Nantucket Cranberry Pie

This seasonal cranberry “pie” is a simple and beautifully tart exclamation point at the end of any holiday dinner!

Adapted from a 1993 Gourmet Magazine recipe that called this a “pie”, as most New Englanders do, this uncomplicated recipe is not a pie at all – there is no crust or filling – it is really more a cake or a torte. It has made an appearance on almost every holiday table in my family since I was in middle school.  I’ve tried adding other flavors over the years (orange, ginger, cardamom, vanilla) but they are unnecessary – this dessert works best when cranberry is the star flavor. The recipe doubles easily if you are cooking for more people or just want a more hefty slice of cranberry goodness. The leftovers (if there are any) also make for a bracing next-day breakfast!

Nantucket Cranberry Pie

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print
It may feel overly fiddly, but spending the time to cut each cranberry in half is worth it for the final effect – the cranberries float to the top of the pie and look so appealing. It also prevents the cranberries from breaking down too much and turning into a soupy mush, so no food processors here! Measure the cranberries after slicing them to get a more accurate amount. Make sure to heavily butter your baking pan to lend a lightly caramelized nature to the edges of the pie. Use a pie plate or cake pan but not a springform pan, or all the butter and cranberry juices will end up on the bottom of your oven. This is not a pie that will turn out of the pan, so pick an attractive one to bake it in!


  • 2 cups cranberries, sliced in half
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup flour


Preheat the oven to 350º F. Heavily butter a 9″ pie pan. Rinse and dry the cranberries. Slice them in half and measure 2 cups into a large mixing bowl. Toss the sliced cranberries in 1/3 cup of sugar and then evenly spread over the bottom of the buttered pie pan.

Using the same mixing bowl (having wiped out any excess sugar and cranberry seeds), stir together the melted butter, sugar, and salt until all the butter is incorporated. Stir in the eggs until smooth, then mix in the flour until even. Pour the batter over the sugared cranberries in the baking pan. Firmly tap the pan on the kitchen counter a few times to make sure the batter is evenly distributed.

As the sugar sometimes bubbles over the side, place a baking sheet on the rack underneath the pie pan to catch any drips. Bake until the sugar is beginning to look caramelized and bubbly on the edges and a toothpick comes out clean, about for 40 minutes. Allow to cool before serving.

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