Cranberry Sage Pie

November  8, 2013
8 Ratings
Photo by Genti & Hyers
  • Serves 8 to 10 people
Author Notes

In the wintertime, colorful fruits, aside from citrus, are few and far between.
Cranberries appear in early fall and are the perfect berry to pair with apples and
pears, but we wanted to feature them in their own right. Sage often appears on a
holiday table in roasted stuffing, but why not give it some attention in the dessert
course? —ElsenEM

What You'll Need
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh sage
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons ground arrowroot
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 4 cups whole cranberries, fresh or frozen (two 10-ounce bags)
  • 1 small baking apple, such as Northern Spy or Golden Delicious
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • Egg wash (1 large egg whisked with 1 teaspoon water and a pinch of salt)
  • Demerara sugar, for finishing
  1. This pie uses our All-Butter Crust for a 9-inch double-crust pie:
  2. Have ready and refrigerated one pastry-lined 9-inch pie pan and pastry round or lattice to top.
  3. In a heatproof bowl, pour boiling water over the dried cranberries to cover by about an inch. Allow them to plump while making the remaining filling.
  4. In a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, combine the chopped sage, granulated and brown sugars, salt, arrowroot, cinnamon, and allspice.
  5. Process until the sage is fully blended.
  6. Pour the sugar mixture into a large bowl.
  7. Use the same food processor bowl to briefly process 2 cups of the whole cranberries to a rough chop; add them, along with the remaining 2 cups whole cranberries, to the sugar mixture.
  8. Peel the apple and shred on the large holes of a box grater.
  9. In a colander, drain the plumped dried cranberries of excess water, but do not press or squeeze them out.
  10. Add the shredded apple and the drained dried cranberries to the bowl with the rest of the filling and mix well.
  11. Stir in the vanilla extract and egg, and mix well.
  12. Pour the filling into the refrigerated pie shell, arrange the lattice or pastry round on top, and crimp as desired.
  13. Chill the pie in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes to set the pastry.
  14. Meanwhile, position the oven racks in the bottom and center positions, place a rimmed baking sheet on the bottom rack, and preheat the oven to 425° F.
  15. Brush the pastry with the egg wash to coat; if your pie has a lattice top, be careful not to drag the filling onto the pastry (it will burn).
  16. Sprinkle with the desired amount of demerara sugar.
  17. Place the pie on the rimmed baking sheet on the lowest rack of the oven.
  18. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the pastry is set and beginning to brown.
  19. Lower the oven temperature to 375° F, move the pie to the center oven rack, and continue to bake until the pastry is a deep golden brown and the juices are bubbling throughout, 35 to 45 minutes longer.
  20. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack, 2 to 3 hours. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.
  21. The pie will keep for 3 days refrigerated or for up to 2 days at room temperature.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Miachel Pruett
    Miachel Pruett
  • Lil Rinaldi
    Lil Rinaldi
  • Carole P MacLellan
    Carole P MacLellan
  • sam_goldfien
Sisters Emily Elsen and Melissa Elsen were born and raised in the rural farm town of Hecla, South Dakota. Their mother and her sisters owned and operated the popular local restaurant, the Calico Kitchen, for which their grandmother Liz made all the pies. After pursuing different careers—Melissa in finance and Emily in sculpture and photography—they established their business in Brooklyn. They originally custom-baked pies in their apartment before opening Four & Twenty Blackbirds pie and coffee shop in 2010. Named “Artisan of the Year” by Time Out New York in 2011, they have received critical praise for their pies and have been featured in a variety of food media including the Food Network and the Cooking Channel, in the New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, and New York magazine.

12 Reviews

Carole P. December 8, 2021
I found this recipe (but same picture/pie design) in Genius Desserts and made it a few weeks ago. Used my pie crust recipe-it always works, and replaced the sage with a small amount of finely chopped fresh mint, only because that is what I had. THE BEST! Tart without being bitter, sweet but not enuf to make my teeth hurt. Rave reviews from friends and family. Will make it again, probably will try as small hand pies or turnovers as the filling is not drippy and fairly firm when cooled.
sam_goldfien November 19, 2019
hi! this pie looks so delicious! does anyone know a vegan substitution for the egg in the filling and the egg wash for the outside?
Susan December 13, 2014
The pie just came out of the oven. It looks delicious. I wish now I had read the comments about the vanilla. Also, I always think of pie as being served with ice cream or whipped cream. Has anyone tried that?
Miachel P. November 27, 2014
Love this every time. Two fun tweaks: turn down the vanilla extract to 1 tsp and replace the sage with thyme.
Lil R. November 20, 2014
This pie is delicious! Got this recipe from your book "The Four and Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book ". Made this one last year over the holidays and everyone loved it! Will be making it again this year.
neighome November 10, 2014
This pie is delicious. Pie=Thanksgiving; Cranberry=Thanksgiving. I love that this dessert combines the two. I like that the tartness of the cranberries is balanced with sweetness, rather than obliterated by it. I love sage and added some to the crust which worked out well. I may try a bit less vanilla next time, and I will tent with foil the last part of baking as the crust was quite brown.
SuSanFran December 31, 2013
My SO came off of an airplane, clutching the pages of the Wall Street Journal this recipe was printed on, hoping I'd make it for him. Who could resist? I made one for Christmas dinner, and I just made another for New Year's dinner. What a wonderful pie - the results are just tremendous. Don't be put off by the sage. I do not like savory ingredients in sweets, yet I love this pie. This recipe will now be a feature in our kitchen for every winter season to come. My compliments to the chef!
porcini November 27, 2013
Ok to use sweetened dried cranberries? If so, by how much should I reduce the added sugar?
Aya November 23, 2013
Would the recipe be terribly affected if I used fresh cranberries instead of dried?
Corrie S. November 17, 2013
Curious as to why you don't use weights in addition to measures?
t-mo November 13, 2013
This sounds delicious! Any recommended substitute for arrowroot?
ElsenEM November 14, 2013
Thanks t-mo! You can use ground tapioca or cornstarch instead - cornstarch can be a little gummy however, so reduce the amount you use to about 3 tablespoons.