Cranberry-Lemon Chess Pie

Both the pie dough and cranberry filling can be made ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to use.

Cranberry-Lemon Chess Pie
Yields: 1 (9-inch) pie
  • Lemon Pie Dough (recipe follows)
  • Cranberry Filling (recipe follows)
  • 1¼ cups granulated sugar, divided
  • ⅓ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon plain yellow cornmeal
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup fresh or thawed frozen cranberries, rinsed and drained but still damp
  • Garnish: confectioners’ sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Let Lemon Pie Dough stand at room temperature until slightly softened, about 10 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 12-inch circle. Transfer to a 9-inch pie plate, pressing into bottom and up sides. Fold edges under, and crimp as desired. Top with a piece of parchment paper, letting ends extend over edges of plate. Add pie weights. Place on a rimmed baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes. Carefully remove paper and weights. Let cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°.
  4. Spread Cranberry Filing in cooled crust.
  5. In a large bowl, beat ¾ cup granulated sugar, butter, flour, cornmeal, and eggs with a mixer at medium speed until almost smooth. Stir in buttermilk, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt. Pour over Cranberry Filling.
  6. Bake until set, 40 to 45 minutes, loosely covering with foil during last 10 minutes of baking to prevent excess browning, if necessary. Let cool completely. Refrigerate until cold.
  7. Just before serving, toss cranberries with remaining ½ cup granulated sugar. Top pie with sugared cranberries. Garnish with confectioners’ sugar, if desired.

Lemon Pie Dough
Yields: 1 (9-inch) piecrust
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • ½ cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 5 tablespoons ice water
  1. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, sugar, salt, and zest. Using a pastry blender, cut in cold butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs and a few pea-size pieces of butter remain. Add ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring with a fork until a shaggy dough forms. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and shape into a disk. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and chill until firm, at least 1 hour or overnight.

Cranberry Filling
Yields: 1¼ Cups
  • 1 (10-ounce) bag fresh or frozen cranberries, thawed
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  1. In a medium saucepan, bring all ingredients to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium; cook, pressing with the back of a spoon, until cranberries burst and mixture is very thick, 8 to 10 minutes. Spoon into a bowl; let cool completely, stirring occasionally.



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