Cranberry Pithivier

November 12, 2017
5 Ratings
Photo by Ren Fuller
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 35 minutes
  • Makes one 9 inch pithivier
Author Notes

A pithivier is a crispy, flaky alternative to pie. It’s also an easy alternative for folks who don’t want to mess with pie dough—though more power to you if you want to make your own puff pastry, too! Traditionally, the surface is scored with a paring knife to create a decorative pattern. It can be as simple (lines) or elaborate (swirls) as you like! For a sharper look, egg wash the pastry before you score it; the score marks will be paler than the surface of the pastry and the pattern will be very clear. For a more even look, score the pastry after scoring it: the pattern will be more subtle and the pastry will be evenly golden brown.

Featured in: The Double Puff Pastry Pie of Your Dreams (Is Simple to Make in Reality). —Erin Jeanne McDowell

What You'll Need
  • 1/3 cup sweetened dried cranberries (38 g)
  • zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon (28 g)
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
  • 12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries (thawed if frozen) (340 g)
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar (107 g)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch (11 g)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt (1 g)
  • 14 ounces homemade or (2 sheets) frozen puff pastry (preferably DuFour brand + thawed if frozen)
  • egg wash, as needed for finishing
  1. Place the dried cranberries in a small heat-safe bowl. Reserve the orange zest. Squeeze the orange juice into a liquid measuring cup. Add the bourbon. If necessary, add water to reach 1/2 cup of liquid in the measuring cup (if the mixture is 1/2 cup or more, there's no need to add water).
  2. Pour the liquid into a small pot. Add the vanilla bean and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Pour the simmering liquid over the dried cranberries. Let it sit for 5 minutes to soften. Remove the vanilla bean.
  3. Drain the cranberries, and roughly chop them. In a medium bowl, toss the chopped, rehydrated cranberries with the fresh or thawed cranberries to combine.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk the brown sugar, cornstarch, and salt to combine. Add this mixture to the cranberries and toss well to combine. Stir in the orange zest.
  5. If using homemade/puff pastry not already in sheets, cut it in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each piece the puff pastry to 1/4-inch thick sheets. Cut each into a 9-inch circle—you can freehand it, or use a plate or large cake pan/stand for a guide, or cut a stencil out of parchment, whatever level of commitment you feel like going for!
  6. Preheat the oven to 400° F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Transfer one circle of puff pastry to the prepared parchment paper. Place the filling in the center of the pastry, and spread into an even layer, leaving 1 inch of pastry uncovered all around. Brush the exposed pastry lightly with water.
  7. Gently unfurl the second circle of puff pastry over the top of the filling—the ends should match up. Use a fork with lightly floured tines to crimp all the way around the pithivier. Press firmly to make sure the puff pastry pieces are sealed together.
  8. Traditionally, pithiviers are scored with a paring knife to create a decorative pattern. For a sharper look, egg wash the pastry before you score it—the score marks will be paler than the surface of the pastry and the pattern will be very clear! For a more even look, score the pastry after eggwashing it—the pattern will be more subtle and the pastry will be evenly golden brown. I draw lines about 1 1/2 inches apart vertically across the pie. Then I draw short diagonal lines between the vertical lines—sometimes I alternate directions. Really, any kind of score marks work, or none at all.
  9. Bake the pastry until golden brown and fully baked through, 30-35 minutes. Let cool at least 20 minutes before slicing and serving.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Nicolette Andrea
    Nicolette Andrea
  • bunten
  • Erin Jeanne McDowell
    Erin Jeanne McDowell
  • Mermaid Bakeshop
    Mermaid Bakeshop
I always have three kinds of hot sauce in my purse. I have a soft spot for making people their favorite dessert, especially if it's wrapped in a pastry crust. My newest cookbook, Savory Baking, came out in Fall of 2022 - is full of recipes to translate a love of baking into recipes for breakfast, dinner, and everything in between!

20 Reviews

Nicolette A. November 22, 2017
Could you make this in advance? A day prior to serving?
bunten November 23, 2017
Puff pastry becomes tough and unappetizing soon after baking, I see no reason, however, who you can't leave the unbaked pithivier in the fridge overnight and then bake just before serving.
M November 22, 2017
The ingredients list calls for 14 oz homemade or 2 sheets puff pastry which was confusing. I bought the 14 oz package of Dufour Puff Pastry thinking it would be enough but it isn't. Would be helpful to indicate 2 sheets of puff pastry if using Dufour (or other premade). Perhaps the 14 oz works for homemade puff pastry but I doubt that would be enough to get the 1/4 thick top and bottom. Otherwise, great recipe.
1Lark November 21, 2017
Looks delicious and can't wait to try it. Can it be made with other fruits? If yes, suggetions?
Gail F. November 21, 2017
Looks great but unsure.
Said that filling should be cooked before encasing with the puff pastry.
But the fresh cranberries aren't cooked
Won't they release moisture and make it soggy?
Joan Y. December 3, 2019
I'm concerned about the uncooked cranberries too. Any response?
Gloria November 19, 2017
Literally jumped into the kitchen the moment I saw this Recipe and it just came out if the oven- love it!!
Erin J. November 20, 2017
Thanks so much!!!!
Toddie November 19, 2017
What is the recommended baking time for individual hand pies?
Erin J. November 20, 2017
Depending on their precise size, you’ll want to start checking them after 12-15 minutes!!
BonnieC. November 19, 2017
While this sounds delicious, it also sounds like something that would be way too much trouble to make for a holiday dessert unless it could be made well ahead of time. How would one store this?
Marti November 19, 2017
I am also curious about this--can this dessert be made the day before and would you recommend storing it at room temperature? Might refrigeration of the cooked and cooled pie make the pastry go soggy after baking?
Erin J. November 20, 2017
This could be made one day ahead, for sure - just store wrapped in plastic wrap tightly at room temperature! You can refresh it in a 375 degree fahrenheit oven for 5-10 minutes for serving to re-crisp slightly!
BonnieC. November 20, 2017
Marti November 27, 2017
I made it and it looked picture perfect out of the oven, except for the taste--it tasted a little too tart, not quite sweet enough. Think it needed a bit more sugar.
Quinn November 19, 2017
I don't care for the bourbon taste. Is there another alcohol I can use? Or can it be left out altogether? Would love to prepare this for Thanksgiving dinner dessert...sounds lovely.
Mermaid B. November 19, 2017
I often use apple juice, or apple cider as a substitute for Bourbon in recipes.
Erin J. November 19, 2017
Great idea! You could also double up on the orange juice instead!
Nancy November 13, 2017
What a lovely adaptation of the original idea!
evangeline J. November 22, 2017
to save calories can i use phyllo dough instead of puff pastry.