Let’s face it: Cranberries don’t make it past sauce on most Thanksgiving tables. Yet they make a wonderful dessert and they’re a true New England crop—perfect for this holiday. I love the combination here of toasted walnuts with the tartness of the cranberries, all mellowed by the
creamy richness of the custard. This pie is best served slightly warm or at room temperature, and cinnamon or maple ice cream would top it off nicely.
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cups cake flour
½ teaspoon salt
6 ounces cold unsalted butter (cut into small cubes)
6 tablespoons ice water
1½ cups fresh cranberries
¾ cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
1 large egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup heavy cream
¼ cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon cardamom
To prepare the piecrust, preheat oven to 375°F and mix together the flours and salt. Add in the cold butter and incorporate by hand or in a processor until the butter is the size of small peas. Pour in the ice water slowly and mix until a dough forms. Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Roll the dough out to roughly ¼-inch on a lightly floured surface and fit into a 9-inch pie pan. Trim excess. Freeze piecrust at least 30 minutes and then line with a large coffee filter or parchment paper weighed down with rice, beans or pie weights, and partially bake at 375°F for 25 minutes in the middle of the oven. Remove weights and continue to bake for 5 minutes, until crust is looking dried out but is not fully baked. Remove from oven and cool. Raise oven temperature to 425°F.
To prepare the filling, pour the fresh cranberries into the cooled pie shell. In a small bowl, add all other custard ingredients and whisk until well combined. Pour this mixture over the cranberries and bake the pie on a baking sheet for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350°F and bake another 30–40 minutes or until the custard is just set and starting to bubble. Remove pie from the oven. It will still jiggle slightly in the center. Cool at room temperature for 45 minutes to an hour before serving
This pie can be refrigerated for 2–3 days but let it sit out for an hour to come to room temperature before serving.
Lisa Sewall graduated from Johnson and Wales in Providence. She then came to Boston and worked at Biba, before going to Nantucket to work at the White Elephant, Summer House, and Wauwinet. She returned to Boston and was the Pastry Chef at L’Espalier (where she met, Jeremy, her husband.) For five years, she lived in Northern California as the opening Pastry Chef at Ondine in Sausalito. In 2006, she and Jeremy opened Lineage in Brookline. Lisa and Jeremy have three kids which keeps her out of professional kitchens for the moment!