“Crazy crust pie” is a style of pie that I discovered on the back of one of my grandmother’s recipe cards. Instead of making a traditional crust, you prepare a buttery batter and layer lots of fruit on top of it. That batter transforms into a “crazy crust” in the oven, somewhere between cake batter and shortbread, that provides a wonderful contrast for a wide variety of fruit. While I typically use fresh fruit in my crazy crust pies, one of the notes on that original recipe card states that canned fruit pie filling can be used. I don’t have much canned fruit pie filling in my kitchen, but during the holidays I have a lot of homemade cranberry sauce. A little bit of experimentation was all it took to create this wonderfully easy-to-make Crazy Crust Cranberry Sauce Pie.
To make the pie, simply mix up the crazy crust base below and top it with homemade cranberry sauce. The crust will bake up around those berries and transform into a delightfully sweet-tart pie in the oven. I tend to leave about 1/2-inch of room around the outside edge of the pie plate when adding the cranberries, but it won’t hurt the pie if your berries or the juice from the sauce spill over towards that outer edge. The pie can be served warm or at room temperature and is particularly good when served with a dollop of whipped cream.
Homemade, whole berry cranberry sauce is going to be the best choice for this recipe and I recommend using one of my recipes. That said, if you have your own favorite homemade recipe, they pie should turn out just fine. If you don’t have homemade sauce on hand, you can use a store-bought whole berry sauce as long as it has plenty of whole berries and has a short ingredient list with no additional thickeners. A jellied cranberry sauce would not be appropriate for this recipe, but many sauces will work with it well. It’s a fantastic way to use up leftover cranberry sauce after a holiday – and a great excuse to make an extra batch.
Crazy Crust Cranberry Pie
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg
3/4 cup water
3 cups homemade cranberry sauce*
3 tbsp sugar
Preheat oven to 400F. Lightly grease a 9 or 10-inch pie pan.
Make The Crust: In a large bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter until it is softened. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Add flour mixture to the butter and mix at low speed until mixture is sandy.
In a small bowl, whisk together egg and water. Pour into flour mixture and mix until ingredients are just combined. Beat batter for 1 minute at medium speed. Batter will resemble pancake batter. Pour into prepared pie pan.
Spoon the cranberry sauce into the center of the batter, leaving about 1/2-inch around the edge of the pie plate. Sprinkle sugar over the top of the cranberry sauce.
Bake for about 45 minutes, until the pie is dark golden brown and set.
Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before slicing. Pie can be served warm or at room temperature
*Most bags of cranberries come with a recipe printed right on the side and that recipe will work just fine, even if you’ve never made homemade sauce before. Cranberry sauce is easy and fun to make, however, and I always recommend my recipes as a base for this pie!