How many of you really loooooooooove cranberry sauce? Not the idea of cranberry mini pies, but actual cranberry sauce?
Like, does the sound of a gelatinous ringed blob being birthed from a tin can just send your heart racing? Do you get a little flushed thinking about slo-mo spreading that gooey red gelatin all over your herb-roasted turkey? And how about your salivary glands? Do they yearn for the moment its tart sweetness fulfills their long-awaited desire?
According to a (small) survey conducted in 2019, it turns out that 29% of you truly dislike cranberry sauce but eat it anyway (gosh how I’d love to unpack that behavior with some of you). And a whopping 50% of folks think cranberry sauce is “absolutely disgusting.”
(100% of you think my cranberry sauce sexual innuendoes are.)
Want to know something else? It’s my least favorite Thanksgiving dish too. And Thanksgiving is actually my least favorite holiday. Apparently, I’m not alone. So why did I bother making a cranberry sauce recipe to share with you last week? Because I love to cook and share recipes, and because…
CRANBERRY MINI PIES!!!
(I know I said I’d share a cranberry pancake recipe with you, but I lied.)
What are cranberry mini pies?
Pies. That are small. With cranberry sauce inside. And mine are topped with a goat cheese cream sauce that will blow your
[get your mind out of the gutter]
Why should I make them?
Because don’t you dare throw that leftover cranberry sauce in the trash! We don’t waste food in this house, especially during a…
I mean, because they’re DELICIOUS!
Are they difficult to make?
Do the cranberry mini pies freeze well?
Yes, but we’re all going vegan in January anyway so eat ’em up!
Vegan in January? Whatcha talkin’ ’bout Willis?
I’ll be sharing some delicious vegan recipes with you each week in January that you will try even if you’re not vegan – JEDI MIND TRICK – YOU WILL COOK IT. YOU WILL EAT IT. YOU WILL LOVE IT.
Just like these cranberry mini pies.
Cranberry Mini PIes
- Food processor
- 1 Cook's Illustrated vodka pie crust (Bourbon works too - I've tried it in a pinch and it makes a deliciously flaky crust, just like the vodka.)
- 3/4 - 1 cup cranberry sauce (actually, any jam will do if you're out of cranberry sauce but still want to make mini pies)
- 2-3 tablespoons sugar for sprinkling onto pies (Looking to cut down on sugar? Lakanto makes a monkfruit sweetener that works well in baked goods and is a 1:1 sub with sugar.)
Goat Cheese Cream Sauce
- 1/2 cup goat cheese (Regular cream cheese works too, but the goat cheese is even better. If you use regular cream cheese, just be sure to let it sit out at room temp for 20-30 minutes before placing in food processor, or it will be clumpy.)
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar (Looking to cut down on sugar? Swerve makes a great confectioner's sugar substitute that works well in recipes).
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons milk
- pinch salt
- Preheat oven to 350 and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Make Cook's Illustrated pie crust according to directions (with the exception in my note below). Note: This recipe is *amazing* with a couple of minor tweaks. First, I had to mix the water and vodka into the dough with my hands after folding with the rubber spatula. Second, the dough was a bit too sticky to roll after mixing, so I just refrigerated the entire ball for 15 minutes (before flattening), then rolled the entire thing out onto a lightly floured surface (about 1/4" thick) before moving on to Step 3 below.
- Use a circular object to cut the flattened dough into 16 "rounds" about 3.5" in diameter. You may need to re-roll the dough a couple of times to get all 16 rounds.Note: You can use anything circular with sharp-ish edges to cut the dough into rounds, but I'd suggest not going smaller than an object that is 3.5" in diameter or you will get a mini pie that is mostly crust. Also, you can make square/rectangular pies if you prefer. I did this once, making 4 "pop tarts" by cutting the dough by hand into 8 separate 4 x 6" rectangles.
- When done making rounds (or rectangles), place half of them onto parchment lined baking sheet. These will be your pie "bottoms." Place about 1.5-2T tablespoons of cranberry sauce in the center. Spread the sauce a little bit, but be careful not to spread it all the way to the edges, or it will leak out of your pies while baking.
- In your "tops," poke a few holes in whichever design you like using the tip of a fork (see image above). The small holes will allow steam to release from the inside of the pies while baking.
- Wet fingers with cold tap water and line the edges of the "bottoms" with the water from your fingers. Place your "tops" above your "bottoms" ;0) and connect by lightly pressing the bottom edge of a fork around the edges of your pies. (I prefer to work on one at a time, forking the edges to close the pie up before moving on to the next one. Here's an image of me forking some rectangular ones I made with whole wheat flour.)
- Whisk egg in a bowl. Lightly brush tops of mini pies with a bit of the egg mixture. This will give your mini-pies a shiny, golden finish when done baking.
- Sprinkle the tops of pies with a bit of sugar.
- Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes, then turn pan around in the oven.
- Bake for another 10-15 minutes, until the crust presents a nice golden finish (mine took 30 minutes total, but keep an eye on it at 25 minutes because every oven is different).
- Let cool for 15-20 minutes on cooling rack before drizzling with goat cheese cream sauce (instructions below).
Goat Cheese Cream Sauce
- Place all ingredients listed above in food processor and process until smooth consistency, about 1 minute.
- Drizzle the shizzle out of your cooled pies. YUMMMM!