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You Should Absolutely Be Topping Pumpkin Pie With Cranberry Sauce

pumpkin pie with a bowl of cranberry sauce
pumpkin pie with a bowl of cranberry sauce - Martine Severin/Getty Images

With so many other foods competing during Thanksgiving dinner, there's a good chance you've never thought to combine cranberry sauce with homemade pumpkin pie. These two items are essential on menus for the big fall feast but aren't usually considered complementary.

We think the instinct to keep them separate needs to change immediately; the flavors of cranberry sauce play remarkably well with those of pumpkin pie. The spices of pumpkin pie -- nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, and others -- create a warm blend of sweet and savory. Plus, this sentiment rings true for store-bought varieties and homemade pies alike.

Cranberry sauce, meanwhile, provides a unique mélange of sweet and tart. We already know that its contrast to the salty earthiness of turkey is a beloved combination. Adding it to pumpkin pie does the same but with new flavors. Spooning a few dollops of cranberry sauce on top of your pumpkin pie will give you a sharp and tantalizing contrast of flavors and textures, with acidity cutting through the pie's rich creaminess. So, if you've still got some cranberry sauce at the main course's end or leftovers the day after, you may want to try this Thanksgiving feast hack.

Read more: Cake Hacks Every Baker Will Wish They Knew Sooner

Use Cranberry Sauce As A Glaze For Pumpkin Pie

canned cranberry sauce sliced with orange peels
canned cranberry sauce sliced with orange peels - Bhofack2/Getty Images

This mix of flavors is already a hit with some chefs and home cooks. For instance, there are recipes out there for pumpkin cranberry bread. Likewise, some pie recipes call for whole cranberries to be blended with pecans and cookies to create a crunchy, crumbly topping. However, using cranberries on a pumpkin pie differs from using cranberry sauce. Here, the textural dimension plays an important role; cranberry sauce provides an additional smoothness.

That said, there are ways to experiment with cranberry sauce as a part of your pumpkin pie recipe. For example, you can use cranberry sauce as a glaze and pour it on top of a baked pumpkin pie before placing the finished product in the refrigerator. However, this sparks an inevitable question: Should you use store-bought cranberry sauce or make your own at home? While conventional wisdom has stated that homemade is always better, plenty of store-bought enthusiasts insist canned cranberry sauce is better than homemade. Likewise, people have differing opinions regarding canned pumpkin purée or pumpkin pie filling. Ultimately, take the route that makes the most sense for you.

More Hacks For Your Cranberry Sauce Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin cheesecake with cranberries
Pumpkin cheesecake with cranberries - Kirin_photo/Getty Images

Perhaps the best aspect about this Thanksgiving combo is that it works whether you make the components entirely from scratch or go the store-bought route. Even a wholly store-bought version can be zhuzhed up. For example, canned cranberry sauce can be melted into a glaze with minimal effort, provided the sauce has cooled enough before you pour it onto your pie.

You can also add a variety of chopped fruits and nuts to your cranberry sauce while it cools. This will introduce a new dimension of crunchy earthiness into your dessert. Or, you could give cranberry sauce a boozy twist by adding cocktail ingredients like wine or sherry.

If you don't like classic pumpkin pie, you can still embrace the season by adding a cranberry sauce glaze to pumpkin cheesecake, as fruit glazes are a common topping for these desserts. Cheesecake's savory-sweet flavor will also match the pumpkin spice and contrast nicely with the tart bite of the cranberry sauce. No matter what recipes you pick or how you prepare each component -- or combine them -- this flavor combination will thrill your tastebuds.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.