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Vera Mae’s Merry Holidays Pie

Recipe By: Janet Ropp
Year Submitted: 2019
Winner Second Place


1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup cake flour
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup cold unsalted butter€”cut into small pieces
5 tablespoons cold vegetable shortening€”cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon orange zest
¼ cup cold water

4 large eggs
8 ounces cream cheese€”room temperature
¾ cup light brown sugar
½ cup sugar
1 ½ cup half and half
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons orange zest
3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
2 tablespoons orange juice
15 ounce can pumpkin plus ¼ cup pumpkin
½ teaspoon cardamom

3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries€” coarsely chopped
1 ¼ cup sugar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ cup orange juice
1/8 teaspoon each: cayenne pepper and salt
½ cup pecans–chopped
1 teaspoon cranberry balsamic vinegar


In bowl of food processor, put flours, sugar, salt and orange zest€”pulse several times until mixed. Add butter and pulse several times. Fluff mixture with a fork and add shortening€”pulse again for 5 or 6 times. Fluff mixture with a fork, add half the water and pulse for a few times. Fluff again and add remaining water€”pulse again for a few times or until the dough starts to form clumps. Empty the mixture into a large bowl. Knead the dough a few times, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about an hour or overnight. When ready to use, roll it flat and place in 9 ½ inch glass pie plate.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Beat together cream cheese and sugars until creamy. Add eggs and beat well. Add remaining ingredients and beat until smooth. Pour into prepared crust. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until set. Cool pie on wire rack while preparing cranberry topping.

In saucepan, mix together cranberries, sugar, water, orange zest and lemon zest€”bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes. In small bowl, combine cornstarch and orange juice€”mix well and add to cranberry mixture. Cook and stir constantly the cranberry mixture about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add cayenne pepper, salt and balsamic vinegar. Allow mixture to cool completely. Stir in pecans. Spread mixture on pumpkin pie. Serve with whipped cream, if desired.