Cranberry Orange Cream Cheese Pie

Cranberry Orange Cream Cheese Pie

I love pie, it is my favourite dessert.  The pie I made last week was great and the pastry was the best most tender all butter pastry for pie crust that I’ve ever used.  If you’re interested in that recipe I shared it here.  This recipe I’m making this week is from The Book on Pie by Erin McDowell.  If you haven’t seen her book yet, it is very good with lots of unique pie ideas.  This once caught my eye because it uses cream cheese in the pie in the base layer and then on top of that goes the cranberry filling.  Hopefully when sliced you can see the two layers, we shall see if it works out as well as the pie goddess’ pie.


I love sour flavors, so cranberries have a special place in my heart. Because they are high in pectin, they make a naturally thick filling on the stovetop. A thin layer of silky cream cheese filling, spiked with orange zest, helps temper the tartness and round the whole thing out with a little creaminess (the perfect pairing in my book).

  • 906 g / 2 pounds cranberries (fresh or frozen, no need to thaw)
  • 113 g / ½ cup fresh orange juice
  • 99 g / ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 106 g / ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3 g / 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 g / ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
  • Scant 1 g / ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 g / ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 g / ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 226 g / 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • Grated zest of 2 medium oranges
  • 56 g / ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 56 g / 1 large egg, lightly whisked
  •             2 g / ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 g / ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • One 9-inch / 23-cm pie crust (see Recommended Crusts), parbaked, brushed with egg wash, and cooled completely

1. Make the cranberry filling: In a medium pot, mix the cranberries (and any juices from thawing), orange juice, granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt to combine. Cook over medium heat until the cranberries begin to soften or break down, 12 to 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture has thickened, 6 to 8 minutes; some of the berries will break down and become jammy, some will be whole or in chunky pieces. Stir in the vanilla. Cool completely.

2. Prepare the cream cheese filling: In a medium bowl, using a silicone spatula, stir the cream cheese until smooth. Add the orange zest and mix well, then add the powdered sugar and mix until fully incorporated. Add the egg, vanilla extract, and salt and mix to combine.

3. Place the cooled pie crust on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Pour in the cream cheese filling and spread into an even layer. Freeze the pie for 15 minutes.

4. Preheat the oven to 375°F / 190°C with a rack in the lower third (preferably with a Baking Steel or stone on it).

5. Spoon the cooled cranberry filling on top of the chilled cream cheese filling and spread into an even layer. Transfer the pie to the oven and bake until the crust is deeply golden brown (the filling will have sort of a matte appearance), 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely before slicing and serving.

  • Make Ahead and Storage
  • The pie is best eaten the same day it’s made. Store leftovers at room temperature, wrapped in plastic wrap.