first! It will be especially helpful to see all of the steps in action.
What does it taste like?
This pie is best described as Key Lime Pie's older, more sophisticated sister. The filling consists of a rich, creamy and intensely tart cranberry-Meyer lemon curd, and in lieu of a graham cracker crust, this one is made with gingersnaps instead. The crunchy, spiced crust along with the smooth, puckery filling is absolute perfection. As someone who usually prefers traditional Thanksgiving desserts, this one left me speechless.
What are Meyer Lemons?
Meyer lemons are a cross between lemons and Mandarin oranges. They are tart like lemons, but taste just a hint sweeter, a bit more floral and overall more interesting. I absolutely adore them. They can be challenging to find depending on where you live, but are becoming more common. In my grocery store, they're sold in a bag (not loose) and are located by the other bagged fruits.
Can the Meyer Lemons be substituted?
Yes. You can use regular lemons or limes instead. I don't recommend using oranges, as they are too sweet and not sour enough. However, you can use a mixture of ¾ lemon juice and ¼ orange juice to mimic the flavor of Meyer lemon if you can't find them.
Tips for success
This pie filling is thickened in three different ways:
- The natural pectin from the cranberries (think jellied cranberry sauce).
- Eggs (think custard).
- Whipping butter into the filling (think whipped cream or a beurre blanc sauce).
There are 4 different steps that are crucial to getting the filling to thicken:
- The first step is to make sure the cranberries are not too liquidy when they cook down with the sugar. The mixture should resemble cranberry sauce or jam.
- The second and most important step is to make sure the curd properly thickens. You have to cook the mixture slowly, while stirring constantly over medium heat, until it gets thick. Not just a little bit, but really thick, like the texture of a loose pudding or pancake batter. Stir and scrape the bowl constantly to prevent the eggs from scrambling. If you'd like some extra insurance, use a candy thermometer and cook until 165 degrees F.
- The third step is the least important, but still worth noting. Whipping the butter into the warm curd will help emulsify it even further. Be sure to incorporate the butter gently, one piece at a time - if it starts to melt, the mixture is too hot. If the butter won't incorporate, then the mixture - OR your butter - is too cold. Add it back to the double boiler and gently reheat while stirring until just warm (avoid this if possible). The mixture should be a few shades lighter when you're done.
- The fourth step is also an important one. In order to finish setting up, the pie needs to chill. You've put a lot of time into making this pie, so don't risk it by cutting it too early. Give it a solid 8 hours to be sure. Overnight is recommended.
Yes. Graham crackers, vanilla wafers or any other crisp cookie would work well in this crust. Just be sure to use 2 cups of cookie crumbs.
Yes. Just use a gluten free gingersnap or other gluten free cookie in the crust. The filling is already gluten free.
Yes. In fact, it has to be made ahead. It needs at least 8 hours to set up in the refrigerator to ensure it holds its shape once sliced. It's best made 1-2 days in advance.
This is not a beginner recipe and it can be time consuming, so be sure to plan ahead. Several of my friends made it and gave me crap about the amount of dishes it created, so also be aware of that and just embrace it as part of the experience. If you're looking for the perfect Thanksgiving dessert that will be sure to impress EVERYONE at the party, look no further.
Did you make this recipe and LOVE it? Please leave a star ⭐️ rating and/or comment to help other readers. I absolutely love hearing from you and do my best to answer all questions and comments. I love seeing when you make my recipes, so please tag me @ColeyCooks on Instagram and I will repost!Print