Making cranberry pie filling is very easy to make. You just need a few ingredients and you can preserve it for the whole year. Use it in pies, cookies, cakes and so much more.
Whenever I am around any cranberry pie, I find myself eating the filling first!
The pie filling is and has always been my favorite thing about the pie.
I know I am not the only one! There are many of you reading this now and nodding your heads in agreement. 🙂
Tips for making cranberry pie filling
- Use fresh cranberries but freeze them before adding to the pie. Does that make sense, lol? What I mean to say is that you should get fresh cranberries from the store. Then, freeze them overnight before adding to the pan.
- Add as few ingredients as possible because this will be used in many different recipes. So, add cinnamon and orange zest only when you are putting the cranberry pie filling into pie recipe. Add elderberry syrup when you are adding it to a cake recipe.
- Wait for it to cool completely before transferring it to storage containers
- Use glass containers to store the cranberry filling because it will preserve the flavors and the sauce thickness
- You can can it and save it for future recipes, but I am not sure how the can will react with the sugars in this recipe.
Why make just the filling?
If you have done some computer programming in your life, you will understand the term “Reusable Modules”. The concept is very simple. It means that we should create a sequence that is used often in programming.
So, instead of writing the same piece of code each time, you just refer to that sequence / module. Its a huge time saver in the coding world.
I used to put pie filling in so many recipes. Sometimes, I made the filling for one recipe and find that I need it again for a cookie recipe too.
My mind always told me to make a huge batch of the cranberry pie filling module and use it in different recipes!
That became a huge time saver for me and I thank my coding days for making my life easier.
P/s Apply this idea for any type of filling, especially apple pie filling which I know you use more than any other filling.
When to use pie filling
- Thanksgiving pie recipes
- Hand pies
- Muffin recipes
- Cake recipes
- Cookie recipes
- Crumble recipes
- Fruit bars
- Strudel recipes
- Top them on waffles or pancakes!
Topping them on waffles is my favorite use of this cranberry pie filling with a little vegan whipped cream on top. Which one is your favorite?
I plan on serving cranberry pie and apple pie for my vegan Thanksgiving this year. If you are looking for inspiration, check out my full vegan Thanksgiving menu for amazing options.
What baked pie are you planning to make?
Common questions when making this recipe
As you make this filling recipe, you may have questions. My plan here is to anticipate your questions and answer them below. If you can’t find an answer to your questions, feel free to contact me or to comment below.
What kind of vegan sugar should I use?
In this cranberry pie filling recipe, I used Florida Crystals© Demerara cane sugar which is my go to brown sugar. If you haven’t made beet lemonade using Demerara sugar, you are seriously missing out on its amazing taste.
There are several white and brown white vegan sugars on the market. They will have the “certified vegan” badge / icon on the front which makes yours and my life so much easier, right?
If you want more info on what is vegan friendly, check out my free guide on what vegans don’t eat.
Why add cornstarch?
Cornstarch thickens the liquid and makes it more viscous. Thicker liquid is perfect for pies, making them easier to cut into.
Without cornstarch, you will have a runny mess that just ruins any dessert recipe. Once, I tried making a cranberry pie without the starch and the whole pie was a mess. The crust never fully baked because it turned to liquid when I added the filling
Cornstarch doesn’t alter the flavor of the filling, so , you don’t have to worry about ruining your pie’s taste.
P/S: I have a vegan pie dough recipe that I think you might like.
What can I substitute for cornstarch?
- Potato starch
- Coconut flour (use half of the cornstarch amount required in the recipe)
- Tapioca flour
- Agar Agar
You will have to experiment the amount required with any of the above ingredients. Let me know what you discovered during the testing process and how your cranberry pie filling turned out.
Source: Healthline and my personal experience.
What if I don’t have fresh cranberries
If you don’t have fresh cranberries to make this pie filling, go with frozen cranberries. I know Dole makes frozen cranberries that are available all year round.
Fresh cranberries are easy to find, especially in the fall. If you find them earlier in the season, you can freeze them in Ziploc bags and use them anytime of the year.
Cranberries can be frozen directly without adding any other ingredients. Frozen, they can last for 2 years or more.
To experiment for this cranberry pie filling, I used cranberries that I froze over 2 years ago. I had bought way too many in 2017, so, I froze them.
Any leftover fresh cranberries can go into a delicious cranberry sauce recipe that is also vegan.
I don’t recommend using canned cranberries for this cranberry pie filling recipe.
Can I just use store bought pie filling?
I don’t know too many stores around me that sell cranberry pie filling. Also, many pie fillings use artificial sugars, high fructose corn syrup or non-vegan friendly products.
With this recipe, you know exactly what is going inside the cranberry filling. That’s why I love this pie filling
Can I use whole cranberries in a pie?
Yes, you can absolutely use whole cranberries in a pie. In fact, I highly recommend using them whole because they will cook well and absorb the flavors while they cook. They will shrink just enough that you can put them into your pie!
Can I freeze it?
Yes, you can freeze cranberry pie filling. I place it in glass containers that are freezer friendly and then label with name of filling + date it was frozen.
Use frozen pie filling within 6 months.
How to make cranberry pie filling
1. Take a stainless steel pan and heat it at medium heat. I used a 10″ stainless steel pan
2. Add 1 cup of Demerara Cane Sugar to the pan
3. Make sure you spread the sugar evenly so that it doesn’t clump up
4. Add 1 Tbsp of vegan butter
5. When the butter starts to melt, mix it gently
6. Add 1 cup of water to the sugar
7. When the sugar has melted into the water (about 5 min), add 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp of cornstarch. Wait for the 1 Tbsp to melt before adding the 1 tsp cornstarch.
*Note: The package says that you shouldn’t add cornstarch to hot liquid. You can mix the starch in water first before adding to the pan. I prefer my method of adding it directly to hot water.
8. Add 1 cup of frozen cranberries to the pan
Mix gently and set the heat to low.
Let it cook on low heat for about 22-25 min or until the liquid thickens. The cranberries will also be easy to mush
Turn off heat and let it cool down completely before transferring to glass container.
That’s it! You now have the best no-bake cranberry pie filling recipe.
In what recipe will you use this cranberry pie filling?
Vegan Cranberry Pie Filling Recipe
- 10" stainless steel pan
- Glass container to store the cranberry pie filling
- 1 cup Demerara cane sugar
- 1 Tbsp vegan butter
- 1 cup water
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1 cup fresh cranberries frozen overnight
- Freeze the cranberries overnight
- Take a stainless steel pan and heat it at medium heat. I used a 10″ stainless steel pan
- Add 1 cup of Demerara Cane Sugar to the pan
- Make sure you spread the sugar evenly so that it doesn’t clump up
- Add 1 Tbsp of vegan butter
- When it starts to melt, mix it gently
- Add 1 cup of water to the sugar
- When the sugar has melted into the water (about 5 min), add 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- When that cornstarch has blended with the sugar water, add the other 1tsp of cornstarch
- Add 1 cup of frozen cranberries to the pan
- Mix gently and set the heat to low.
- Let it cook on low heat for about 22-25 min or until the liquid thickens. The cranberries will also be easy to mush
- Turn off heat and let it cool down completely before transferring to glass container.