Not only are these dairy-free cranberry pie bars pretty, but they are a really unique addition to the holidays!
I made these for Thanksgiving and everyone really enjoyed them. Most of our desserts for the holidays are really sweet, so I wanted to add something to the table that wasn’t as sweet, but still had all the flavors of the season.
Cranberry is a quintessential flavor for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. Almost everyone has cranberry sauce on their table! We definitely can have a Thanksgiving meal or Christmas dinner without it. I also make these frosted cranberries every year that my family loves.
This year, I wanted to take cranberries even further with a sweet treat. These cranberry pie bars tasted even better the next day with some fresh coffee!
P.S – Chemistry Cachet readers LOVE this dairy-free pumpkin pie recipe. We had so many great reviews this Thanksgiving 🙂
Pin this to save the dairy-free cranberry pie bar recipe:
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 1/2 cup finely diced apple (use a sweet apple)
- 3/4 cup brown sugar (or coconut sugar)
- 2 tsp almond extract
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 3/4 tsp corn starch
- 1 egg for egg wash
- Sugar and Cinnamon for dusting
- 2 unbaked pie shells***
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- First, line an 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper for easy removal (see photos below).
- Roll out the pie dough fairly thin (one pie shell will be for the top)
- Line the baking dish with the dough, allowing the sides to bunch up a little for crust. Poke holes in the dough to eliminate air bubbles.Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar all over the dough.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a medium sauce pan combine the cranberries, apples, sugar, and lemon juice.
- Cook on medium until the cranberries begin to pop or bust open (about 8 minutes or so).
- Stir in the corn starch and almond extract.
- Continue stirring and cook another few minutes until the sauce thickens. It should have a soft jelly consistency.
- Add this sauce to the 8x8 pan with the slightly baked pie shell. Spread out leaving about 1/2 inch on the side without sauce (this filling will be thin since these are bars, not traditional pie).
- Top with the rest of your pie dough in any lattice work you like. Brush with the egg wash (one egg whisked with a little water).
- Sprinkle more cinnamon and sugar all over.
- Bake about 25 more minutes until top crust turns a little golden.
- Dust with more sugar, cinnamon or powdered sugar if desired.
- Allow to cool then cut into 9 small bars.
- You can use gluten-free pie crust in this dish, it turns out great!
- This recipe can be easily doubled to use in a 9x13 baking dish.
- Since these are pie bars, the filling is thin. If you want really thick filling, you can double ingredients for sauce. Just be aware it may bubble out and under crust.
Chemist Tips for This Dairy-Free Cranberry Pie Bar Recipe
This is a fail-proof recipe! Even if your texture isn’t exactly right, it will taste wonderful and look pretty. Many of my readers are gluten-free, so feel free to use any gluten-free pie crust you enjoy. It can be homemade or store-bought.
I always use store-bought Pillsbury. It has a great texture when you roll it out and most people think it’s homemade.
In my last newsletter, I shared many tips on pie baking along with some details on pie toppings to get a golden brown crust or bubbly crust. For this recipe, using egg wash (one egg with 1 tbsp of water whisked) will give it a nice golden brown. Adding layers of sugar and cinnamon will give a pretty little bubbly texture to the crust as well.
These cranberry pie bars are more tart than a traditional pie (which I love), but feel free to add more sugar to the crust or even some more to the filling. Using a little bit of sweet apple is the perfect combination with cranberries too.
Do not substitute CANNED cranberries, but you may use thawed frozen cranberries if you can’t find fresh. Keep in mind there will be more moisture in the frozen ones, so it may need to cook a bit longer on the stove 🙂
I hope you enjoy it! And Happy December!