As I flipped through the pages of Bon Appetit’s annual Thanksgiving issue, I saw the usual suspects: off-kilter turkey brines, ambitious stuffings and minute-by-minute instructions for how to stay sane the weekend-of. All of this was a little irrelevant to me. My family is chock-full of kitchen alphas, making that room a veritable combat zone in which it’s every man for himself and we’re all fighting for oven territory. As you might imagine, this has really brought out the pacifist in me. I’ll lend a helping whisk here, lower the turkey into the deep fryer there, but on this weekend I relinquish the helm to the more tenured folk and plop myself down with a glass of red to watch the theater of the day unfold.
But being the that Mintz I am, I can’t sit still on the sidelines for too long. Usually, I’ll make a guest appearance in the kitchen to whip up a pumpkin pie – my perennial responsibility. This year, Bon Appetit’s Cranberry-Lime Pie struck my attention – it looked rich, festive and to my happy surprise, made way ahead of time! So, I’m forgoing the baked-just-before pumpkin pie ordeal and starting a new tradition. Not only is this an unexpected twist on Thanksgiving mainstays, but baking and assembling it at home means I surrender the oven to no one and I don’t have to share the leftover curd.
The holidays are an orgy of butter-logged, sugar-dusted hedonism and for that, I am grateful. But what often comes with that territory is cloying desserts that will sooner send you to the dentist than back for seconds. This recipe scratches that itch for holiday sweets without the saccharine stereotype. With a gingery aromatic crust and velvety, bright red cranberry-lime curd, it’s tangy, fruity indulgence at its best.
Whether you’re a Thanksgiving pacifist like me or are already knee-deep in turkey brine, this recipe is a great way to shake things up. It requires but TEN minutes of oven time and depending on the state-lines of your holiday kitchen, can be made way ahead or just a couple hours before the dinner bell.
(adapted from Bon Appetit)
4 oz. gingersnap cookies
1 cup pecans
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons brown sugar
12 oz. fresh or frozen (thawed) cranberries
2 cups granulated sugar
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon lime zest
½ cup fresh lime juice
Pinch of kosher salt
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into slices
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Pulse cookies in a food processor until finely ground. Add pecans and pulse until finely ground. Add butter and brown sugar and pulse to combine.
Dump into a 9” pie dish and use your fingers and fist to press the mixture into the bottom and edges of the pie tin. The crust should eventually evenly cover the entire surface area of the dish.
Bake for 10-15 minutes. Let cool.
Filling and Assembly
Bring cranberries, 1 cup granulated sugar and ¼ cup water to a boil in a saucepan. Simmer until cranberries burst and most of the liquid evaporates, 12-15 minutes. Puree in a food processor. Let cool.
Clean the cranberry pot and fill with 3 inches of water. Bring to a simmer.
Whisk together eggs, egg yolks, lemon zest, lime zest, lime juice and salt in a large glass bowl. Once the cranberry puree has cooled, whisk that in too.
Place the glass bowl on top of the pot with simmering water. Stir with a rubber spatula often, until curd thickens, 8-10 minutes. Transfer to a mixing bowl and let cool until just warm.
Using an electric mixer, beat curd on medium-high, adding butter a piece at a time and incorporating after each addition.
Pour and scrape into the crust and chill until firm, about 2 hours. Serve chilled with whipped cream.