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Mini Cranberry Pies with Chinese 5 Spice Meringue + giveaway

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of PAM Cooking Spray.

Tired of turkey and stuffing yet?  If you’re like me, you way overdid it on the food for Thanksgiving and have a ton of leftovers still.  While the pies are all gone and the turkey is dwindling, I still have two mason jars full of homemade cranberry sauce.  I’ve been trying to figure out recipes to use this deliciousness in, and pie came to mind.

cranberry pie meringue recipe in_the_know_mom

This recipe wouldn’t be possible without Pam Cooking Spray.  No one likes spending all that time on a dish, only to have it stick to the pan.  We’ve all been there too many times and it is so frustrating!  With a quick spray to the muffin tin, these mini pies slide right on out when baked.  No fuss and nothing left behind thanks to the new 99% less residue formula!  Washing that baked on left-behind goop is not what you should be doing while entertaining these holidays.  Pam it up and go spend time with your family.

pam cooking spray in_the_know_mom

Originally I was going to bake a full cranberry pie in my beautiful new Le Creuset pie dish (win one below!) but my mood was leaning more towards the minis.  I just love mini pies because, if you can just eat one, the portion size is perfect.  I want to enjoy all of the full fat flavors of the season, but in moderation.

homemade cranberry sauce recipe in_the_know_mom

Since my cranberry sauce was already made (recipe below), I started with my pie crust.  Making your own pie crust is pretty simple, when you follow  the rules , and just tastes a whole heck of a lot better than those frozen pans.  Let me give you some smart tips I’ve learned along the way.

5 tips for a perfect pie crust in_the_know_mom

  1. Freeze your butter for an hour beforehand.  Most recipes will tell you to used chilled butter, but mostly frozen works even better.
  2. Use a box grater to grate the frozen butter (instead of cubing).  You’re looking for pea-sized butter pieces in the end so give yourself a helping hand.
  3. Rest your dough!  Place in the fridge for at least an hour, overnight is even better.
  4. When rolling out, if it starts to crack, let it rest at room temperature for 5-10 minutes.
  5. Once in the PAM-lined pie pan, place in the freezer for 20 minutes.  Use this time to preheat your oven.

 Mini Cranberry Pies with Chinese 5 Spice Meringue


  • 12 oz fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • juice and zest from 1 orange
  • 1-3 Tbl quality bourbon to taste
  • cinnamon stick

1. Place cranberries, water, bourbon, sugar and cinnamon stick in a medium saucepan and cook over medium-high heat.
2. Bring to simmer and cranberries will begin to pop.  Stir occasionally.  Continue to simmer until a majority of the cranberries break down.
4. Stir in the orange juice and zest and simmer on low until thickened (about 15 minutes total cook time)
5. Remove the cinnamon stick and let rest for 15 minutes.


  • 1/2 cup quality butter (1 stick), frozen
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 Tsp vinegar
  • 1/3 cup cold water
  1. Grate butter into the flour, salt and sugar combination in the bowl of your stand mixer. Toss lightly and put in the refrigerator.
  2. Combine water and vinegar in a bowl, chill for 10 minutes.
  3. Once everything is chilled,  mix the flour/butter on low with a paddle attachment until the butter and flour resemble a course meal.
  4. With the mixer still on, slowly add in the water.  Mix for about 20 seconds or until combined.
  5. Turn out on a clean surface and knead 10 times, separate into 2 disks and wrap with plastic wrap.  Place in the fridge to rest for 1 hour or overnight.
  6. Preheat oven to 375
  7. Spray a muffin tin with PAM Baking Spray.
  8. Using half the dough, roll out on a floured surface until about 1/4 inch thick.  Cut out with a rung mold or other device you like.

mini pie recipe in_the_know_mom
9.  Carefully press the cut dough into the wells of the muffin tin. Repeat with remaining dough
10.  Prick each crust with a fork and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
11.  Bake 10-15 minutes or until slightly golden.

mini pie crust recipe in_the_know_mom


  • 3 ounces egg whites (about 3 large eggs)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Bar Keep Chinese Bitters — or 1/4 tsp Chinese 5 spice

1. Place the egg whites into mixer bowl with whisk attachment. Mix on medium until egg whites begin to foam.
2. Add in the sugar and Bar Keep Chinese Bitters and whip on high until shiny, stiff peaks form.

meringue how-to in_the_know_mom

Compile together: crust, cranberry sauce, meringue.

mini cranberry pie in_the_know_mom

These little bites are perfect for holiday entertaining, awesome dessert finger foods.

christmas cranberry pie bites in_the_know_mom

The tartness of the cranberry with the Chinese 5 Spice bitters is a surprisingly wonderful combination. This recipe came about purely by accident as I was playing with different flavors of bitters.  Isn’t that when the best things happen?  I love experimenting in the kitchen.

5 spice meringue in_the_know_mom

Now that PAM has an improved formula, it is ZERO calories.  The holiday baking has enough calories so I’m happy to not have to worry about my cooking spray adding any! Original, Butter and Baking PAM Cooking Sprays also now leave up to 99% less residue buildup than margarine or bargain brand-cooking sprays — all with superior non-stick abilities.  My life in the kitchen would seriously be terrible without PAM and I always keep all the types in stock.  Have you ever sprayed the butter flavor on popcorn?? Zero calorie addition and yummy butter flavor — but that is another post!

pam cooking spray in_the_know_mom


Let’s get to the giveaway! We have a baking prize pack with a $50 value including:

  • Full size sample of PAM
  • Le Creuset Pie Dish

To enter, simply leave a comment with your favorite holiday dish!

** All entrants must be 18 years+ and reside in the continental U.S. ** For full terms and conditions see here.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of PAM Cooking Spray.

For more information, visit

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  1. Rochel S
    December 5, 2013 at 6:54 pm — Reply

    I like Sweet Potato Casserole

  2. Erika W.
    December 5, 2013 at 7:25 pm — Reply

    My favorite dish is my mom’s cranberry salad. It is soooo good!

  3. Beth R
    December 5, 2013 at 8:01 pm — Reply

    I love the stuffing

  4. December 5, 2013 at 8:53 pm — Reply

    pumpkin pie, but I could eat it all year round

    December 6, 2013 at 5:17 am — Reply

    My favorite holiday dish is pecan pie.

  6. debbie
    December 6, 2013 at 5:20 am — Reply

    I like Cornish hens, with cranberry orange glaze.

  7. December 6, 2013 at 7:13 am — Reply

    My favorite holiday dish is Sage and Onion Stuffing

  8. Lacenda
    December 6, 2013 at 9:01 am — Reply

    My favorite holiday dish is the cranberry fluff that my grandmother always made. Now my older sister makes it every year!

  9. kim burnett
    December 6, 2013 at 10:05 am — Reply

    I like baked mac n cheese!

  10. Nici r
    December 6, 2013 at 10:41 am — Reply

    I love broccoli casserole

  11. Chrissy Buday
    December 6, 2013 at 10:56 am — Reply

    We love pumpkin cheesecake or gingerbread cheesecakes :)

  12. December 6, 2013 at 11:12 am — Reply

    i love pecan pie the most

  13. Lisa burton
    December 6, 2013 at 11:20 am — Reply

    Pumpkin pie with maple flavored whipped cream

  14. December 6, 2013 at 11:47 am — Reply

    My favorite Holiday Dish is Wardolf Salad

    pattifritz2000 at yahoo dot com

  15. Christina
    December 6, 2013 at 12:20 pm — Reply

    lemon meringue pie is my favorite!

  16. Trisha Burgess
    December 6, 2013 at 2:04 pm — Reply

    I love pumpkin roll!!

  17. karen
    December 6, 2013 at 4:14 pm — Reply

    Pumpkin pie!

  18. December 6, 2013 at 4:47 pm — Reply

    I like sweet potato casserole

  19. ET Pruitt
    December 6, 2013 at 7:51 pm — Reply

    Cornbread dressing is my favorite

  20. Vicki Wurgler
    December 7, 2013 at 3:43 pm — Reply

    favorite would be the creamed potatoes I make at christmas

  21. Elizabeth B
    December 7, 2013 at 6:56 pm — Reply

    I know it’s cliche, but I love cut-out cookies! They say “holidays are here”!

  22. sandra davis
    December 7, 2013 at 8:49 pm — Reply

    my favorite holiday dish is pecan pie

  23. Melissa L.
    December 9, 2013 at 9:26 am — Reply

    My favorite holiday dish is mashed potatoes and gravy! Yum! Thanks for the giveaway!

  24. December 9, 2013 at 12:22 pm — Reply

    Our favorite and I seem to make it more during the holidays is an Old fashioned Shepard Pie, and Pumpkin Rolls.

  25. april yedinak
    December 10, 2013 at 8:01 am — Reply

    My favorite holiday dish is my Grandma’s Stuffing.

  26. December 11, 2013 at 4:04 pm — Reply

    I LOVE pecan pie and cherry cheese cake

  27. Marci
    December 13, 2013 at 2:40 pm — Reply

    A dish that has been passed down 4 generations Cran-Raspberry Jello Salad….yum!

  28. Anne Perry
    December 13, 2013 at 9:41 pm — Reply

    raw ginger and molasses cookies

  29. christine jessamine
    December 15, 2013 at 3:19 pm — Reply

    I love apple pie

  30. October 19, 2016 at 8:11 am — Reply

    […] 5 Spice. And the crusts are made from scratch using a very simple mix of ingredients. Head over to In The Know Mom to check out this fabulous […]

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