Fresh Cranberry Sour Cream Pie

This pie is adaptable through the seasons. Try gooseberries cut in half or chopped rhubarb in season, or simply freeze fresh cranberries for a later treat!
3rd Place winner in the 2014 Savor the Season Lillie Newspapers holiday recipe contest

1-1/2 to 2 cups fresh cranberries, cut in half.
1 cup (or a little more if desired) white sugar
1 store-bought shortbread or graham cracker pie crust
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 pinch salt
1 cup sour cream
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350° F.
In a large bowl, gently stir together the cranberries and sugar.  Let stand for 15 minutes
In a small bowl. stir together the flour and salt
In another large bowl mix the sour cream, eggs and vanilla. Then sprinkle with the flour and salt mixture.  Mix these ingredients just until fluffy, but do not over mix.
Gently fold in the cranberry and sugar mixture and pour into pie crust.
Grate a small amount of nutmeg (or very lightly sprinkle with ground nutmeg) on top of pie.  Remember:  a little nutmeg goes a long way.
Bake 55 minutes. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until serving. Can let warm to room temperature if the crust is hard to cut.

Jeanne Gehrman
St. Paul

Don't make a face: this is seasonal serendipity

Didn't think you'd like a cream pie?

Neither did many of our recipe judges -- until they tasted this take on it.

In fact, neither did third-place contest winner Jeanne Gehrman herself when she first spotted the recipe.

After all, cream pies look and sound heavy, like something Great-Grandma fed the farmhands to keep their energy up during haying season.

Not this one. It's cool, fresh, colorful and the fluffy cream mixture is a perfect complement to the cranberries.

Gehrman says discovering the recipe was one of the best strikes of luck she -- and her friends and family -- have had.

"About four or five years ago, in the spring, we were up north and I got some gooseberries, and then thought 'Now what'll I do with them?' So I looked up gooseberry recipes and found 'Gooseberry Sour Cream Pie,' and thought 'That sounds weird.'"

Fortunately, Gehrman pressed on, finding a tip online that notes sour fruit like gooseberries will soak in sugar better if the berries are cut in half.

The gooseberry version of the pie was a success. So, she tried other fruits as they came into season.

Her findings: the concoction is great for blueberries, which don't have to be cut up, and rhubarb.

By fall, Gehrman, who counts pies as her specialty, was experimenting with cranberries. It's been a seasonal go-to for the holiday gatherings at her house ever since.

The bonus to this recipe: although it looks elegant and tastes like you slaved over it all day, it's just a few minutes of stirring and mixing, then pouring the filling into a pre-made crust.

In even a brief conversation with Gehrman, it's clear she won't put up with time-consuming steps, which she brushes off as "putzy."

"I've given up on cookies, because it's just so putzy even making them," she declares. "And when I looked on the internet and so many gooseberry recipes were for jams and jellies, I said, 'Forget it.'"

So, the cutting cranberries in half  "is the only putzy part" of the recipe.

From there, it's just serving whatever fruit you choose in the pie and serving it with confidence, as Gehrman does.

"Many people make a face when I talk about it, but everyone loves it."


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